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Thato’s Road to Reading and Spelling Success

When Thato Mogakabe, at the time a Grade 1 learner, was assessed in March 2011 he was lagging behind in most developmental areas. He had language difficulties (he often did not understand what was being said to him) and severe perceptual and fine-motor problems. Add to this a poor visual and auditory memory, and it became clear that Thato was bound to struggle in many learning areas.

Because the family stays far from an Edublox clinic, it was impossible for Thato to attend two classes per week. Instead, he attended only one class and a little bit of daily homework was prescribed.

Thato regularly attended the classes, and always entered with a smile and exited with an even bigger smile. At first he did so poorly that individual attention had to be given, but gradually progress in reading and later spelling were noted at the clinic as well as at school.

On 9 June 2012 Thato, now a Grade 2 learner, was assessed on the Essi Reading and Spelling Test. The reading test aims at determining the sight word vocabulary of a learner. Norms for the tests, available for each term, have been calculated in the form of stanines and percentile ranks.

Of children doing the test,

4% score a stanine of 1 (VERY POOR)
19% score a stanine of 2 or 3 (POOR)
54% score a stanine of 4, 5 or 6 (AVERAGE)
19% score a stanine of 7 or 8 (GOOD)
4% score a stanine of 9 (VERY GOOD)

Assessed on a Grade 2, 2nd term level, Thato scored a stanine of 7 (GOOD) for reading and spelling! In addition, his oral reading speed was already 98 words per minute! (A Grade 2 learner should be reading approximately 80-90 words per minute by the end of Grade 2.)

Thato’s mathematical abilities still need attention. Homework in this regard has been given and progress has been noted. If he hasn’t caught up by the end of this year when his lessons at Edublox come to an end, he will be referred to one of the many institutions that specialise in Mathematics.

March 2011: Thato writes his surname.

Thato’s handwriting in June 2012:

Case study submitted on 12 June 2012