Did you know that our curriculum and lesson plans at Gideon cover almost all of the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills) – the state standards required in Texas public schools? While our students encounter them at their own pace rather than a specific time in the school calendar, they are covered all the same! Review our charts below. The dots indicate when one of the Gideon series covers a topic. Download all the TEKS curriculum charts here.
We’ve all heard about the effects of COVID-19, but one under-reported aspect of education, even before the pandemic, is grade inflation. With recent studies showing the impact grade inflation has on students’ educations and careers, teachers and educators are looking for new ways to set students up for success.
In a recent article, the “consistent push to reduce writing, reading, and note-taking, expand late work windows,” and more was examined. Shane Trotter explores the detriment these practices have on students’ learning. At Gideon, we believe mastery learning is the most effective way to set students up for success later in life. All our curriculum requires a 90% accuracy to pass as we want a solid foundation to be built before moving on. We are thinking about the student’s performance over the next 10 years, in high school and college, not just next week.
A recent study conducted at the Naval Academy showed that students learn less from easy teachers. As the researchers state, “Instructors who tend to give out easier subjective grades… dramatically hurt subsequent student performance.” While a generalization, these claims support the intuitions of anyone who has ever been to school or met a human. When students can give less effort, they do. So, why have schools been moving toward easier grading?
This past year, our students have learned less than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations of virtual learning. How much better might they have fared if they had not been trained to find excuses and expect they’d be passed along?
How much more important is it now to have mastery-reflective grading so that we can diagnose gaps and target them? To suggest that we should grade dishonestly is to fundamentally misunderstand the point of education. It prolongs childhood, ensures less engagement, and reinforces a culture of deferred responsibility. Nothing could be more cruel.
COVID-19 has disrupted the education of students nationwide. Studies show that high-dosage tutoring can greatly improve reading fluency and math skills across the board. Our math and reading programs have a major focus on high-dosage tutoring and can help get your child’s education back on track. More than ever before, Gideon centers are needed to help students catch up, keep up, and stay ahead. Major takeaways from the linked article include:
According to the study, high-dosage tutoring was 20 times more effective than low-dosage tutoring in math. In reading, high-dosage tutoring was 15 times more effective than low-dosage tutoring.
Slavin, the director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins, has also looked at high-quality tutoring studies with a focus on specific instructional programs and curricula. He shared two meta-analyses, submitted for publication at an academic journal, in which tutoring programs generally rise to the top, above most classroom-wide approaches and performing considerably better than high-tech interventions that use educational software.
The important thing, according to Slavin, is to have some training and a tested reading or math program for the tutors to follow. “One of the things that characterizes all successful tutoring programs is that they’re very structured,” said Slavin. “There are curricula that work better than others. But there are several that get good results.”
“Being an effective tutor is probably more about the structure of the tutoring program itself than the type of training tutors receive or whether the tutor is a recent college grad, teacher’s aid, or full-time teacher,” said Brown University’s Kraft, who has been publicly advocating for a national tutoring corps since 2015. “The best training is on-the-job through consistent feedback from peers and supervisors, not a week-long crash course and then being left to sink or swim on your own.”