Maybe it’s time that we abandoned the notion that grade levels should be used as measures of growth.
We use a term like below-level to determine that a child who just made an arbitrary October 1st cutoff isn’t exactly where they should be, especially compared to the rest of the kids in the class. Others are described as on-level or above-level, regardless of their individual needs.
We group them all together, push those struggling through, and become concerned when, as the gap continues to widen, the student is several steps below grade level.
“How did this child get to fifth grade when they are still on a second grade level?”
Maybe now serves as the perfect time to change things. Group kids according to needs, and interests, and passions.
Provide supports that will help kids grow on their own timelines, not the predetermined standards based timeline that kids “should” be on.
It may take some kids a little longer to read, but we want them to appreciate the joy of reading at their own pace.
Letting kids take the time they need to develop.
Time as a gift. Not as a limit.
Maybe it’s time.