1st Quarter Grades are out. What is next?
With the 1st Quarter grades out; time for action is NOW!
Learning does not happen overnight
The school curriculum is built in such a way, each day builds on the previous learning sessions. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.Akin to regular physical checkups, periodic assessments give a reality check onthe student’s academic progress. Moreover, regular assessments help record children’s academic progress and ensure they are meeting the benchmarks. Specifically, the quarterly formal and cumulative assessments lend itself for course corrections. For advanced learners, it is time to take stock and take more challenging lessons. For those falling behind, it is the right time to identify the root cause of the problem and take remedial measures.These tests help keep the children focused, give a sense of purpose and a goal to aspire.
Starting strong is the basis of success
Not understand the first quarter materials is a sure recipe forpoor End of the Course (EOC) grades. There are many reasons for mediocre performance. If caught early, some are easily fixable and other issued may need time, patience, resources, and imagination. Here we discuss a few of the easily fixable problems. Each student learns differently. In overcrowded classrooms, teachers have limited time, resources, and no qualified helping hands to shoulder the workload. Therefore, we can rule out individual attention in a traditional classroom. There is a silver lining though. A few dedicated,outstanding, and caring teachers are genuinely concerned about students’ progress. Outside of the school board mandated minimum, these teachers go the extra mile and give additional office hours for those who need help. However, for several students this help is not sufficient. They need that individual one-on-one attention.
Morning shows the day
Often, overall poor performances in Math, social studies and science may be traced to poor reading-comprehension skills. Below grade level reading proficiency, inadequate writing, vocabulary and comprehension skills hamper the overall academic progress. An expert educator will be able to correctly diagnose the problem and recommend course correction.Some students may read at grade level, but are not up to par in other subjects such as math and core sciences. For example, as students’ progress onto advanced math courses such as Algebra, students should have acquired a solid understanding of the foundational courses such as middle school math, pre-algebra and so forth. It will be difficult to get an “A” if the subject matter proficiency in the foundational courses is below C. This scenario reflects another side of the story. It demands for immediate remedial action directed to those specific areas. For example,it is futile to take algebra 2 before completing algebra 1 or taking algebra 1 before mastering pre-algebraic concepts.
A case study
Recently, a panicked parent sought help for her bright and brilliant middle schooler taking Algebra I (Hons). Unfortunately, despite her stellar performance in reading, language arts, social studies and general science courses, she was miserably failing in all the Algebra 1 classwork, homework, projects, quizzes, and the midterm exam. In spite of her holding the fort in the rest of the subjects, poor grades in Algebra 1 demoralized her and was affecting her routine. Fortunately, the mother-daughter duo realized the gravity of the situation and right away sought help. We administered a math placement, diagnosed her shortcomings.The diagnostic test results showed that she was put in an advanced class than what she is prepared for. In her case, she never learnt pre-algebraic concepts. Obviously, Algebra 1 honors course content was beyond her proficiency level. After discussing with the mother-daughter duo, we developed a lesson plan, paired her with a subject matter expert tutor. Now she is doing better in her math course and gaining back her confidence 🙂 The pro activeness saved the day for this bright and brilliant middle schooler.
Even the mighty space shuttle needs a booster
No one will recommend carrying forward the knowledge gap identified during the first nine-week grading period. It frustrates the students, teachers, and the parents. So, we recommend you to carefully review the first quarter report card. If you need help understanding the report card, request for a parent teacher conference and right away seek help. There is nothing more damaging than inaction, because the knowledge gained in the 1st quarter lays the foundation for what students will learn during the rest of the school year. Therefore, with the first quarter grades out, it is the responsibility of the parents to stem the downward spiral. Before, the student loses further confidence, continue the downward spiral, get expert help right away. There is nothing wrong or shameful in seeking help to boost grades.It is wrong not to seek timely help. Even the mighty space shuttle needs a booster.
About the author: Dr. Pochi is the director of Full Potential Learning Academy. He is passionate about education and wishes to transform FPLA to a degree granting institution.
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