At Dave and Amy English School, we believe the ideal length of time on a text is 1 year or less. Just to be clear, we don’t rush students through texts or level them up without merit. After 1 year, we expect the student to be able to level up to the next text.
Why one year or less?
1. Students ENJOY receiving the next text--- leveling up.
In our lessons, students work at their pace.
Despite students beginning My English Book and Me in April together, some children speed through the texts, absorbing the material effortlessly while others take more time.
When a student receives the next text in the series, other students are happy for them (and maybe a little jealous).
The whole class becomes motivated and inspired to work hard to level up also.
2. If students spend too long on a text, they lose interest and get discouraged.
Be wary of THICK texts with lots of activities. They might seem like good value, but in our experience they’re not. There are simple TOO many activities.
After a month, students have barely made a dent in the text. And the thought of doing ALL the pages is disheartening. Especially if they have mastered the activity at hand and don't need the extra practice.
3. From a financial standpoint, leveling up means more revenue for the school.
Shipping / texts are not free. Charge a little more than you pay for the texts.
4. Students quit when bored / when they can't see progress.
If students are on the same text for 1 year and a half or more, the student and the parent might wonder why??? And if they are not happy, they will leave.
- If your students are spending too long on a text, ask why?
- Is there something we can do to speed them a long?
- Is there not enough writing time in class?
- Are the children NOT learning?
In the past, we used texts that the children took years to finish.
The problem? The text went quickly from easy to difficult. There wasn't enough review. It was too easy and too hard in the same text. Quite simply, the children couldn’t do it.
We used supplementary files, but that too was problematic.
Children don’t want lots of texts—they want 1 text that is doable.
Teachers want simplicity, not lots of supplementary files.
We're happy with the My English Book and Me Series. It's is neither too easy or difficult. The children are learning phonics, full questions and answer, vocabulary and grammar.
Each text builds on the next one. The game / flashcards support the texts.
In the past, we barely saw progress. Now we find the children can level up in a timely fashion and not be overwhelmed / bored or discouraged (all common in previous years).
Often children are learning the phonics / grammar / vocabulary / question and answer for the next text in the series before beginning the text. They can SEE their own progress. And maybe more importantly for student retention, Moms and Dads can see the progress also.
How about your school?
Dave and Amy