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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

April 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Tell us: What’s the best way to help struggling students catch up?

Para-educator Stephanie Hedrick works with a  "walk to reading" group at Gildo Rey Elementary School in Auburn. "Walk to reading" is a program to help students improve their reading skills. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

Para-educator Stephanie Hedrick works with a “walk to reading” group at Gildo Rey Elementary School in Auburn. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

Teachers and administrators at Gildo Rey Elementary School in Auburn have spent 10 years testing out new instructional methods in the hopes of improving student test scores, even as its poverty rates were rising.

Teachers there use various methods, from breaking into small groups for focused math and reading lessons, to a call-and-answer approach commonly known as direct or explicit instruction.

Eventually, their hard work paid off. Last year, 90 percent of Gildo Rey third graders, 95 percent of fourth-graders and 88 percent of fifth-graders passed the state math test, with the rates in reading not far behind.

 

Are you a teacher, parent or student? In your experience, what helps students who are behind catch up? We’ll include a selection of responses in a future Education Lab post.

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