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Here's a rule of thumb parents and teachers can use to observe a child's reading ability (not intelligence):

"A" students read 2 or more years above grade level (top grades)
"B" students read 1 year above grade level (above average grades)
"C" students read at grade level (average grades)
"D" students read 1 year below grade level (below average grades)
"E" students read 2 or more year below grade level (major struggle in school)

I'm tellin' ya – I'm 100% confident when I insist that most kids can be taught to read 2 full years above grade level. It's almost never a lack of brains. It's because they were never taught.

I'm also tellin' ya – I'm 100% confident when I say that reading skills will continue to be extremely important for years to come. I think we would all like our children to be able to read, write, listen, speak, organize information, think critically and succeed with math. Why not?

In every classroom there are always students who need to catch up fast! What can be done with these students? What can be done for the ones who just can't wait to get going?

THEY MUST BE SET UP TO EXPERIENCE SUCCESS WITH READING AND MATH. They must earn smiles and tons of approbation for doing something right (like getting in the classroom without tripping, or starting on time).

Here are 3 behaviors that are so powerful because they're easy to see and count — all ages and abilities:

  1. starting on time
  2. staying on task
  3. completing assignments

If you would like to know how good a reader your child really is, see our free evaluation tool here.

​​And, if the pencil doesn't run off with the spoon, next time I'll let you in on a couple of facts about changing behavior with "counting." Wow! I wouldn't have believed it.


Wow! I'm continually amazed that three behaviors essential to academic success are rarely mentioned, anywhere (except at Brainsarefun of course). They are:

  1. Starting on time ("You started on time, you earned…")
  2. Staying on task ("You stayed on task, you earned…")
  3. Completing assignments ("You finished on time and turned in what you agreed, you earned double…")

Good news, I see that these behaviors are validated (again) in the January 19, 2013 issue of The Economist (page 81) in a review of a new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough, a journalist and former editor of the New York Times Magazine.

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