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Why is Third Grade Reading So Important?

What is the most important grade in school? It may not seem to be, but the third grade marks a huge academic transition for students. It is the year when schoolwork switches from learning to read to reading to learn. When learning goes from decoding words using the alphabet and phonics to interpreting fact-filled texts, children can struggle with:

  • Reading comprehension skills
  • Poor grades
  • Short attention spans
  • Lack of confidence in the classroom

Third grade is an important academic progress marker that can create a learning lag that can be difficult to recover from if missed. One study found that students who lack strong third-grade reading skills are four times more likely to become high school dropouts. Learn more about what is known as the Matthew Effect.

The Pandemic’s Impact on Reading Development

Unfortunately, students struggle with reading and comprehension more than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many studies have shown that due to interrupted learning, students at all levels, but young students especially are not reaching the appropriate levels in reading. A study of first through fourth graders showed that oral reading fluency showed that. “overall, students’ reading fluency in second and third grade is now approximately 30 percent behind a typical year” source.

Six Tips to Improve Reading Skills at Home

When ignored, weak literacy skills can escalate into serious learning struggles. Luckily, there are strategies available to improve reading skills at home. The ones below are great for readers of all ages and are easy to implement in your daily routine!

  1. Schedule regular family reading sessions at home. 
  2. Engagement is crucial. Find reading materials that your child truly enjoys. When students feel connected to what they learn, they are more engaged in the information. Teenagers especially need to feel the schoolwork they are doing is relevant to their lives and their world. 
  3. Encourage connections with stronger readers in the classroom. Children love to learn alongside their peers. 
  4. Go back to basics by focusing on phonics, word recognition, and syllables. 
  5. Check out these 7 Tips to Improve Reading Fluency.
  6. Check out these 13 Ideas for Turning Reluctant Readers into Bookworms.

Improve Third Grade Reading Skills with Tutoring!

Intensive, high-quality tutoring can lead to a dramatic improvement in reading and literacy skills.

“When considering how to best support middle and high schoolers struggling with either the foundational skills of reading or reading comprehension, experts point to a research-backed strategy that can help close academic gaps: high-impact tutoring.source

High-impact tutoring has three main features:

  1. Uses data about individual students’ needs
  2. aligns to classroom work
  3. Can get students to grade-level faster

GradePower Learning’s customized tutoring programs for reading use the results of an in-depth assessment to gather insights into students’ individual learning needs. Our reading programs help students integrate learning with classwork and build their reading confidence.

Let us help your child become a more confident and motivated reader! Our expert tutors are a great addition to your child’s learning team by supporting them with strengthening thinking and learning skills while simultaneously improving reading and writing skills. There’s still time to get ahead! Contact a location today!

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