Education Evolutions

Small group instruction makes a significant impact on students in Washington, DC

Lana Learn academic coach, Jenna, talks about how small group instruction has made a significant impact on her HIT students.

This October, Lana Learn reinstated High-Impact Tutoring (HIT) sessions at Theodore Roosevelt High School. I spent a month observing classes, building relationships with teachers and students, and familiarizing myself with the school environment. I observed the dedication Roosevelt staff have for helping their students succeed. We supplement their foundation with our HIT program to provide targeted and intensive academic support to students. Not every student learns at the same pace or in the same way. Therefore, we’ve tailored our approach to address and accommodate for these differences. Small group instruction is one of the key components of our HIT program. It has proven to be a game-changer for many of our students, even so early on in the process. 

A Day in the Life of a HIT Coach

Our recent small group HIT session was a success. We held the session in a dedicated and welcoming classroom which provided an ideal environment for focused learning. Here’s a glimpse into what a typical HIT session at Roosevelt looks like:

  1. Personalized Learning Plans: Before the session, I collaborate with students’ teachers to assess their individual need. This allows me to create personalized learning plans. These plans ensure that we effectively address each student’s unique strengths and challenges.
  2. Small Group Dynamics: HIT guidelines state that four is the maximum group size for effective high-impact tutoring. Students are able to have a better focus in the small groups during tutoring and can receive 1:1 help or work with up to three other classmates on a task. 
  3. Interactive Learning: The HIT sessions are far from being a one-way lecture. Students are actively engaged through discussions, problem-solving, and hands-on activities. This interactive learning approach not only enhances their understanding but also makes learning more enjoyable. Even if we focus on homework help, test prep help, or other traditional academic activities, I still provide this instruction in a way that is beneficial to each student.
  4. Regular Assessments: To ensure our program is data driven, we monitor progress through regular assessments. This allows me to make adjustments to the learning plans as needed. This iterative process ensures that students are continually moving forward and building on their knowledge. 

Positive Feedback

Although HIT Tutoring sessions have just started for the first semester, students have already expressed positive feedback with the sessions they have attended. Some comments from students include, 

“I feel like I can actually pay attention here and get my work done.  I understand the reading, but being in a room with that many people makes it too hard to concentrate.”

Another student expressed how the tutoring sessions have led to increased motivation. “I actually want to do the work when I am in here because we go at a faster pace which is what I need because I get bored.” 

I am excited to continue to grow the roster of students who are participating in the HIT program for this first semester. Moving forward, we will be starting sessions with algebra students, working towards improving student grades, and ensuring that students have a good sense of ownership over their work!

The High-Impact Tutoring toolkit is an integral part of running an effective program.
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