What can we do to help slow down the slide? What can educators do in the fall to help fix the Covid-19 slide? I suggest, Blended Learning as "A Fix To Covid-19 Slide" Continue reading to learn more about how to "Slow and Fix the Learning Slide"
What can we do NOW to slow the slide?
According to the NWEA Report, Math tends to have a more substantial decrease in retention of information during the summer months. As the students progress to the higher grade levels, the math skills decrease. Reading is still essential, and educators should also focus on reading skills now and in the fall. In some of the data reports, the prediction for information loss will be almost a full academic years worth of growth. We need to device a plan on how to slow the slide and to customize a new educational program for the fall.
Training the Teachers
With schools closing early for the 2019/20 school, now is the time to take a deeper dive into the "New Normal" for education. Blended Learning will become part of the education process for the fall of 2020.According to the USAToday.com Report, students will either start the school year with at-home learning, participate in some type of A/B schedule, or have flexible learning schedules.
Explore some of our Virtual Workshops for Schools as well as for Individual Educators looking to learn more about Blended Learning and EdTech Tools.
Slow the Learning Loss Slide
Over the years, I have suggested adaptive digital content tools that will help reteach concepts to the students during a blended learning classroom. For those students that have internet access, using one of these FREE online programs could help to slow learning slide down.
Math Online Adaptive Programs
Freckle.com is an adaptive math program for Kindergarten through 8th grade. The students will sign up for the class with the provided code from the teacher. Next, the students will need to take an online adaptive test for all five math concepts. After the students finish the level set quizzes, they will start to move through each math concept at their current math level. Note that each math problem can be read out loud to the students. If the student misses a question, a video will pop up, showing how to solve the problem. Data reports show the educator the current math level, what areas that still need more work, as well as the number of minutes each student worked through Freckle.com.
Prodigygame.com is an adaptive math program. The program adjusts the learning level of the student based on the pre-assessment test. The students learn about new concepts, a practice previously learned content, and compete against other math students in the arena. Students love this program. Teachers love the data reports from Prodigy. The reports are easy to read, and the teacher can supplement the missing information with additional mini-lessons. is a math adaptive program. The program is set to adjust the learning level of the student based on the pre-assessment test. The students learn about new concepts, practice previous learned content, and play compete against other math students in the arena. Students love this program. Teachers love the data reports from Prodigy. The reports are easy to read and the teacher can supplement the missing information with additional mini-lessons.
Khan Academy allows the students to test out of math concepts. For example, if a student can master the math concept during the pre-assessment, the program will skill the lesson tutorials, which in return will allow the students to move through math concepts faster or slower depending on their depth of knowledge. The data reports will showcase the mastered ideas, the struggling concepts, as well as the skills that the students have practice. Watch this series of videos by Kahn that demonstrate how to read the individual reports.
Mathigon.com is one of my new favorite high school math programs. The program is not adaptive, but it brings math to life with interactive activities for each chapter. The data reports provide an outlook of what the students have completed, where they might be struggling, and lesson planning suggestions for the teachers. Remember, we are not replacing the teacher; we are providing learning opportunities to help slow the slide of education until next fall.
Fixing the Slide in the Fall
There are a lot of suggestions out there for how to fix the Learning Loss Slide in the Fall. One idea would be to have the teacher loop with the students to the next grade level. This might sound like a good plan, but believe it or not, it will add more stress to the teacher. The teacher will have to learn the following grade-level content and reteach the concepts from the previous year. That is a lot of extra prep for the teachers. I have come up with Three Ways to Fix the Slide of the Learning Loss through the deployment of Blended Learning.
1. Block Schedule
Over the years, I have worked with blended learning schools that have adjusted the regular schedule to accommodate for longer lengths of learning periods called Block Scheduling.
Template One: A and B Days and Regular Schedule on Friday
Template Two: Wednesday and Thursday Block Days
(Read more about the different types of Block Scheduling)
A Block Class could be broken up into two parts. Part One, would cover new content in order to stay up with the current pacing guide for education. Part Two of the block would allow for differentiation of content or reteaching of concepts that were part of the Covid-19 Learning Loss.
2. Extra Support
Adding in support teachers or incorporating two educators into each blended learning class could help with the Covid-19 Learning Loss. Teacher A provides small group instruction to the students based on the current pacing guide suggested by the school district. Teacher B provides small group reteaching based on the missing concepts. Both teachers would be in the same classroom. The students would travel to both mini-lessons, independent practice, digital content, and future-ready skills throughout the class period. By having two educators in the classroom, the students will be able to relearn the missing concepts and get back on pace within a school year.
3. Fluid Learning
Another way to accommodate for the Covid-19 Learning Loss might include Fluid Learning. Think of setting up the school day in two parts. The first part of the day would be a Personalized Learning approach where the students would fluidly move from lesson to lesson based on their academic growth. Stay with me here. The students would enter the school and go to their homeroom. During the homeroom time, the students will review their new schedule for the first part of the day. The student would visit the teacher(s) that are teaching the critical concept for Math and Reading based on their learning plan. After the first 90 minutes of the day, the students would return to the homeroom and continue with the regular blended learning day.
The Covid-19 Learning Slide
There is no doubt that there will be a learning slide from Covid-19. To prevent too much loss, starting now with the implementation of adaptive learning programs, and preparing for learning in a blended learning fashion, we can fix the learning slide.
Learn More About Blended Learning
Marcia Kish - Blended and Personalized Learning coach that designed the Three Phases of Blended Learning