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The Acquisition Strategies

 

This strand of learning strategies was specifically developed for students who get stuck at the “fourth-grade hump” in reading. That is, they are able to decode and understand materials written at or around the fourth-grade level, but they do not gain additional reading skills after that without additional specialized instruction. Such additional specialized instruction can be provided by using the instructional programs in this strand. Research has shown that students who master the strategies in this strand can make average gains of three to four grade levels in reading in relatively short periods of time. For example, ninth-grade students who were reading at the fifth-grade level, on average, were able to decode words at the ninth-grade level after learning the Word Identification Strategy after six to eight weeks of instruction. These kinds of gains have been achieved when students were taught the strategies in small groups of four to eight students and received daily instruction including individual practice and feedback. Such gains may not be achieved if students are taught the strategies in large groups or if they do not receive individual feedback.

 

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The Acquisition Strategies

 

The Storage Strategies

 

Once students start taking subject-area courses (science, social studies, history), they begin taking tests over the information in those courses. Teachers require them to know the information and be able to apply it. In the middle-school grades and higher, students are often required to master around 60 to 80 pieces of information to do well on each test. This information can include the definitions of vocabulary or terms as well as concepts, facts, and ideas. Often, students are required to take tests over the meaning of 20 to 30 vocabulary words each week. Many students do not know how to study for these tests unless they receive specialized instruction. Such specialized instruction can be provided by using the materials in the Storage Strand. Research has shown that students who master the strategies in this strand can learn how to study for tests and receive grades of Bs and As on those tests. For example, ninth-grade students who were failing their science tests before learning the First-Letter Mnemonic Strategy with an average score of 44%, earned average scores of 83% (Bs) after they learned the strategy. These kinds of gains have been achieved when students are taught the strategies in small groups of four to eight students and received daily instruction including individual practice and feedback. Such gains may not be achieved if students do not receive individual feedback on their practice attempts. 

 

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The Storage Strategies

 

The Expression Strategies

 

In most middle-school grades (and some elementary grades), students are expected to write essays that include several paragraphs. Those paragraphs must contain a variety of sentence types and be relatively free of errors. The paragraphs must flow together to make a cohesive whole. Many students do not know how to write complete sentences, let alone a variety of sentences. They have difficulty writing organized paragraphs and themes, and their papers are filled with grammatical and other errors. Unfortunately, they do not learn these skills unless they receive specialized writing instruction. study for these tests unless they receive specialized instruction. Such specialized instruction can be provided by using the materials in the Expression Strand. Research has shown that students who master the strategies in this strand can learn how to write a variety of sentence types, paragraph types, and themes. They can learn how to monitor their written products for errors. They can also learn how to complete their assignments on time, take tests, and take essay tests. For example, ninth-grade students who could not write a majority of complete sentences before instruction in several writing strategies, earned scores higher than the average score for their whole district on a writing competency test after they had received the writing strategy instruction. These kinds of gains have been achieved when students are taught the strategies in small groups of four to eight students and received daily instruction including individual practice and feedback. Such gains may not be achieved if students do not receive individual feedback on their practice attempts. 

 

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The Expression Strategies

 

Products Associated with the Learning Strategies Series

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Products Associated with the Learning Strategies Series