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Accelerated Learning: How Teachers Can Ensure That Every Student is on Grade Level This School Year

Accelerated Learning: How Teachers Can Ensure That Every Student is on Grade Level This School Year

To address the educational gaps many students struggle with, a common remedy has been the practice where students’ on-grade learning is put on hold until their teachers reteach basic-level skills and bring them up to speed gradually. However, this method isn’t the best fit for every situation.

One effective alternative approach is accelerated learning. As opposed to teaching everything a student failed to master the year before, teachers lead the entire class in lessons appropriate for their grade level and, if needed, carve out time at critical junctions to focus only on those specific prerequisite skills and tasks necessary to understand the new content. Any additional help a student receives before or after school aligns with what they’re learning in the classroom.

While shifting from the status quo can be overwhelming for school districts, integrating accelerated learning into every classroom can be done effectively. By focusing on the following key elements, you can propel your students forward and ensure that they’re ready for grade-level content.

1. Determine what each student needs right now.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), school districts should prioritize key skills and core knowledge for the academic year based on frequently used academic standards. From there, they can identify any critical skill gaps facing their students through pretests on specific on-grade-level topics.

2. Tailor instruction to grade-level goals.

Once teachers identify each child’s learning gaps and strengths, they can leverage tools to inform instructional choices. A digital solution like Apex Learning Tutorials by Edmentum links topic-level pretests, supporting topics, and on-grade instruction together so that teachers can fill gaps and quickly move to on-grade instruction in a seamless way. It also provides ongoing diagnostic assessments on both a student and classroom level, allowing instructors to adjust lesson plans as needed.

3. Use interactivity to keep students engaged and learning.

A multimedia solution must center on proactive learning rather than passive instruction, presenting concepts in different ways to stir students’ curiosity and help what they learn stick. In addition, if the digital curriculum is constructed with multiple scaffolds, students build on the skills they know and receive support as they grasp critical concepts. Struggling students no longer have to wade through in watered-down content—they are challenged and empowered to reach grade-level mastery.

4. Choose the highest-quality digital curriculum that accelerates learning.

The most effective way to implement an accelerated learning program is to streamline it by working with one partner that offers a complete suite of customizable solutions designed around the learner experience. As school districts compare software solutions, it’s important to critique the comparison data between students who used the product and those who didn’t, along with gains on meaningful measures like high-stakes tests. Request real-world efficacy studies from every vendor to determine how each curriculum has made a difference in school districts similar to yours.

Researchers have discovered that as schools spend time filling in learning gaps, they actually create new ones. Instead, when teachers coach students on missing skills rather than wind back to remediate losses, students complete 27 percent more grade-level work. In addition, accelerated learning has proven to be more beneficial than remediation for children with learning disabilities and other educational constraints. By implementing the best digital curriculum for your district, you can ensure that all students make meaningful progress toward grade-level content.

Interested in learning more about hot to distinguish between acceleration, remediation, and intervention? Check out this blog post explaining the differences.

Edmentum Team's picture
Edmentum Team

This blog was written in collaboration with multiple Edmentum team members.