Aesthetically vast and intimidating, icebergs contain much larger hidden dangers beneath their formidable surfaces. While the visible portions may appear daunting, the grander portions underneath, not visible to the naked eye, can manifest the largest scope of the damage. Metaphorically, the nature of icebergs is applied to the namesake “Iceberg Problem”, an innovative way to describe the bespoke concerns plaguing the traditional mathematical instruction model found in most U.S. schools. As math is a wholly cumulative subject, early deficiencies breed growing inabilities to “catch up” to grade level, with the accumulation of unfinished learning growing beneath the proverbial surface year after year.
This cumulative problem widens with time, as students who have not grasped effective comprehension of all needed introductory material essentially remain unable to grasp the following modules of instruction, which call upon the mastery of the previous topics. With limited classroom resources, overcrowded classroom sizes, educational policies that focus solely on mandated “grade level” instruction, and vastly limited one on one instructional time, educators simply cannot battle The Iceberg Problem on behalf of each student within status quo conditions.
To battle The Iceberg Problem effectively, forward-thinking measures must be taken to provide effective educational support that can minimize the learning gaps, maximize the ability for each student to receive bespoke education based on their unique needs, allow educators to effectively teach students, and restructure assessments to be reflective of students’ learning gains. For non-profit New Classrooms, the answer to erasing The Iceberg Problem lies in the innovative learning model, Teach To One.
By modernizing the traditional classroom experience to be most conducive to an effective learning environment for all students, Teach To One aims to erase The Iceberg Problem by eliminating gaps in content, and championing ongoing comprehension growth based on each student’s unique needs, learning style, and starting point. Unlike traditional mathematical instruction within a classroom setting, Teach To One does not rely on a universal “grade-level” starting point, but rather, starts with each student’s unique comprehension levels. By effectively assessing the bespoke needs of each student, Teach To One can provide the most effective tools for the student to gain comprehension, and move forward effectively, without getting left behind.
The forward-thinking Teach To One classroom model creates a unique learning experience that seamlessly marries the innovative learning component with a formidable operational component, elevating the classroom experience for the betterment of every student. At the beginning of each day, students enter an open-concept math learning center, divided into quadrants based on activity. Students find their designated spaces for the beginning of the day’s lessons on large television screens and spend a predetermined amount of time working on a particular type of activity prior to moving forward to the next activity. Within the myriad of varied learning-styles, students complete assignments designed to effectively teach a particular skill and do not move forward to the next skill until they have showcased mastery of the particular skill in question. At the completion of each day’s instruction, students complete “exit slips”, or small digital quizzes aimed to determine the student’s level of comprehension in regard to the specific skill set. Teach To One’s unique algorithms determine whether the student may move forward to another skill, which will be presented throughout the following day’s activities. If the student is found to require additional instruction, the following day’s lessons will focus on the same skill but will present the skill within different parameters, gauging which learning style is most effective for the particular student, and implementing that particular learning style for future lesson planning.
In order to garner comprehensive learning opportunities, and to include social-emotional learning, students partake in various forms of education. Independently, students complete computer-based assignments, working to understand different concepts than their neighbors. In small group settings, students working on the same skill are partnered to complete group assignments, working together to master skills. In similarly structured groups, students also benefit from targeted and effective teacher instruction models, allowing instructors to convey targeted lessons only to students who are ready for the lesson.
Through this comprehensive and personalized learning approach, Teach To One work to eliminate The Iceberg Problem by eliminating the source of disjointed education. By allowing each student the opportunity for non-disruptive cumulative learning set at their own bespoke pace, Teach To One eliminates any time spent merely listening to a particular lesson without fully understanding the topics discussed. In turn, this eliminates the source of The Iceberg Problem.
Partnering with a growing number of schools across the country since inception, Teach To One work closely with a myriad of schools to maximize positive outcomes, streamline operations, and evolve the product to be as conducive to growth and learning as possible. With a commitment to overcoming The Iceberg Problem, New Classrooms’ Teach To One is an innovative learning model on the quest to modernize math, maximize comprehension, and champion students across the country.
Published by Shahbaz Ahmed