Branching Minds supports remote learning and RTI/MTSS impacted by COVID-19. Learn more

Common Issues with Assessment During Distance Learning & How to Address Them

RTI/MTSS, Distance Learning, Assessment

Among many of the COVID-19 and remote learning struggles for educators, understanding students’ assessment data has been one of the most common challenges. Interpreting student scores from universal screeners and benchmarks, and using the data to inform instruction and support, is an essential component of any MTSS framework. Without this information, educators must rely solely on their own observations of students to determine who is keeping up and who is falling behind. And of course, this becomes even more of a struggle when teachers aren’t able to observe and work with their students in person. These types of issues will likely stick around for a while, but as long as we continue to have students learning remotely it is essential to figure out ways to work with the data and information that is available. Below are common concerns that educators have with assessment data from their remote learners and suggestions for how to address them. 

6 Pillars for Continuity of MTSS in a Distance/Hybrid Learning Setting

leadership, RTI/MTSS, Distance Learning

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our country’s education system is facing one of the most significant opportunities for learning loss that we have encountered in nearly a century. As educators work to address this reality, they are also tasked with managing a variety of learning contexts from fully remote/virtual classrooms to in-person learning and hybrid models. Many administrators are looking for ways to reduce teachers’ workload to mitigate the stress and burnout that has come along with teaching during a pandemic. Some districts have made the decision to “pause” differentiated instruction or “lighten up” on the best practices of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). Unfortunately, this decision will likely have a detrimental effect on student outcomes and create even more work for educators down the road. 

6 Research-Based Programs to Support Social Studies, Science and Arts for Learning at Home

Intervention Spotlight, Distance Learning

For the past few weeks the Branching Minds team has been working to identify research-based supports that could help educators achieve successful remote learning, whether that be through learning packets, or digital instruction. We started off with a post on high leverage research-based programs and one on strategies that support reading and mathematics, and then another post focused on supporting students’ social emotional health. This post is geared towards supporting social studies, science and the arts. Please let us know if there are any other topics you would like the Branching Minds team to help you curate resources around—we are here to help!

5 Evidence-Based SEL Supports for Learning at Home

Intervention Spotlight, SEL, Social-Emotional Learning, Distance Learning

During this period of change and uncertainty, supporting students’ social-emotional learning and development, in addition to their academic learning, is critical. This is especially true for students who already struggle socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. Below are five evidence-based resources that can be used either by caregivers in the home or teachers remotely to promote key social-emotional competencies, such as self-regulation, self-awareness, social skills, and behavior management.

Top 5 Evidence-Based Strategies Students Can Use While Learning at Home

Intervention Spotlight, Distance Learning

How can families support student learning at home? (ESP)

The Branching Minds team has curated a set of 5 evidence-based strategies to support students learning at home while schools are closed. These strategies can be used across many grades and topics, and are easily supported by families so we can all work a bit “smarter not harder.” We have described the strategies below for teachers to incorporate into at-home assignments/packets, or for families looking for additional ways to support their children. The strategies are the following:

Learning Supports to Lean on throughout School Closures

Intervention Spotlight, Distance Learning

We know many of you are preparing your schools, colleagues, students, and families for schools either closing for a number of weeks or shifting to remote learning environments, or both. We have assembled a collection of learning supports from the Branching Minds library that could easily meet those new needs.