Helping Students Make the Shift from Learning to Read to Reading to Learn
New data from the 2022 Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) shows reading scores for 9 year olds dropped five points from 2020 in a post-pandemic slump. This is the lowest reading proficiency score since 1990. The pandemic’s lost instruction time significantly impacted reading scores, particularly for students from historically underserved communities. It is critical these students accelerate their reading development to meet important milestones, such as the transition from learning to read to reading to learn, which typically happens in fourth grade.
Fortunately, literacy professional learning and interventions based on the science of reading are available to help meet the needs of students in fourth grade and beyond. As detailed in this paper, effective, proven strategies—including systematic, explicit instruction of foundational reading skills—are available to help students learn how to read proficiently across the curriculum. Once students successfully make this shift, they significantly improve their academic outcomes.
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