Where Rigor Meets Engagement

After Testing: What Do We Do With Students NOW?

on Apr 18, 2017


The tests are taken and are secured at Fort Knox. Yeah! We’re Done! Time to send our students home for the summer. Oops – according to the calendar, instruction is supposed to continue for a few weeks. What now?

One thing’s for sure: lessons have to be highly engaging. Because motivation can sure wane when students start seeing blank bulletin boards and textbooks stacked in the corners…

An option to consider: Acceleration

Acceleration is the process of strategically moving students forward in skills and vocabulary, while securing missing skills in the context of new learning.

Math in the Fast Lane provides access to next year’s units. In addition, in the bottom right hand corner is something you’ve probably never noticed: a map of prerequisite skills. And the TIP’s and scaffolding are there – everything needed for acceleration.

What lessons look like:

  1. Talk about the big ideas of the concept. Incorporate pictures, story books, videos, & real-world examples.
  2. Revisit just the skills that learners need for the new unit. This might include sorts, card games, placemats, etc.  Use scaffolding devices as needed.
  3. Revisit vocabulary that they will see again for this unit, utilizing word art, Taboo, etc. Introduce just a few critical new words.
  4. Introduce new skills, but just at the beginning levels…we’re just dipping our toes into the new pool…

Won’t students forget over the summer? Some of it, yes.  Acceleration is typically done a day or two in advance.  But with hands-on learning, pictures, and active learning, more will be remembered.

Have some advanced learners that might enjoy something different?

Jerry Burkhart is a math author in gifted education.  He has something called “Intrepid Math Problems” for grades 4-6. These might take days to solve and have multiple answers. These are $5, but if you’re interested…follow this link. Enjoy your last weeks!