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Addressing Unfinished Learning in the Context of Grade Level Work

Not all unfinished learning should be treated the same way

As a teacher, I had an understanding of the grade-level math content I was supposed to teach and the belief that students’ new learning had to build from their prior understanding. But the harsh reality was that most of the students in my class were several years below grade level, and I only had one school year to try to catch them up.  At the time, I felt like I had to choose between two pathways — to move forward with grade-level work despite students’ gaps or halt grade-level instruction to build prerequisite knowledge.

Neither of these would provide equitable learning for my students.

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