Students across the country lost time in class throughout the pandemic, which has put them behind in many STEM skills. The most effective way to get caught up is through interventions. To help make the process easier and see better results, consider these five tips.
Monitor Progress Throughout the Year
Checking students' progress once or twice in a school year is not enough to gain an in-depth understanding of what material has been mastered and where students need more attention. A minimum of three universal screenings per year - fall, winter, and spring - will provide a better gauge of students’ progress. Teachers should be encouraged to monitor progress on a weekly basis so they’re more aware and can help when needed.
Implement Class-Wide Interventions
After the disrupted learning during the pandemic, it’s impossible for teachers to focus on individual learners when so many students need help. Instead, try a class-wide intervention first, then provide additional support for students who still need it. Start with a practice assignment using educational STEM toys or kits that reinforce the needed skill. Pair students up and have them work together to complete the assignment, then grade each other’s work. Peer-to-peer tutoring is known to increase math confidence and skill, improving the likelihood of a successful STEM intervention.
Encourage Collaboration Among Staff and Students
For any STEM intervention initiative to be successful, you need to get buy-in from every teacher, principal, and student. Before implementing anything new, be sure to clearly state your goals, why these changes are important, and how they’ll better serve your students. When everyone understands what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how you’re doing it, they’ll become advocates for your intervention plan making it easier to implement.
Adjust the Strategy as Necessary
The needs of students, teachers, budgets, and educational standards change all the time. Add in new research results and ever-evolving technology products, and no two school years will ever look the same. It’s important to be able to adjust your strategy as new knowledge and technology supplies become available. There’s always room to improve on a successful STEM intervention strategy. You’ll never know what resonates with your students and brings them up to proficiency if you don’t try something new and monitor those results.
Be Open to Change
A willingness to change strategy is a vital component of a successful STEM intervention. Whether your current tactics aren’t working, or you discover new, interesting STEM products for schools, don’t be afraid to try them out in your classroom! Oftentimes, teaching the content in a new way will spark a response in students that gives them the “lightbulb” moment you love to see!
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