Educators across West Virginia are continuing to face challenges surrounding the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on education. The biggest challenges are addressing the unfinished learning that occurred as a result of the school closures while also ensuring that students are mastering current grade-level skills and standards. When we pair these two challenges with additional obstacles such as changes in the instructional environment, social distancing measures, and the more traditional provocations that educators face, it is easy to conclude how overwhelming it is for educators to find a starting place and begin developing a plan to aid in tackling each of these challenges. How do you know where your students are academically? When should you assess? What exactly is acceleration, and how can you use it in your classroom?
Today, I am talking with Christy Schwartz to discuss the answers to these questions and more regarding the importance of student acceleration in the classroom.
What to Listen for:
- What is student acceleration?
- What does acceleration look like?
- How are our students’ social and emotional needs connected to student acceleration?
- Why is the timing of administering assessments important?
- Why should my focus as an educator be on acceleration instead of on remediation or pull-out intervention?
- What are some ways educators can assist in acceleration in ELA when students stumble over unfamiliar words or have great difficulty with comprehension?
- What are other helpful tips for educators regarding accelerating students’ learning within ELA instruction?
- How do you accelerate student learning for at-risk students?
I hope this episode has opened your eyes to the importance of student acceleration now more than ever in our classrooms. By shifting our mindset from using below-level materials to remediate learning loss to using grade-level content and texts with lots scaffolding and support and just-in-time remediation of any prior knowledge, vocabulary, or skills that students might need in order to successfully engage with that grade-level content and text, we can accelerate student learning to reduce, or even in some instances, reverse the achievement gap.