Times have changed us. We have changed. Our learning communities have changed. And it’s all happened at a pace that we’ve never experienced before.
That’s why this month’s #822chat topic is focused on student progress, what does it mean in our current times?
#822chat— Abigail French (@awfrench1) April 4, 2020
A1: Let’s begin with a new definition of “progress” appropriate to the current situation we are experiencing.
Progress is assessing student needs, establishing personal connection, taking steps towards a new reality, learning new protocols. #firstdayofschool
Meaningful Student Progress
Before Covid-19, there were plenty of established assumptions about student progress. For example:
Math and reading are essential for all students and should be monitored and publicly evaluated at the school level.
While the established assumptions were often criticized (see this 3 part discussion), now those assumptions are largely pushed aside for more immediate learner needs.
A1: I hope we aren’t looking at progress right now, but rather connecting and making sure everyone has what they need. The progress that needs to take place the most is with us and how we may teach differently and more equitably as a result. #822Chat— Erika Garcia (@flyingmonkey13) April 4, 2020
Many schools are now functioning as wifi coordinators, food banks, and online course mentors. The roles vary as largely as the needs of the students they serve.
A1. At this point if Ss are making a honest attempt to complete assignments consistently, that’s progress also for some of our Ss receiving Sped. services, just communicating with their teachers consistently is progress. #822Chat— Vic Nixon, Ed.D. (@VNixon1988) April 4, 2020
And the variety of basic needs also feed the need for greater differentiation.
Progress is often simply getting students to show up, coaching their independence, and prompting engagement.
A1)I think that depends. For some students logging in and participating is a win due to access issues. I don’t think there has ever been a time when success criteria has been more differentiated than now. I think we keep working on skills mastery; the rest will follow. #822chat— Dr. Cristóbal T. Saldaña—#OneWord2020: Bold (@saldanact) April 4, 2020
Feedback, Not Grades
There if a lot of common ground on this aspect of student progress. Monitoring progress is second to promoting progress. That is, feedback is preferred over grades.
The need to create opportunity for learning has changed. The focus on social and emotional learning often supersedes the need for grading or evaluation of academic learning.
Q1: Personal goal setting and how it relates to values. I think it's so critical to focus on SEL and makes sure our students, teachers, and parents are handling this transition. For students, its about establishing a routine, a sense of structure. Grades are ? right now #822chat— Rodrigo Bravo (@mrbravo365) April 4, 2020
Social and Emotional Growth
Whether or not the impromptu distance environments have any staying power, one thing is for sure – the social distancing and emotional impact of Covid-19 will have a lasting impact.
For example, the basic social skills of being on time, listening actively, and contributing appropriately are paramount in a distance environment.
A1: distance learning requires self-discipline, focus, and an end goal. Emergency distance learning, which is what all of this is, requires the former, plus resiliency. Progress is fleeting as this entire situation remains fluid. #822chat— Jason Jiménez (@JasonJimenez_) April 4, 2020
What Do You Think?
What does student progress look like for you right now? Are your students ready to focus on academic learning? Is distance learning a near impossibility for your students? What progress are you looking for?
Leave your thoughts in the discussion below.