Getting over the slump was a great read for me! I teach in the inner city with much diversity and could really relate to both educational gaps that were being discussed. I am very familiar with the 4th grade slump and even more so familiar with the Third Grade Promise which is hoping to help prevent the 4th grade slump. The cause of this slump was stated to be because of the lack of vocabulary. Today, learning in school is centered around academic vocabulary. As students move up in grades the academic vocabulary becomes harder and students fall farther and farther behind.
Something that was discussed in the article was that children in more poverty striken areas have a harder time with this academic language because they do not always have that “early home-based preparation”. I see this a lot in my own classroom. As part of the Third Grade Promise committee our goal is to engage parents more in the learning that happens in school and have it translate at home. We plan monthly projects to send home that parents can do with their children that are related to what we are practicing in school.
The second slump that was discussed was one I had never heard before but am very aware of. The “21st century slump” or technology slump. The thing I found interesting is that the two slumps are connected. Students who are having trouble reading and going to have trouble navigating through technology. As said in the article “Our old reading gap and our new digital one interact with each other. The old reading gap can only worsen as the high-tech digital world makes larger and more complex demands on literacy and content learning.” But teachers also need to be educated in how to teach using technology so that our students are properly prepared to be living and working in the 21st century.
I think this reading gave a lot of good suggestions on how to get us there but I don’t think that it is known by many people and/or educators.