- What do you do for students who arrive with significant academic gaps?
- How you will identify them?
- How you will you know you have made a difference?
This post highlights a recent discovery that will help address question 1, that is a book written by Suzy Pepper Rollins, Learning in the Fast lane, 8 ways to put ALL students on the road to achieve academic success.
Suzy argues that we spend too much time focussing on filling the gaps rather than moving forward. In otherwords we spend far too much time remediating rather than accelerating students.
"instruction that aims to catch up lagging students or fix all their past problems ends up providing classroom experiences that are not compelling, rigorous, or engaging. Such instruction may inadvertently widen rather than close achievement gaps."
How do students feel?
|sourced from http://cpl.org.nz/Our-services/Accelerated-Literacy-Learning-ALL/Northern-region|
A colleague likened this to someone falling off a boat while out on the harbour sailing. If someone who can't swim falls overboard , you don't jump in and teach them to dog paddle while the boat sails away, you haul them aboard and teach them to dog paddle as you keep sailing.
Acceleration comes with the usual logistical challenges - which students, who will teach them and when will we do this. Acceleration in this context is meant to be an enriching experience for students and designed to encourage thinking, build vocabulary and scaffold missing pieces as they learn alongside their peers.
Learning in the Fast Lane is an essential guide that identifies eight high-impact, easy to use, research-based instructional approaches that will help you
- Generate thinking, purpose, relevance and curiosity
- Clearly articulate learning goals and expectations
- Scaffold and practice pre-requisite skills
- Introduce and practice key vocabulary
- Apply the new concept to a task
- Regularly assess and provide feedback (ie: formative assessment)