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Flying Blind into 2021-2022

The good news is that the State of New Jersey has not updated the math standards for 2022.


The bad news is that the Mid-Year Assessment Data gathered by the State generally shows that the disruptions caused by COVID have exacerbated the gaps that have been created among demographic groups. 

The caveat is that the Mid-Year Assessment Data Report was not based on one standardized test. As it is an aggregation of hundreds of local assessments for which school districts chose their own metrics to determine 'grade level' performance, it really doesn't give us much to go on. 

Every district has its own plan for how to address learning gaps and mathematics instruction is being approached in a variety of ways. 

Suffice to say, the underlying theme in all of these plans is 'we'll start teaching and see how it goes.'

More than ever, differentiation is crucial. Some students may need extra support to master last year's material. Others may need additional activities because they were able to access the lessons (and, maybe, private tutoring) and they are above grade level. When at all possible, try to integrate your differentiation into the same activity.

I know, easier said than done.

The solution might lie in Problem-Based Learning. I know it takes a lot of time to prepare PBL lessons, but you may find that prep gives you the chance to more effectively differentiate instruction to small groups during class time.

There's just a few resources for PBL activities in the 'Resources' box. Let me know if you find any others that you think it would be worthwhile to share. :)

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