Helping Students With Accelerated Learning Instead of Remedial Tactics
Published on Sep 10, 2021 by Jess Reider
How creating a more challenging classroom environment can help students bridge the skill gap left behind by the pandemic.
Still working to recover from an unpredictable year, educators such as yourself are likely noticing that your students may be suffering from pandemic-related learning losses. Exacerbated by a lack of connection and inefficiencies in remote and hybrid learning, these losses have affected students at every grade level. Some have fallen months behind in struggling to maintain a traditional pace, while navigating the impacts of isolation and the chronic unpredictability the pandemic has brought on.
While the current state of learning may feel bleak, as an educator, you have the opportunity to develop lessons and classroom settings that target specific gaps in student skills. Researchers at the Fordham Institute suggest instead of adopting remedial learning tactics like one would when dealing with a student in need of special focus, a focus on accelerated learning – or dedicating instructional time to challenging, grade-level content – is better suited as a way to bridge those gaps.
In an effort to help support your students through this period of readjustment, we’ve curated a list of suggestions to help your classroom become a more challenging and comforting place that encourages growth and promotes learning.
- Building connections - The depletion of connectedness that occurred last year has left many students feeling isolated and lacking a sense of belonging. By cultivating a familial and comforting atmosphere in your classroom, you can help students regain a sense of connectivity. Daily check-ins with each student and creating predictable routines are just some ways to help students regain a sense of normalcy.
- Formative assessment - All students will be returning this year at various levels of ability and knowledge. Be patient with students and take the time to assess early in the year which may be in need of additional support and what factors could be present in stunting their continued learning.
- Probing questions - All good teachers ask students questions, but how deeply do they understand the answers they provide? Ask students for more than just the answer but how they arrived at that answer. This line of probing will encourage the retrieval process as well as building engagement.
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