CLIFTON, Colo. (KKCO) - At Chatfield Elementary in Clifton, the students are expected to read at the appropriately age level, and then they're pushed to advance their skills a little bit further, just beyond their comfort zone.
Principal Jacqueline Wilson says, "It's called 'zone of proximal development,' and that's where we're always trying to work with kids. We want to encourage them to do well, and we want to extend on that a little bit so that they can have success in the new territory too."
Wilson says the students who struggled in reading are catching up to the level they're supposed to be. She says, "Keeping in mind these kids started at the lowest of the low, and as second graders, they're in the average of their class or better."
First grader Janessa was nervous when she was taken out of class for private lessons with a Reading and Recovery Instructor. The 7-year-old says, "When we first walked out of my classroom I was shaky. I was reading 'The Hungry Giant' and there was a hard word 'bread,' and I spelled it out and I got it very correctly."
Jan Millett is Janessa's Literacy Interventionist. She says, "Janessa is really progressing rapidly. She's learning how to really look at a word from left to right consistently."
Millett instructs Janessa to write words that she might have trouble with on a board, then say them aloud, and then read them outloud in her book. Janessa seems to be catching up quickly to the rest of her class.
Principal Wilson also encourages all the students to present creative ideas to the faculty.
One 4th grader pitched the idea of having an art contest. Now the students' artwork graces the entryway.