Find your portal

6 Most effective reteaching strategies for the post-pandemic classroom

6 Most effective reteaching strategies for the post-pandemic classroom

Over the last two years, there have been a lot of discussions regarding the impact of school closures and transitioning learning environments. This is especially true for learning loss in the aftermath of the pandemic.

However, in more recent discussions, educators have been shifting away from learning loss, with a tendency to look at it differently. Rather than focusing on the negative, think about the different learning types that happened as a result. For example, students developed greater skills with technology and educators explored new methods and tools. Now, with the help of what they’ve learned during this time, teachers can confidently navigate the post-pandemic classroom by choosing the best reteaching strategies.

What is reteaching and how can it help students?

While it is not new, the concept of reteaching has become a greater focus for educators. Through assessments, we understand where students are in the learning process and know that we often need to provide review and, at times, even reteach the content. Some of the activities or tools that we can use to review and reteach the content are the same, but the processes of reviewing and reteaching are not exactly the same.

Review is usually done before an assessment, perhaps at the start or the end of a class to sum up a lesson that was covered during that time. A review is focused on doing a quick recap of the material taught, whether during the class, as part of an entrance or exit ticket, or throughout the year. With reteaching, teachers typically assess students and notice that there are some gaps in learning or misunderstandings with the content. The assessments may reveal that the whole class or individuals need additional review or, in some cases, reteaching.

How does reteaching work?

Therefore, educators need strategies that go beyond a simple review and find ways to present the material again — although not necessarily as an entire lesson and often not to all students in the class. There are a few essential steps:

Monitoring student progress

We want to focus on student learning and motivation, especially as we monitor student progress to ensure they are mastering the concepts and acquiring the skills being taught. When we look at assessments and analyze the data, we can identify each individual student's needs and see where they are in the learning process, especially if they struggle with a concept.

Personalizing learning

Providing personalized instruction for students so that they are successful means that we have multiple ways to assess, understand, and then provide exactly what each student needs to be successful as they build their skills and master the content.

Listening to student feedback

Educators need some quick ways to monitor and assess student progress throughout the lesson. It can be something quick like visual cues, a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, a conversation, or using paper or digital tools for an entrance or exit ticket. These options will give teachers a quick glimpse into where students are with understanding the material presented and then help them to decide what the next steps should be.

Whether it’s a simple review of a concept or something much larger like reteaching certain components of a whole lesson, assessments and continued monitoring are essential. As we identify what each student might need, we can implement the right strategies or bring in some different tools to help students as they learn and reteach the material.

6 Reteaching strategies for the post-pandemic classroom

With reteaching, focus on presenting the content differently and leverage tools and new methods to provide more options for students. Make adjustments based on the grade level, the number of students, and the content.

1. Peer teaching

In my own classroom, to do some review at the start of the year, I had students paired with a classmate and they each chose a topic that they felt confident teaching. Students were paired with classmates who either said they needed some help or had been identified based on assessments. Students came up with their own ways to teach or explain and then reversed roles.

During this experience, there were a lot of different topics being shared, and as the teacher, I gained new ideas that I could use in my practice. Students felt more valued and connected to the learning because of those more meaningful and authentic experiences. They also took the lead and shared their knowledge to help others and also had the support that they needed.

2. Playlists

After reviewing assessments and looking at the data, we can create a playlist for students and break it down based on a specific topic. For example, when teaching science with certain concepts, students may understand some parts but may need additional instruction and support. Gathering some resources, whether it's a video, a learning path, or even flashcards, we can create a playlist for students.

Providing a list of activities and resources for students to choose from where we can help them decide where to begin or provide them with an opportunity to self-direct is a good option for fostering social and emotional learning (SEL), in particular, self-awareness and self-management as they evaluate where they are in the learning process, set goals, and also deal with some of the challenges or frustrations that can come from designing their own learning path.

3. Learning stations

Whether in the physical space or virtually, learning stations are a great option for reteaching and promoting SEL development. With this, the teacher can set up the stations and offer a variety of activities, whether hands-on, using digital tools or through teacher-led instruction.

The students can be randomly mixed into small groups or assigned based on the assessment data. Students can also choose their stations, especially as they are developing their self-awareness, identifying their learning needs and reflecting on their growth. Learning stations are also beneficial for collaboration and building relationships through authentic and meaningful learning activities, which will impact student achievement. Use tools like Kahoot!, Quizizz, Gimkit, video lessons and the school’s learning management system (LMS), which can support all of these activities in one place.

4. Interactive lessons

With the different digital tools available, teachers have many options for creating robust lessons or enrichment materials for students that can be housed within one space and available to students when they need it. Using Google Slides or PowerPoint, for example, is what I use in my classroom to include verb charts, vocabulary, links to games, embed videos, and more so that students can use it as a study resource or select some of the activities to use for additional practice.

With other options like Nearpod, for example, we can include a variety of activities and resources for students to work through that may help with reteaching a concept. Also, having students use tools like BookWidgets that offer templates and many ways to interact with the content.

5. Hyperdocs

Hyperdocs are documents with all hyperlinks included. They help promote more interactive and student-directed and student-paced learning activities. Even if the whole class needs to have some reteaching, this would also be a good option because of its structure.

Teachers can think about the materials that will be used in the classroom to help students build skills and then create a HyperDoc that includes a hook to get students interested in the lesson, with a video to help them with the instruction, some practice activities, and then a way for students to show that they have now mastered the content.

These can be used in the classroom, enabling the teacher to act as a facilitator, move around with the classroom and interact with students, and continue to assess.

6. Collaboration

There are many different strategies that can be done quickly, whether small group instruction, collaborative learning which has been around for a long time, “turn and teach” where students who have shown more mastery in a certain topic can then teach it to one or more classmates, and then have those classmates, in turn, teach it to other classmates.

Peer tutoring is a great way for students to also build confidence and comfort in the classroom. Providing students with some hands-on materials or graphic organizers to use with classmates are some additional reteaching strategies that also promote collaboration.

Effective reteaching strategies

With reteaching, the idea is not to teach the same lesson twice but to identify what aspects of a specific lesson students may be struggling with and focus on those so that learning does keep going. Even in reteaching, we are still offering opportunities for those students who have mastered the content to apply and amplify their skills by having choices or being involved in the reteaching process.