Effective urban educators created additional time for reading, writing,
mathematics and science instruction. And, leaders in successful urban schools
in high-poverty contexts extended time for instruction during the school
day or beyond.
Eighth and twelfth grade
students who participated in hands-on science activities at least once or
twice a week had higher science scores (and were more likely to be at or above
the suggested proficiency level) than students who only participated in hands-on
activities once or twice a month. No differences were observed at the fourth
grade level (NAEP 1999).
urban educators created a mathematics tutoring program for high school
students. Participants in the program met on Thursday nights from
7-9 p.m. for 30 weeks. Students in the program improved their mathematics
skills and competence.
time for instruction is also an integral part of the Success for
All (SFA) reading program. Reading instruction in this program is
based on current research into the ways children learn to read and
write. K-6 students in the program were also offered 90 minutes of
uninterrupted reading instruction on a daily basis.
in successful urban schools in high-poverty contexts conducted efforts
to reduce disruptions to teaching and increased their school's focus
on academic instruction; for example, an uninterrupted 90-minute
reading block. Even on shortened days (i.e., snow related), 90 minutes
was allotted to reading and language arts.
for instructional time and homework, the average mathematics scores
of eight grade students increased as the amount of homework increased.
In addition, eighth and twelfth grade students who reported doing
mathematics problems every day had higher scores than students who
reported doing the problems less frequently (NAEP 2000).
1998, fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade students who reported reading
more pages daily in school and for homework had higher average scores
than students who reported reading fewer pages daily.
and twelfth grade students who wrote more than one draft of an assigned
paper had higher writing scores than their peers who were not asked
to do so (NAEP 1998). No relationship was discovered between student
reports of writing more than one draft and student performance at
the elementary level or fourth grade. At all three grades, the more
frequently students discussed their studies with someone at home,
the better their average writing scores.
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