Inspired Ideas
Published in

Inspired Ideas

McGraw Hill

Jul 29, 2020

4 min read

Six Steps to Helping Students Overcome Learning Loss

Key Takeaways for Returning to the Classroom

But that’s not the only obstacle that will be present for school this fall. Teachers and students alike will be facing the anxiety and trauma that comes in hand with uprooted schedules, new classroom routines, the uncertainty of the future, and the ever-present threat of a pandemic.

Over the course of the summer, we published a series of blogs aimed at supporting educators as they work to remedy pandemic-related learning loss. From these articles, we compiled a list of six steps to help instructors this challenging back-to-school season.

1. Diagnose Learning Gaps

Virtually all PreK-12 students in the United States had an interruption to their face-to-face instruction as a result of COVID-19. The first step is for educators to measure students’ academic progress and identify gaps, which can be more easily achieved using educational technology. Adaptive technology can help educators perform “instructional triage” in the fall — assessing each student’s progress, proficiency, and mastery in a particular subject, identifying the gaps that must be filled, and providing the student with tailored content that they are ready, and able, to learn.

2. Prioritize Personalization

Learning is being conducted in a new environment, at least for foreseeable future and possibly in some respects forever. Personalization will be key to reaching every student, by embracing movement, collaboration, meaningful small group engagement, and viewing students as individuals with unique needs.

3. Take a Trauma-Informed Approach

Educators will welcome students back carrying the wide variety of quarantine experiences they will bring — some excited and eager to share all that happened while we were away and ready to learn, others with backpacks overflowing with toxic stress far heavier than before. The challenges students face through the pandemic don’t go away once class resumes.

4. Complement This With Healing-Centered Strategies

Administrators and instructors have the ability to build a school system that allows for the adult staff to have self-care time built into their day. A school where adult social-emotional learning and growth is fully infused into the systemic structure of how we facilitate education.

5. Be Flexible

In today’s environment, a teacher may be working to reach students in the classroom, in a remote setting, or perhaps a combination of the two. Whether it’s virtual, in a brick-and-mortar building, or a combination of the two, changes to the learning environment can impact each student’s learning journey in different ways and the right educational technology can help educators facilitate learning, no matter when or where it happens.

6. Use Your CARES Act Funds

The third stimulus package includes specific measures that provide relief to schools and institutions of higher education, as they expand virtual and online instruction to their students who are now completing their schoolwork remotely. Learn how you can use these funds to improve your classroom this year.

Need more back-to-school support? Visit our resources page: