On one hand, educators across the country are ready to return to classrooms this fall. How exciting will it be to have a class full of students again? But, with all great things come challenges. Namely, COVID Slide. It’s something teachers have always known intuitively – a Zoom lesson is not quite the same as being in the classroom, and now there’s data to back it up.
A McKinsey study shows that learning loss because of school closures during the pandemic is significant. Experts also estimate that students may have lost one-and-a-half months of learning in reading, and this learning loss is more pronounced among students of color.
So how can we engage our students while helping them play catchup and overcome COVID Slide?
We’ve put together 3 tips on how to introduce Read to Lead to your classroom to engage students, re-ignite deep learning AND combat time away from the classroom!
Tip 1: Spark Students’ Interest
Student engagement starts with interest. That’s why the first step to tackling COVID learning loss is sparking students’ interest in learning again. One simple way to do that is to put them in the driver’s seat to take control of their own learning – and what better way to boost student agency than by making them the protagonist of their own story? That’s exactly what Read to Lead’s learning games allow students to do.
Read to Lead lets students “be the boss” in different virtual workplace scenarios. The games are set in culturally relevant, rigorous, and immersive learning contexts, featuring diverse characters in a variety of professions. This provides students with a fresh perspective that is sure to reignite their interest in learning.
Tip 2: Use Content that is Designed to State Standards
The second step is integrating learning experiences that are aligned to State Standards into the curriculum so that students can get back on track with learning. Middle school teachers – look no further than Read to Lead games!
Community in Crisis (Grades 5-6), Vital Signs (Grades 6-8) and After the Storm (Grades 7-9) are all designed to Common Core Reading Standards and support CASEL SEL Competencies. Educators have found that using Read to Lead helped improve their students’ vocabulary development greatly, and helped them prepare for state assessments.
The detailed Performance Reports that are available on the platform are also a handy tool for teachers to keep track of students progress toward specific learning goals (and jump in with a little extra help where needed)!
Tip 3: Let Students Set the Pace
Differentiated learning is going to be key this year, as students are going to return to classes at all different levels. Allowing students to go at their own pace is important to helping them overcome COVID slide without becoming overwhelmed.
No matter what level your students are at, Read to Lead is flexible enough for you to be able to differentiate learning. Its adaptive technology modifies assessments based on students’ performance within the platform. The platform also provides instant feedback on students’ progress, celebrating their wins and motivating them to excel!
Tackling COVID Slide is definitely one of the challenges we will be facing in the new school year. But with the right tools getting students caught up and set up for success in the new school year can be a fun, enriching, and engaging experience.
About Read to Lead
Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!