Due to the epidemic, many students have fallen short of grade-level expectations. Academics are trying to catch students in the most efficient way possible. It may seem that we are so far behind that we will never catch up, but focusing on teaching students what they missed while continuing grade-level material, I believe we can help close the learning gaps of the last two years.
Despite the slowdown in the normal tendency of teachers when students are struggling, our district is adopting a different approach to literacy. We are drowning in acceleration without focusing on remedies. With limited district data collected over the past two years, the analysis shows that we cannot slow down students for grade-level reading. We have to move forward; Otherwise they will continue to hold until they get their diploma. Here’s how we implement reading acceleration for our students.
Mastery is not bound by time
Many districts say they are practicing mastery learning, but they have a traditional grading system where, if a student does not finish their homework, they will get zero. Skilled education is not aligned with that process. In a traditional classroom, educators tend to pause and slow down when a student struggles instead of continuing. We do not follow that flow.
We do not practice a unit of skill for a specific period of time, test it and move on to the next unit without an action plan to support struggling students. If a student does not acquire skills from Unit 1, they will continue to practice those skills in Unit 2. This is where our collaboration and use of technology tools comes into play. We use Reading Horizons Discovery for all K-3 students, but it is especially useful for students who need extra practice and separate guidance on important basic literacy skills. In all literacy domains, students have the opportunity to re-demonstrate their skills after re-learning and corrective opportunities. This approach allows us to separate instruction with individual students and run multiple lessons while focusing on grade-level values rather than learning disadvantages.
Reading acceleration in action
Reading is not to be bulldozed by accelerated subjects and to move forward despite the struggles that students may face. It’s about moving forward, analyzing data, and targeting students individually or in small groups where applicable. Instead of shutting down what you’re doing and noticing obstacles in a whole-group setting, educators can use the data to guide students through the next lesson.