Has this been a great series about planning for unfinished learning in mathematics or what?
Let’s get caught up.
In part 1, I covered my 3 favorite resources about unfinished learning in mathematics.
In part 2, I shared specific resources for middle school and high school math teachers to identify the math content they should be prioritizing (and what content they should leave behind).
Now we’re here in part 3 where I’m going to show you how to take these resources and use them to help you identify the potential gaps your students might have as they start 21-22.
Bridging Unfinished Learning in Mathematics
My goal in this post is to help you create a document that lists your current grade level priority content AND integrates potential gaps you might need to bridge for your students who had unfinished and disrupted learning for that priority content. I firmly believe that our goal is to still teach grade level content. The key in this activity is to make sure you’re linking and integrating similar content. That you're focused on the priority content for your grade level, but integrating prior years content as you go and as needed. Not all at the beginning of year like a repeat of the previous year, but integrating where it’s appropriate and necessary for you to teach the grade level content.
Create your Bridge
Three steps to effectively plan for unfinished learning in 21-22:
Step 1. Identify Priority Content
Identify and list your priority content in a table, with each priority content area (concept, topic, etc) as a different row (learn how to do that in post 2).
Step 2. Identify Potential Gaps
For each priority content row, identify and list the potential prerequisites aka prior years standards for that priority content (concept, topic, etc) that might be weak or missing due to unfinished and disrupted learning. Use the same Achieve The Core documents explained in post 2 to identify the priority content of the previous grade level.
Step 3. Identify Resources to Bridge the Gap
Generate some ideas about how you will help bridge the gap between the missing prerequisites and current grade level priority content. Think about activities, resources, etc that you can pull from and use to effectively reach all students.
You can create your own document to achieve this or you can check out my offering by clicking here.
If this is too overwhelming to start with a blank slate (the high school priority content feels this way to me), start by looking at your textbook or school pacing guide. For each chapter or unit, check it with the priority content doc to see if it’s truly a priority or if it could be skipped. Remember, you’re not going to be able to cover everything you normally cover in a school year. The purpose of this entire series is to help us identify what needs to stay and what we can let go of. Once you’ve narrowed down what your priority content is, look at the focus documents for the prior year or two and think about where the prior years gaps could be integrated into your teaching for that specific priority content.
I hope you’ve found this series helpful and I have two ways to take this further:
#1) If you’re a school or district administrator and would like help facilitating this discussion about unfinished learning and planning process with your math department, email me now (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check out my website to learn more about services as a secondary math consultant.
#2) All of this planning will be for nothing if our students who struggle don’t feel comfortable, safe, and known in our 6th-12th grade math classes. Very soon I’ll be announcing my free summer math motivation challenge to help with just this. Make sure you subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss the opportunity to register!
Let’s connect over on Instagram where I share all my blog posts and so much more!