Oftentimes when we work with students in intervention, we find the students aren’t completely behind their peers – they simply have gaps that need to be filled in order for them to develop to their full academic potential. This is particularly true since covid hit and students spent a large portion of time online. It’s not that online learning doesn’t work – it’s just that it was more difficult for some of our students to access and learn this way, particularly those who already have deficits, attention issues, or other differing abilities.
So how do we go about closing these gaps? First, we need to determine what the gap is. In reading, for instance, we find some students have gaps in phonics skills. If so, fluency is poor. When a student spends a lot of time trying to decode a word, comprehension becomes a problem. When working with students, we should start by assessing phonics skills for fluency.
What can the teacher/educator do? Have the student read a fluency check. Notice patterns. Is the student pronouncing hop for hope, or kit for kite? That student may forget to make the vowel name sound when an e is added to the end of the word. Can the student read words with vowel teams like ea or ai? If not, specifically teaching these may be necessary. What about multisyllabic words? Can the student read words that have prefixes, suffixes, or multiple syllables?
If you notice gaps, Lunchbox Tutors and Educational Services may have a drop in class that can work on that specific skill with your child. We also provide small group and one on one tutoring during which time we do a skills assessment and then work on those deficits during the session(s).