Dr. Beth Kobett, Professor of Education and Chair of the Undergraduate Education Department, is quoted in an article by the Hechlinger Report, “Zeroing in on a Handful of Strategies to Catch Students up in Math.”
The article focuses on efforts to help children catch up on math content and skills they may have missed during remote instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A lack of access to technology and other inequities prevented some students from receiving all the math instruction and support they need. Dr. Kobett urges educators not to frame the past year as a time of learning loss. Emphasizing deficits, or what students might lack or have missed, can lower teacher expectations for students and adversely affect students’ attitudes and self-perceptions.
Dr. Kobett recommends a strengths-based approach, and suggests that teachers provide rich experiences with math where students can see connections. “Students are always learning, and they have always had different knowledge coming into the classroom – that isn’t going to be different,” Kobett says. “We just need to take a little bit more time to celebrate what they do know, before we launch into fixing everything. I don’t want to have a fix-it mindset.”
Dr. Kobett suggests children share what they did at home this past year, such as using math when baking or gardening or other activities with family members. She also recommends teachers focus on working collaboratively. “Students are going to be so excited to see one another that we need to capitalize on this joy.” To be strategic, teachers can work with small groups of students who have different abilities. She warns against rushing to catch up, but to determine which concepts and skills are most important for developing understanding.
To read the complete article, click here: https://hechingerreport.org/zeroing-in-on-a-handful-of-strategies-to-catch-kids-up-in-math/