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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Seeking Better Progress: Serving Challenged Learners

As I continue to analyze the year's efforts, there were many successes and there's also room for further growth.

One growth area is attention to students who struggle. I continue to think that the learning team can do a better job in this regard. As I analyze this challenge, I have the following ideas for my own practice and for our collective practice as a learning team.

Ideas for Betterment
  • Add time and detail to the parent presentation at the start of the year so that we make the goals, standards, roles, and routines as explicit as possible. The more families know, the better they'll be able to support their children.
  • Make extra time for parent-student tech mornings and coaching sessions. When family members clearly understand how to coach and support children, students succeed with greater success.
  • Assess earlier in the year. Take the assessments seriously and start RTI earlier in order to provide students in need with the tailored, small group attention they desire and need.
  • Include an early year problem solving assessment that matches the deep, detailed PARCC standards/tests. Identify students who struggle with math problem solving earlier and give those students more support. For some of my most challenged learners, language-related barriers were the reason for the challenge. 
  • Create a better homework pattern for challenged students--a pattern that leads to a successful pattern of homework completion first, then grows to include more and more content, purpose, meaning, and depth.
  • Identify challenged students early and plan to have small group lunch sessions with them to develop relationship and grow skill
  • Maximize learning time by integrating content goals with recess and social skills times as students who have confidence with academic skill will generally have greater success with social skills and recess too. 
  • Recognize birthdays and give every child a chance for a special day. Recognition builds confidence and relationship, and confidence and relationship contributes to academic success.
  • Continue to work with specialists prior to the school year to create a strong, consistent academic routine and service delivery. 
I look forward to implementing these ideas in the final weeks of school and next year too. Onward