Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Reading Up for IREAD-3 ; EVSC Third-Graders Prep for Retest

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Reading Up for IREAD-3 ; EVSC Third-Graders Prep for Retest

Article excerpt

Never mind the summer break, third-graders were hard at work at Dexter Elementary School last week, their noses in books. The retest of IREAD-3, Indiana's new high-stakes test which third- graders must pass for promotion, is coming this week. So for pupils who didn't pass in the spring, there's no time to waste.

Dexter is among 11 Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. schools hosting daily three-hour tutoring sessions. IREAD-3 takes 90 minutes to complete, and teachers say that for a young child, that can be grueling.

It's just like running a race, teacher Lorie Manion explained. To complete it, you've got to be in shape.

"One thing we've really been concentrating on this summer is to build their stamina for reading, so they don't get tired during the test and can keep going," Manion said.

Much of the IREAD-3 test involves comprehension. Manion read a passage with her pupils Thursday about dental care, and along the way, she often paused to ask questions: "What does 'decay' mean?" "Why do you think the author wrote this?" "How many teeth do you think you have?"

"You can read all the words," Manion said later, "and still not know an thing about what you've read unless you're concentrating on that voice that talks to you."

Manion spent the last five schools year as a literacy coach for the EVSC, working at several schools. Because of cuts in the school district's Title I funding, Manion will be a classroom teacher at Vogel Elementary School in the upcoming school year.

Amy Cole, who teaches at Thompkins Middle School during the year, worked with pupils in another classroom Thursday at Dexter. She read a book with them from the Junie B. Jones series.

"We are working on basic reading comprehension, things they missed during this school year," Cole said. "This is a high-stakes test.... It's pretty intense instruction. …

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