Here at The Learning Room we believe in celebrating the successes of our students, big and small! Whether a student has achieved a personal or academic goal, student success is at the heart of our work. In our series, Student Spotlight, we highlight what a partnership with a Learning Room academic coach can do for struggling learners.
As a rising seventh grader, Grant struggled with early elementary math concepts and skills. Grant’s foundational gaps in early elementary math made math become more and more difficult as he went through grade levels.
Enter The Learning Room
Working with Mariah for 2 hours per week this summer, Grant has already grown 2 grade levels and is continuing to climb. Grant even reports to his mom that he “feels smart now” after receiving instruction that addresses both his academic needs but also best suits his learning style.
So…how did we do it?
Every student that comes through The Learning Room starts with an assessment. During Grant’s initial assessment Mariah noticed that Grant wasn’t only struggling with grade level concepts however with early elementary skills such as regrouping and borrowing. In addition to his foundational gaps, it was clear that Grant was aware of how hard math was for him. He reported not knowing a lot of the concepts. Math was clearly a point of frustration due to his foundational gaps never being filled in. This discovery is precisely why we begin with a comprehensive assessment prior to instruction. Our initial assessments allow our team of academic coaches to uncover the core issue and what is hindering academic progress in our students.
What we did
After Grant’s initial assessment, Mariah knew starting with grade level concepts would be developmentally inappropriate and only cause more frustration, reluctance and negative feelings towards math. Instead, our math specialist went back to where Grant’s foundational gaps began. Together, Mariah and Grant tackled his foundational gaps of place value, addition, subtraction, regrouping and more.
In addition to the academic skills, Mariah noticed that Grant was far more comfortable showing his understanding of a concept then discussing it. This was an additional source of frustration during math time for Grant. At The Learning Room, we support students not just with what they learn…but also how they learn best. Using this, Mariah and Grant built a math routine where Grant can show his understanding of concepts in the way that works best for his learning style. In their sessions, Mariah introduces and teaches a concept only expecting Grant to follow along and listen. After the teaching portion, Grant gets to show what he knows by using different resources including IXL and Prodigy. Mariah curates his tasks and questions for him to be able to show his understanding of the skills and concepts she taught that session. By tailoring instruction to Grant’s strengths and comforts, Mariah is able to accurately assess his growth, constantly adjusting and reteaching where needed.
After just a few months of instruction, Grant has grown 2 grade levels and is continuing to work hard to get caught up to grade level. We are so proud of his hard work and amazing progress!