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  • Scott Connelly

Dual Process

I am currently the middle school dean for my school, but that just started this week. I previously was the guidance counselor for the middle school and having been working with my principal in strengthen curriculum, specifically math. This year we had a substitute in 7th grade math for the entire year, and we were very concerned about learning gains and proficiency in this area. At Christmas break, we looked at the latest diagnostic test and discovered more than 80% of our students had only maintained or digressed from the end of their 6th grade year. These results concerned us, so we added a technology component to the curriculum. We used a program called iready. Iready is what we used for our diagnostics, but it had a curriculum component. We had the teacher teach the lesson on Monday and Wednesdays and then assigned them Iready lessons for the other days. We used two lessons as a grade and allowed them to the same assignment 2 times to get a hire grade. We also assigned optional assignments for extra credit. We also added a minimum passing score as a 70 so they must redo any quizzes assigned until they received the passing score needed. This method gave students two ways of learning as the Iready program had video lessons and examples so the students could see and replay material that they were struggling with. Their last diagnostic test data had 80% of our students showing learning gains and 45% were proficient. We have decided to implement this curriculum for all middle school grades next year. Our lowest tiered students were the ones who refused to do the work on Iready or in class. We believe if we can get students to embrace this curriculum our scores will go up. Another benefit of this was it helped our students who were quarantined or chronically absent and opportunity to keep up and turn in work while they were out. The teacher, when assigning extra credit assignments had the ability to assign work that was at their current level of knowledge to build their basic skills and boost their grade. The one drawback we found was our advanced students finished very quickly and was bored after a few weeks. Next year we are planning to allow the program to assign more advance problems and skills to prepare them for Algebra 1. Over all this method was a success, and we want to see what the data says for students who have effective and highly effective teachers.

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