I am currently teaching five young piano students using the Piano Adventures curriculum (which is the method I learned by) and so far I am really in love with those books! However, two of my students have recently been causing me concern by developing the same exact problem. They have super slow sight-reading and often hit wrong notes without realizing it. Also, they pause for a long time at the end of each phrase and no matter how many weeks I assign- "Practice counting out loud and taking out all the pauses between measures", it never gets better.
They also seem to have no sense of note duration and pretty much never hold down a note longer than it takes to strike the key. I've explained to them many times about note duration, (demonstrating, counting, and then playing along with them, having them count out loud, etc.), but as soon as I leave them on their own it all goes out the window! They seem to have not sense of what music is at all and I am started to get very frazzled at the end of the teaching day.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! They are both in the red level (level 1) of PA, and I have them doing the lesson and theory book, and I have one reviewing with some of the later songs in Primer Performance.