I was chatting with a group of teachers yesterday when one of the group mentioned she was feeling pressure to move through the curriculum within a certain time frame. Students were “putting in their time” yet simply not learning. After a “lively” discussion the group decided it was necessary to insert mastery criteria into each lesson. We shared The Reading Company’s approach to mastery for their consideration.
We believe that achieving mastery of each skill before moving to the next is essential, regardless of the curriculum being used.
Mastery has been achieved when a student can read 90% of word cards, word lists, and/or stories fluently, two days in a row.
If a student reads words correctly but is decoding the words slowly, mastery has not been achieved.
The minimum goal for reading sentences is 50 words per minute. Students should reach 140 words per minute as soon as possible.
When a standard is taught to mastery, the retention rate is 80% - 90%.
Learning is like riding a bike- if you haven’t ridden for awhile you may be “rusty” but you will never forget.