Why 4th grade?
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- In grade 4, the knowledge/skill gaps are not that great. By 6th or 7th grade or higher, the gaps are significantly greater therefore requiring much greater perseverance to overcome and significantly reducing the odds of success.
- Most 4th graders still respond positively to praise from teachers and parents and are generally receptive to guidance from teachers.
- Students in 5th and higher grades that have a history of failure have often adopted a tough outer shell as a defensive move that makes them less receptive to efforts to help them (showing how tough you are is often more important than academic achievement).
- There is often increased peer pressure in 5th grade and above to not be perceived as a striver to do well in school.
- Keep in mind that at the time the initiative kicks off, we are talking about students that are just a couple of months out of 3rd grade.
- 4th grade (maybe 3rd grade in some cases) is the first grade where most students have reached a level of maturity to take some responsibility for their own education.
- 4th grade is a grade where the content level is still relatively simple and a large % of the population is able to jump in and help as formal or informal tutors and coaches. This cannot be said for Algebra, Trigonometry, etc.
- 4th grade is last chance for many. Many schools are not effective in helping students entering 5th grade far behind grade level recover and become successful.
- Extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs and jobs are not yet as much of a distraction in 4th grade.
- Perhaps most importantly, 4th graders are not yet distracted by puberty.
- Although this initiative is focused on 4th grade, we will also have several programs aimed at students in other grade levels. In addition, the initiative intends to add at least one grade level per year to the initiative until all K-12 grades are covered.
← Why 4th grade?