I’ve learned that during this time of digital learning, now more than ever, kids need multiple opportunities to be successful. Things that would normally be taught, practiced, then assessed now need to be taught, taught, taught, practiced, practiced, practiced, practiced, assessed, assessed again.
My biggest fear during this time is that expectations from teachers are the same as they would be during our former school experience. The best way to look at our current situation is not that kids are learning from home, but that they are learning from home in a crisis.
School, in a sense, is a vacuum: administrators and teachers can control everything going on there. We dictate when things happen, where things are done, and with whom things are done. At home, are we really able to control any of these things? Sure, we can attempt to place parameters around when things are done, but those times are challenged by the distractions in kids’ homes. If we want to provide students opportunities to be successful while they are learning at home during this time of uncertainty, multiple opportunities for mastery is the way to go. Here are a few ways to allow kids to do it again:
- Flip your lessons and provide students an opportunity to view your recorded lessons an unlimited time before your synchronous meeting. During the synchronous meeting, offer opportunities to correct misunderstandings or guide practice.
- Allow multiple attempts at assessments. Most learning management systems will provide students a number of times to take assessments. Students can take assessments and learn from their mistakes in order to find the right answers. Is the goal to provide them with a grade for their effort, or bring them to an understanding of the concepts? (Hopefully, as a teacher, your goal is the latter.)
- Before assigning an assessment, use gamification as a practice tool. The great thing about this is that you can share a link to your gamified practice and students can do it in their own time. Sites like Quizizz, Kahoot, Gimkit, and Quizlet offer fun ways for students to practice content before you assess them. As an added bonus, these same sites are great tools to assess and obtain data that can be used for differentiation and remediation.