50% of students read at level--is that sad?

Question:As a teacher, I've heard the saying "If you can reach just one child, you've done your job for the year." Well, my first grade class of 23 had 13 students reading at or well above grade level for their end of year assessment. Part of me feels really proud, but the other part feels like it's a sad accomplishment--the majority, if not all, should be at or near grade level in reading! Am I right to feel this way? I mean, I have students in the class who range from end of year 2nd grade reading level to those who don't know that you read from right -to-left!

You should be proud that the majority of your students are reading at or above level. The students are lucky to have a teacher like yourself that cares about their development. Everything that you did for your students helped to close the gap in their development even if you don't see it now you did make a difference.
with higher divorce rates and all that stuff kids have a lot to worry about. it's sad, but if u think that u are doing ur best to help these kids out then feel proud of yourself. many people would just quit. i think it all begins at home.
Just under half your students cannot read at first grade standard. I'm not suggesting this is your fault. What I am suggesting is that something needs to be done about it to avoid these kids being left behind at the very beginning of their educational journey. And, errm, in English you don't read from right to left.
dont go by sayings they ruin u
u are who you are
and no one elses approval is needed..
but they are in only first grade iff u really want improvamnt 5-6 is urs =)
You should be proud! At least you got to more than half! Right? I mean, it is not just your job...the parents have to do their part as well! You can not control what goes on at home...you should pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
There are not enough hours in the day for you to be able to get every student to read at grade level. Parents MUST be involved with reading with their child at home in order to accomplish this. You are not super-human...you have accomplished a lot and be happy with that. Do not beat yourself up over it because it is OUT OF YOUR CONTROL!
Egads! I am in school to be a pre-K or K teacher (can't decide which) just to improve literacy so by the time they enter first grade they are reading at a rudimentary level.

I understood that all kids should be reading by the end of first grade, and that if not, the kid needs evaluation for a reading problem.

My understanding of that saying was that (to paraphrase it) you can't save everybody, just get the top 85% where they should be by the end of the school year and forget about the bottom 15% (who supposedly are just not as educable).

Just reaching one child makes no sense given that you are in charge of a roomful.

Sounds like you teach at a school with lots of disadvantaged kids. As a substitute teacher, it bothers me that there are so many interruptions in the school day. Breakfast, and recess and PE and music and art and on and on. I have hit on the idea that when my kids line up, I will be holding up a few signs for oh 3 weeks saying "stop", "quiet", "walk". Basic sight words. Then at the lunch table I will hold up "stand" when we stand, etc. We will spell the word and then do the action. Do that 30 times and most kids will know that sight word. There are about 300 Dolch sight words, and I plan on teaching a lot of them incidentally just that way. And I'm not a drag either, I am well aware that we have to play games, etc. It's just that you have to make words prominent all day long, not just on that word wall.

You have all summer to ponder how you can improve things next year. Of course kids don't read at home--a huge problem--but you have to drive around it. You have these kids for 7-8 hours; you can reduce the numbers moving from your class with low reading scores if you make up your mind that you will. Just get online and find out what other teachers are doing! Check out the "balanced literacy" websites for good ideas and go for it! You have sensed a problem, and you can by your actions next year go a long way toward solving the problem, not for every kid, but for a greater number. Best wishes.
Oh, the first grade teacher I observed did flashcards of the 44 phonemes (or whatever # it is) every day all year. The kids all loved it when she said Oh, my favorite--chocolate when she held up the ch card. They all learned that sound but good!
Not every child is ready at that age.
Schools want everybody to be at a certain level, at a certain time; this is not only illogical, but also wrong.
To make children learn concepts they may not be emotionally ready for is doing more harm than good.
Children develop differently, once we accept that without making them feel they have failed, they will catch up in no time when ready.
When I was in the second grade, I still couldn't read at the first grade level, so they wanted to put me in special education and hold me back a year. My parents refused, and took me to a private school for a year so I wouldn't fail. Language arts have never been natural for me, but I have a masters degree now in music education, with the intention of eventually getting a doctorate in music philosophy. Feel proud of your kids, even those kids that can read to level yet, and feel even more proud of yourself that you focused on them- as John Dewey, one of the leading educational philosophers, believed, an educational (edjucative as he called it) experience some takes years to be realized by the student. Expect the results of your teach may not appear for some years.

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