The “New” Fourth Grade Slump
The most recent NAEP data offers encouraging news: fourth-grade reading scores are up across the country. However, that same data tells us that kids are losing ground after fourth grade. Both eighth- and eleventh-grade scores are lower than fourth-grade scores and are on the decline. We think it's time to start talking about the "new" fourth-grade slump. This slump starts in fourth grade with a whole new set of causal factors and far-ranging consequences.
- First of all, the contributing factors have multiplied in the last few years. The push to “cover the standards” has crowded out time to teach science and social studies, subjects that engage kids and have the added benefit of teaching academic vocabulary.
- Second, the world outside the classroom has become a much more exciting place, filled with iPods and Gameboys and video on demand. Kids have 24/7, multimedia access to information. School simply hasn’t kept up.
All of this has resulted in a slump with consequences that range far beyond fourth grade. The most recent NAEP data reveals that, left unchecked, the fourth grade slump turns into a full blown achievement gap by 8th grade. Enter ReadAbout. Designed to work seamlessly alongside your core reading program, ReadAbout uses the power of technology, high interest nonfiction and the best thinking about motivation to jump the slump, before it ever has a chance to take hold.