Part I- By Staying Current in Reading, Math, and Writing Skills
This is part one of a series on how to prepare for the upcoming school year when we don’t know what it is going to look like. This is a topic that I have been thinking about a lot. I have also noticed that it is a frequent topic of conversation and cause of anxiety among parents and teachers that I know. We realize that we need to get ready for the school year, as it is quickly approaching, but we don’t know what next school year will look like. So, how can we prepare?
This series will present several steps to help teachers and parents get ready for the school year based on the concrete information we do know and research. I hope that it will start a discussion about how we can create the best possible school year for our children. Today we will discuss how we can continue to make progress despite gaps in instruction. We know that students will need to continue to make strides in reading, writing, and math regardless of the structure and form of their instruction next school year, but how can we ensure that this happens?
COVID Learning Loss
Whether you end up homeschooling, returning to school, or doing a combination of distance and in-person learning, kids will need to be ready for grade-level reading and math. Studies estimate that because of the lapse in schooling last year, students will be entering this school year with 70% of learning gains in reading when compared to a typical school year and only 50% of typical gains in math. For this reason, it is recommended that teachers, families, and communities look for ways to offer more support to students, especially in mathematics.
What We Are Offering to Support You
We have decided that one way that we can do this is by offering free tutoring to our community and free support through this blog. To this end, we are offering two free individual tutoring sessions. Students and parents can select the subject that they wish for their student to study with a licensed teacher. After completing an individual online session, a recorded video of the session is available to students and parents so that they can continue to review strategies they have learned and try additional examples similar to what was covered with the tutor. Students can also opt to participate in two free live workshops. Our “getting ready” workshops allow students to spend several hours with a licensed math teacher preparing for their upcoming math class.
Remediation Versus Acceleration- How We Plan to Make Learning Effective
Research proves that remedial instruction is often boring and students are not engaged. Instead of offering remedial classes, we have chosen to scaffold instruction so that students review skills from the previous year as they are related to what they will need to learn for the coming school year. This gives remedial instruction purpose and relevance. We understand that in order to accelerate learning:
- Teachers and parents need to be able to identify what skills students have not learned or mastered.
- The focus of instruction at the beginning of the school year or in any course that helps students to get ready for the school year should be prerequisite skills and knowledge for each required grade level standard. Teachers should ask, “What do students need to already know in order to be successful with this grade level skill?”
- Students should be presented with targeted instruction of the specific prerequisite skills along with assignments and content appropriate for their grade level. This will give them the support they need to access grade level material.
This is how you will find material presented in our getting-ready workshops and during our tutoring sessions.
Want More Ideas on How to Keep Students Learning?
For additional ideas on how to work on reading, writing, and math skills over the summer see these previous blogs and videos on reading comprehension strategies, summer learning from home, project-based learning ideas for parents, math support, and reading support.
We would love to hear what you are doing over the summer to help your kids maintain their reading, writing, and math skills in order to prepare for the coming school year. Please leave your comments and questions below. We hope that you will join us next week, where we explore part two of this series. Next week’s topic is embracing digital learning as something that is here to stay.
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Nina Parrish, M. Ed.
Co-Owner and Director of Education
Proud mom of two adorable girls. Teacher who has developed an education business that started at a kitchen table and has grown into a thriving small business... Click here to Learn more about Nina.
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