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Reminder for Parent Teacher Conferences: Accuracy Does Not Equal Mastery

Conferences are right around the corner, and after the ups and downs of the pandemic, there has never been a more critical time to know how your child is performing in the classroom. Asking questions about your child’s performance can help prevent minor issues from snowballing into major concerns.

       When speaking to your child’s teacher, it is important to remember that grades and percentile rankings do not necessarily reflect mastery of skills and content. As a member of the Fit Learning family, you know that time is a critical variable in how learning should be measured. Accuracy alone is not enough to produce mastery or permanent learning outcomes. Researchers have discovered that high rates of correct responding over time predict that a skill is neurologically permanent (i.e., remembered or retained), usable for learning more complex things, and resistant to distraction and fatigue (Nix-Berens, 2021).

        While meeting with your child’s teacher, ask about rate-based measurements that are conducted in the classroom. Curriculum-Based Measurements (CBM) are commonly administered in elementary school classrooms. These measurement tools will provide your child’s percentile rank compared to same-age peers, but more importantly, they will provide insight on your child’s rate of response in a variety of skill areas. At Fit Learning, we use research-based fluency aims (i.e., the rate of response that predicts mastery) to determine when a learner is ready to move on to a higher level skill.  For example, the fluency aim for single addition math facts is 50 problems per minute and the fluency aim for phonics is 80 letter sounds per minute. A learner will have a hard time with higher level skills, such as multidigit addition and reading words, if these foundational skills are not fluent. If your child is not performing these skills at aim, they may need additional fluency building practice. Want more information on how your child is performing? Contact us today to set up an assessment!