Once upon a time, I entered the classroom as a young teacher excited to impact my students' lives. I started as a middle school teacher, so I had my class syllabus, the class rules, and the outline of what we would be doing for the year, and I presented that to my students on the first day of school. I did this because it's what my own school experience was and it's what I was told to do in my teacher education program. A few years later, I had the privilege and opportunity to attend a Tribes training, now known as Peace Learning Center. The program emphasized creating engaging learning communities. This shift from control to collaboration with students not only resonated with me but also yielded remarkable results in my classrooms over the years.
Just as your mechanic has the diagnostics and tools needed to keep your car running smoothly, Branching Minds has all the features you need to monitor and fine-tune your students’ learning plans!
As a teacher in a Title 1 school, many of my students lagged behind in meeting benchmarks each year. To teach them my grade level standards, I began by attempting to remediate missed learning. However, their progress was limited. Attempting to backtrack to their level just took too much time and resulted in frustration and disengagement. In order to achieve more within the year, I began to use the accelerated learning approach by integrating the required concepts for specific standards into the current lesson. I saw increased student engagement and achievement. And when I started using Proficiency Scales, my students’ motivation soared!
Although educators meet frequently to discuss student needs, teacher supports, and interventions, how often is there a discussion around implementing those supports with fidelity? Our goal is to serve the needs of our students. However, without fidelity monitoring in a Multi-Tied System of Supports (MTSS), we don’t know if the student actually received the high-quality instruction or intervention that we planned! There is often a big difference between a plan on paper and what happens in the day-to-day life of a school. A consistent plan to monitor and improve the quality of your intervention implementation could be the missing ingredient in your students’ success!
For parents,* the education journey for their child can be a rollercoaster of emotions. From the excitement of new beginnings to the concerns that they are making the best decisions for their child’s well-being, every parent's heart is deeply intertwined with their child's learning experiences. The impacts of decisions parents and families must make regarding their child’s education can be long-lasting, reaching far behind students' K-12 lives.
Accelerated learning is currently one of the hottest keywords in education. It is hailed as the hero to address “learning loss” and large instructional gaps. Some states have even gone as far as adopting it into their educational policies, hoping to help students catch up to grade-level benchmarks.
Based on an analysis of Spring 2023 Map Growth assessment data, the NWEA Research Policy Brief* revealed that achievement gains in the 2022–23 academic year fell short of pre-pandemic trends across most grades, hampering progress toward pandemic recovery. Significant achievement gaps persist, with the average student needing 4.1 additional months of schooling in reading and 4.5 months in math to catch up.
Resource shortages have long been at the forefront of the educational paradox of how to maximize student achievement and well-being while staying within the boundaries of school budgets. With the current context of teacher shortages and a need for holistic student support, it is a pertinent issue needing resolution for many of you, our educational leaders. So, what if there was a strategy to identify student needs, assess curriculum and resources transparently, and boost student achievement equitably? There is, and it is called MTSS!
Building positive relationships with families is like putting money in the bank! Yes, it takes effort and valuable time, but the investment is absolutely worth it. The MTSS process provides several strategic opportunities to connect with families and partner together to support students.
In the dynamic world of education, certain terms come and go. Among them, "collaboration" could be brushed off as just another buzzword. However, effective collaboration is a fundamental practice in MTSS that drives student achievement and fosters a sense of community for staff. By cultivating a culture of effective teamwork, we create an environment where everyone works together with a common goal: to ensure student success. We’ve compiled our top five practical tips for effective team collaboration, showcasing how MTSS team best practices (with support from Branching Minds!) can significantly benefit educators and students.