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Sets of manipulatives & skills cards advance adolescent literacy.

Stagnating reading skills in middle school
Since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law in 2002, the National Association of Educational Progress (NAEP) has administered annual tests to fourth and eighth graders nationwide. Reading results are dismal. Gains in reading achievement for fourth graders have been marginal, while performance of eighth graders has declined. In fact, NAEP test results for students in fifth through eighth grades show little or no progress during 30 years of testing. Darvin Winick, chairman of the bipartisan group set up by Congress to oversee NCLB, acknowledged in a 2007 interview, "Probably the educational establishment needs to look at middle school reading to see why we're not making progress there."

Physical and emotional changes brought on by puberty often take precedence over academics. To advance skills, programs must consider the potent needs for belonging and self worth that exist in adolescence. Additionally, the increasing numbers of at-risk students in our schools are a challenge to reach during these years.

Why individualized Reading Manipulatives products work
Reading Manipulatives products are amazingly effective with older students of all ability levels. The self-directed activities methodically develop a wide array of skills in a holistic manner. These are reasons why the comprehensive sets of materials build skills.
  • Manipulatives tap into the multiple intelligences most often demonstrated by adolescents: spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, and interpersonal.
  • Manipulatives seem like games, so they engage older students. Most Americans learn best with hands-on approaches.
  • Products address achievement gaps at all levels and cover literacy skills from phonemic awareness through critical reading and composition.
  • Often literacy skills instruction ceases by middle school. These individualized materials continue to advance key language concepts. All readers benefit from thought-provoking activities.
  • Multilevel sets have a similar appearance, removing the stigma that is often attached to materials used by at-risk students. Our products do not appear remedial or babyish.
  • Serving as mentors helps middle school students to thrive. The individualized sets encourage cooperative learning. Students naturally assist one another.
  • Classrooms have a wide range of student needs and abilities. Reading Manipulatives products can provide suitable differentiated instruction for any student.
  • Students are responsible for selecting, completing, checking, and tracking activities. This personal involvement builds accountability and interest.
  • Complete sets of skills cards review key English-usage concepts with mini-lessons and application drills.
  • English Language Learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing student population. These intuitive, natural approaches need less explanation, removing language barriers. Products are available for ELLs at various skill and language levels and help teachers with instruction.
  • Students who have experienced repeated failure with other approaches often succeed with manipulatives. Multilevel sets allow them to progress as they master skills.
  • The comprehensive sets are ideal for lab-like programs. Students benefit from continued literacy skill instruction. As they work on suitable materials, teachers are freed for instruction.