# What Grade Levels Is Byrdseed.TV For?

The most common question I get about Byrdseed.TV is:

Will this work with students in Grade X?

Now, I don’t mean to be coy, but I’m very hesitant to declare what a student can and cannot do based on an arbitrary measurement like grade-level. Far too many students are being limited in what we offer them because they were born in a certain year.

## Grade Levels Don’t Define Potential

I’m hesitant to say what students in Grade X can do because recent research indicates that huge numbers of students are working several years below their potential because we limit their learning to their grade level.

Just how much higher could students be working? Read on for some eye-opening numbers!

## At Least One Grade Level Above?

How many students are ready for work a grade above? Check out these findings from Johns Hopkins (all emphasis mine):

20-40% of elementary and middle school students perform at least one grade level above their current grade in reading, with 11-30% scoring at least one grade level above in math.

Oof. 1 or 2 out of 5 students are stuck (at least) a grade below their reading potential?

The authors note that those math percentages would be even higher if only we gave kids the chance to go as fast as they could.

Grade levels condition us to artificially limit students.

But that’s not all! If all these students are ready for next year already, how many could go even further than that? Just how far ahead are some students?

8-10% of Grade 4 students perform at the Grade 8 level in [language arts], with 2-5% scoring at similar levels in math…

Let that sink in.

1 out of 10 fourth graders could be doing eighth grade work. Now do you see why I’m loathe to say what a Grade X student can do? Who can say?!

But this is why we have gifted programs! To push these students’ thinking to their instructional learning level — which could very well be four years above their chronological grade!

## Um, Eight Years Above?

Four years beyond is a lot, right? Certainly that’s the maximum though. Oh no it’s not! The paper continues:

…in 2013 alone, more than 400,000 Grade 4 students performed above the level of the lowest quarter of Grade 12 students in reading.

😬

When we limit what a student can do based on their grade-level, we set an unnecessary ceiling. If you’re working with gifted kids, these are your students. You’ve got kids who are ready for thinking possibly eight years beyond their age.

How do you provide for these students?