Wednesday, March 22, 2017

R&R, and R and R and R

R & R ... and R and R and R and arrrrgghhh.....

Today’s Wednesday Words are brought to you by the letter “R”.

I hope you got great R&R last week. The weather wasn’t exactly beachy for a Floridian but it was lovely for chilling on the hammock in the back yard.

I was thinking about our R&R -- rest and relaxation -- last week while I was on said hammock.

And then I thought about how it’s fourth quarter - omg it’s fourth quarter, y’all!

How did that happen already? I can’t believe it’s already fourth quarter!!

Fourth quarter!!  Time to cram in everything you missed this year and then go back over it all and get them ready to take a test ...

Now that you are done with your R&R on spring break and on the downward slope toward the end of the year, I’d like to think about ... R and R and R

Review and Reteach and Remediation.

What’s the difference? Isn’t it all the same? Aren’t they just different names for talking about all the stuff at the end of the year?

In a word? Nope.

  • Review is where you go back over the content from earlier in the year. Of course adolescents don’t remember what they learned in September! They don’t remember the homework you assigned yesterday or the Ice Bucket Challenge (RIP, Ice Bucket Challenge. SMH.) Of course they don’t remember content from seven months ago. At this age, they were, like, totally different people seven months ago!
    • How to Review? Review whole class with games and activities. Just don’t forget the higher levels! The test isn’t all recall, so your reviews shouldn’t be either...

  • Reteach is where your whole class bombed (or, more appropriately “didn’t master”) certain material. Check your data. Reteach is needed when you taught the three branches or westward expansion or the Vietnam War and then discovered  that somehow your whole class has no clue what that topic even is.
    • How to Reteach? Think about your lesson, look at your benchmarks, and then make a new lesson to teach it again, differently. Your kids didn’t get it, so they need to start all over.

  • Remediation is where you figure out which kids didn’t get which material  and pinpoint specific activities to help those particular kids learn that particular material. Kid A  missed benchmark 2.9 and Kid B missed benchmark 2.11? Then your whole class doesn't need a whole-class lesson on 2.9 or 2.11. Those individual kids need something to help them master those benchmarks that they need to improve upon.
    • How to Remediate? Look at your data and pick a few benchmarks with which a handful of kids struggled. Create a couple of benchmark-specific activities to have those kids work on. Then, have kids work on JUST the benchmarks they need.

If review was like the a frosting on a good cake, then reteach is like baking the cake all over again and remediation is like adjusting the quantities of specific ingredients. It’s more precise, more scientific.

We are beginning the fourth quarter and it’s time to start thinking about the three Rs -- Review, Reteach, and Review.

Which one do each of your kids need for which content? And how do you plan to do each?

As always, I love to hear from you! Email me at

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