The report firstly provides an indication of reading ability as described in reading ages from 6 years to 12+ years, and secondly an indication of current levels of some cognitive skills.
1.) Reading test
The Edublox Online Tutor reading test, which is based on international and widely used reading tests, consists of 100 words, which is graded from easy to difficult. The amount of words read correctly gives an indication of reading age. The student’s reading age is expressed in years (y) and months (m).
2.) Cognitive skills that support reading and learning
The following scale defines the cognitive skill levels:
1 = Very poor; 2 to 3 = Poor; 4 to 6 = Average; 7 to 8 = Good; 9 = Very good
The skill level calculation takes age into consideration.
Visual sequential memory
Sequencing refers to our ability to perceive items in a specific order, and also to remember that sequence. In saying the days of the week, months of the year, a telephone number, the alphabet, and in counting, the order of the elements is of paramount importance.
Students with reading difficulties often have trouble with sequencing. Naturally this will affect their ability to read and spell correctly. After all, every word consists of letters in a specific sequence. In order to read one has to perceive the letters in sequence, and also remember what word is represented by the sequence of letters in question. By simply changing the sequence of the letters in name, it can become mean or amen.
A weakness in auditory memory can have serious consequences in the realm of learning for students.
Auditory memory involves being able to take in information that is presented orally, to process that information, store it in one’s mind and then recall what one has heard. Basically, it involves the skills of attending, listening, processing, storing, and recalling. Because students with auditory memory weaknesses pick up only bits and pieces of what is being said during a classroom lecture, they make sense of only little of what is said by the teacher. Afterwards they are able to recall only a small amount or none of what was said.
Students with auditory memory deficiencies will often experience difficulty developing a good understanding of words, remembering terms and information that has been presented orally, for example, in history and science classes. These students will also experience difficulty processing and recalling information that they have read to themselves. When we read we must listen and process information we say to ourselves, even when we read silently. If we do not attend and listen to our silent input of words, we cannot process the information or recall what we have read. Therefore, even silent reading involves a form of listening.
A poor auditory short-term memory is often the cause for a person’s inability to learn to read using the phonics method. Phonics is an auditory learning system, and it is imperative to have a sufficient auditory short-term memory in order to learn, utilize and understand reading using the phonics method.
When your eyes move across a line of print, they move in a series of quick movements broken by very brief pauses. The movements are called “saccades.” They are so fast that you are not aware of them. Your brain manages to blank out whatever signals come from your eyes during these saccadic movements. You are only aware of what you see during the pauses.
You aren’t even really aware of the pauses, so it is easy to believe that your eyes move smoothly across the page. But if you watch another person read you can clearly see the quick jerky movements.
What you probably can’t do, because they are so quick, is to count the movements. The pauses, which are called “fixations,” last only one-quarter to one-fifth of a second.
The normal beginner reader makes an average of two fixations per word or, in other words, sees or recognizes less than one whole word at each fixation. This statistic was determined by photographing the reading of over a thousand first graders with The Reading Eye, a camera made especially for this purpose. Each child read a selection of approximately 100 words. During the reading the average child made 224 fixations, about two fixations per word or an eye span of .45 of a word. This average span of recognition increases very slowly to 1.11, or slightly more than one word per fixation, for normal college students at an average speed of 280 words per minute. The average number of words seen at each fixation does not reach one whole word until the eleventh grade.
A poor reader will be inclined to pause more often for fixations, and the duration of each fixation will also be longer than that of the typical reader.
Another important difference between good and poor readers lies in regressive movements. All of us move our eyes backwards from time to time in reading. Poor readers do it more often than good readers, but there is a further difference: Good readers know where to regress to. They go back to the beginnings of phrases and sentences, and they can pick out important and difficult passages to reread (because that is what regressive movements amount to). Poor readers just move their eyes back because they don’t understand what they have just read.
By increasing the learner’s eye span, the number of fixations, the duration of the fixations, and regressive movements can be reduced, leading to faster and smoother reading.
Logical thinking is the process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion. Problems or situations that involve logical thinking call for structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that “make sense”.
The basis of all logical thinking is sequential thought. This process involves taking the important ideas, facts, and conclusions involved in a problem and arranging them in a chain-like progression that takes on a meaning in and of itself. To think logically is to think in steps.
It has been proven that specific training in logical thinking processes can make people “smarter.” Logical thinking allows a child to reject quick answers, such as “I don’t know,” or “this is too difficult,” by empowering them to delve deeper into their thinking processes and understand better the methods used to arrive at a solution and even the solution itself.