As indicated in this graph, the severity of learning loss due to the pandemic is real, with 97% of students impacted. There is no question that we are going to have to address these learning and achievement gaps as we transition back to the classroom. The way path forward is to get at what drives learning in the first place. As indicated in Teaching Adolescents To Become Learners a report from UCHICAGO CCSR Literature Review “...building students’ academic mindsets and teaching them appropriate learning strategies are the best ways to improve academic behaviors and perseverance, which leads to better grades. Unfortunately, these are often areas in which teachers have little training.”
It has been so long since we have been in school that there will be a learning curve that students, and perhaps teachers, will experience as we head back to the classroom. It is akin to relearning how to “do school”. This is especially true for those students who have experienced the greatest levels of learning loss. We will ease students' transition if we heed this report and teach them “learning strategies” that lay the foundation for success.
“Organized Binder has seen and taken action on what so many teachers tend to overlook- students’ lives outside of school are unknown! Students who do not know how to be, act, and/or learn like a student don't know how because they have NOT learned it!!!! Not only did you take note of this, but you came up with a way to change it.”Middle School Teacher, Scotts Valley Middle School, Scotts Valley, CA
The pandemic, in some ways, has made this true for most students. Students will have to relearn how to “be, act, and/or learn” again and we must approach this work carefully as it is the bedrock for learning. We can set our students up for success if we take action and implement routines that scaffold learning and the school day.
Learning requires input, modeling, and repeated practice. Over the past few months I have watched as my oldest child learns to play the piano. She receives direction and guidance from her music teacher, her teacher often models the correct posture, hand and finger position, and then my daughter gives it a try, again and again. Relearning how to do school will require the same input, modeling, and practice. The transition back to school will be gentler if we can incorporate predictable learning routines. By doing so we can explain the routines (input), model for students how that routine will be implemented, and then we can practice the routine day after day.
For many students the transition back to school will be seamless, but for most it will be fraught with some fear, anxiety, and trepidation. By embracing students with predictable learning routines we can help ease their emotions as we remind them how we “do school”. To do this we must equip teachers with actionable strategies for developing students as learners.
If you would like more information about how Organized Binder equips educators with a daily learning protocol that makes predictable learning routines a reality please reach out. It would be an honor to jump on a short Zoom and introduce you to the program. Heading back to school will not be as scary if teachers incorporate consistent and predictable routines that teach students successful learning strategies.