COVID-19 Educator Help Desk

Making up "Gap" Time

  • 1.  Making up "Gap" Time

    Community Champion
    Posted 05-20-2020 10:38
    Hi PLN! I had a coach reach out with the following question and I thought this would be the perfect group to offer ideas. Here's her wondering: "As we prepare our transition plan, I have become increasingly concerned about the need to fill/teach the past 12 weeks at the beginning of the year in addition to new grade-level material. Do you know how other districts might be handling this "gap"?" Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Nicole 


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    Nicole M Zumpano, NBCT
    Regional Educational Technology Coordinator
    Learning Technology Center of Illinois
    @nmzumpano
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  • 2.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    PLN Leader
    Posted 05-20-2020 17:23
    Hi Nicole,
    This is a great question and is on the minds of many educators throughout the world.  The making up of lessons and "gap time" is certainly a nuanced question.  For example, I have heard of districts that are thinking of testing students at the start of the year (skill/knowledge placement tests) and then group students accordingly in order to streamline instruction.  Although this seems attractive at first glance, it can lead to some negative consequences.   When we immediately track students, we just reinforce wealth differences and opportunity gaps.  More affluent students often end up at the higher end as they had an easier time continuing their online education with adequate connectivity and perhaps consistent parent help.  Kids with limited connectivity and who have parents who are unable to help with schooling (for a variety of reasons including having to go to work in an essential job) will not have the same skill set.  Of course, differentiated instruction is important, but that can be achieved in a single classroom and not by putting kids in different classrooms.  On a different note, other districts are focusing on Social Emotional Learning during the first weeks back and the trauma that kids have experienced.  It takes time to build community and expectations, and focusing mainly on making up content doesn't allow for kids to process this pandemic or to build community again.

    With respect to planning and the use of tech, there are some things that districts can do to help the process.  In a Forbes May 19th article about the the version of school, (https://bit.ly/3e3qE5t) the author talks about having a cohesive district plan that includes consistent communication and platforms.  When a family knows what to expect and can get information efficiently, the chances for more learning and engagement increase.   In some districts, a parent can get multiple e-mails/communications from teachers who are using a variety of platforms.  Although having choice is good for teachers, too many platforms can just confuse parents and students -- especially our most vulnerable.

    So, in response to your question about gap teaching, I would respond that this shouldn't be our initial focus.  Rather, schools should be focusing on clear communications and a common platform to simple the online life of students and families, and schools should also be focusing first on Social Emotional Learning and rebuilding community.  I will be interested to read what others reply as I know that good work is being done throughout the world.

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    Matthew Hiefield
    Teacher on Special Assignment
    Westview High School
    @MattHiefield
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  • 3.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    Community Champion
    Posted 05-21-2020 10:54
    Thanks for the thoughtful response, Matthew. I look forward to checking out the Forbes article you linked. I'll be working with some coaches this summer on planning and this will be a great conversation starter.

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    Nicole M Zumpano, NBCT
    Regional Educational Technology Coordinator
    Learning Technology Center of Illinois
    @nmzumpano
    ------------------------------

    Join us for ISTE20 Live!


  • 4.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    PLN Leader
    Posted 05-20-2020 17:59
    I feel like you will do what you always do. Assess students where they are and teach accordingly. You have to teach the student you have, not what a book or curriculum tells you to teach.

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    Nancy Penchev
    I Lab instructor
    Instructional Technology Coordinator
    Scheck Hillel Community School
    North Miami Beach, FL
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  • 5.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    PLN Leader
    Posted 05-21-2020 10:02
    There have been SO many conversations about this! I've heard of districts talking about working through the summer on a modified schedule in order to help close the gap. Other districts are talking about team/co-teaching and/or looping in multi-grade classrooms to try to deliver missed instruction along with new to address the gap. Other districts are talking about revamping the grade level curriculum entirely (potentially forever(?!)).

    I don't know how may districts are incorporating the state ed department but I would assume they'd need to be involved.

    I honestly don't know how any of this will be accomplished (certainly not easily) but I know that education should always evolve... so I am looking forward to seeing it all roll out.

    ------------------------------
    Kristin Edwards
    Distance Learning Specialist
    CiTiBOCES
    kedwards@citiboces.org
    @CiTiKristin
    ------------------------------

    Join us for ISTE20 Live!


  • 6.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    Community Champion
    Posted 05-21-2020 10:56
    Yes, Kristin, this is an exciting time in education. Change can't be set aside anymore!

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    Nicole M Zumpano, NBCT
    Regional Educational Technology Coordinator
    Learning Technology Center of Illinois
    @nmzumpano
    ------------------------------

    Join us for ISTE20 Live!


  • 7.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    Community Champion
    Posted 05-21-2020 19:40
    Good thoughts all around.

    I'd add, though, that we often focus too much on how many minutes we teach. It's not about the number of minutes, but the number of great moments we set in motion.

    If we combine the two ideas with well-trained, dynamic teachers getting extra time with those most in need, we'll not only recover faster, but might just build a better system going forward.

    Rushton

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    Rushton Hurley
    Nonprofit Executive Director
    Next Vista for Learning
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  • 8.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    PLN Leader
    Posted 05-22-2020 08:25
    I agree with Rushton and could not have said it better!

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    Laurie Guyon
    Assistant Coordinator for Model Schools
    WSWHE BOCES
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  • 9.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    PLN Leader
    Posted 05-22-2020 09:31
    Beautifully said, @Rushton Hurley!​

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    Kristin Edwards
    Distance Learning Specialist
    CiTiBOCES
    kedwards@citiboces.org
    @CiTiKristin
    ------------------------------

    Join us for ISTE20 Live!


  • 10.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    Posted 05-22-2020 11:38
    As we look to returning to school, how much are grade levels going to have to teach the previous grade's content? Do we start the year for a month with the last teacher to attempt to catch up? text on a house icon with a heart over the chimney
    Made this in Adobe Spark to pose the question on Twitter. Not too many responses. I think everyone is wondering what to do. 


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    -Karyn (@Filibuster3)
    Technology Training Specialist
    MIEExpert, MIETrainer, Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator-Level 2, National Geographic Certified Educator
    https://gktechies.wordpress.com/ (blog)
    https://delivr.com/27zf2 (Accessibility collection)
    http://bit.ly/gktechies YouTube Channel
    ------------------------------

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  • 11.  RE: Making up "Gap" Time

    PLN Leader
    Posted 05-29-2020 16:05
    With the updated CDC response educators and stakeholders alike have many questions. Closing the gap involves addressing equity issues, lack of internet access or computers for doing class and homework, and parents that may have limited financial or educational resources to help their children with throughout the school year. We may bo closing the gap remotely/virtually. 

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    David Lockett
    STEM Teacher
    Bok Academy
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