Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ça me fait mal

Ouch, does it hurt. I assigned a short writing exercise to my students last friday. They had to write a short paragraph of at least five sentences describing their summer. Not a hard assignment, I thought. I just wanted to see how their writing skills were, since the English teacher gave me the grim news about their reading scores... more than half are below grade level.

What did I discover? Three of 50 students understood the concepts of spelling, punctuation, and paragraphs. The rest of them? Well, some just gave me five sentences numbered 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Some had spelling so poor that I had to guess at their meaning. Others were barely recognizable as English.

This is depressing.

I'm going to start a program with a parent volunteer so the volunteer can work one-on-one with all the students on basic reading skills and speed reading exercises while I focus on the group as a whole.

I do not understand how these kids made it out of elementary school with such a lack of reading skills. Pretty sick if you asked me.

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