Q:

How do you address learning gaps?

A:

Educators and school administrators can address learning gaps by incorporating an evaluation system that identifies student learning styles, struggles and potential gaps from one peer to the next at the onset of preschool or kindergarten. In addition, by providing student resources, such as tutoring, mentoring, advising, behavioral response teams and transportation, students have more equal opportunities to learn to reduce learning gaps.

Aggressive approaches that identify student barriers lead to early detection, thus reducing the risk of learning struggles. For example, if an educator discovers that a student is not well-fed, does not get ample sleep or does not have adequate shelter, student learning can be impacted, causing a learning gap over time. Offering assistance to families and students who need environmental resources helps bridge the learning gap and prevents students from falling behind.

Additional barriers such as learning disabilities also cause a learning gap. Educators can address this by offering one-on-one tutoring, test-taking assistance, mentoring and exam practice sessions before and after school hours to keep kids from lagging behind. Recognizing a student's learning style also provides educators the opportunity to appeal to and better educate students who are visual learners, or those who learn best through hands-on activities, projects and presentations versus lecture-style teaching.

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