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Decreasing Class Size Enhances The Performance In Elementary School Students

1479 words - 6 pages

Decreasing Class Size Enhances the Performance in Elementary School Students

Decreasing class size enhances the performance in elementary school students. In the studies that SAGE has done, their students appeared to have “a significant achievement advantage” in all areas (Study confirms, 2001). By the end of third grade, students in smaller classes seem to read more effectively and independently (Class Size Reduction, 2001). The advantages of smaller classes are also shown between races and social backgrounds. Tennessee’s 1970 test revealed that poor and African-American students had the greatest gains in smaller classes. Especially after kindergarten, the gains were usually two times that of whites (Class Size, 2001). Not only do the students and the school benefit from smaller classes, but also so does the entire state. After being in a reduced class of twenty students for three years, California’s research showed that test scores were better than those before the classes were reduced (Viadero, 2001). For the 1996-97 school-year the Walnut Creek, CA school district, reduced its kindergarten classes to twenty students and to a maximum of twenty students in grades one through three. The following is a chart that shows the improvements of the kindergarten students from the first year of being in a reduced classroom.

Skills
% Mastered
June 1996
% Mastered
June 1997

Read a Picture Book (with a few repetitive words)
25
43

Identifies Letter Names
74
79

Concepts about Print (how to hold a book)
79
94

Letter Sounds (25-26)
unknown
51

Can Read 15-20 words by sight
28
62

Hear and Record 10-14 sounds in words
56
73

(Class Size Reduction, nd). (top)

Decreasing Class Size Increases Educators’ Motivation and Knowledge of Students

Decreasing class size increases educator’s motivations and knowledge of students. “Teachers in higher-achieving SAGE classrooms use the individual attention that smaller classes allow to monitor learning, get students to articulate what they have learned, provide individual critiques of students, and to reteach if necessary” (Study confirms, 2001). Smaller classes also allow for teachers to maintain a more efficient classroom. In first grade classrooms, teachers tend to have a more stable and structured classroom with routines that speed up the learning process and make it more efficient (Study confirms, 2001). It is most important that teachers are able to spend more time with their students, therefore enhancing a student’s performance. It is much easier to spend time with a student when there are only 14 other students to tend to, opposed to 30 other students to help. Teachers tend to focus on helping students obtain problem-solving techniques and a joy for learning (Study confirms, 2001). It is most obvious that with a smaller class, there is a smaller amount of work to be collected and graded, and fewer students to...

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