Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.
Because your students’ abilities, knowledge, and goals vary in every class, you’ll inevitably spend time on remediation throughout the year.
But adding new enrichment and remediation strategies to your busy day is tough. Most CTE teachers spend hours of their free time every week meeting with students who need a little extra help.
So how can you be sure you're spending your time providing truly effective remediation for your students?
These six remediation strategies will help your CTE students succeed:
Analyze errors before retakes
Provide options for tutoring
Encourage reviewing in a new way
Work on organization and study habits
Introduce differentiated instruction
Try a digital curriculum
Below, we'll take a closer look at each of these remediation strategies so you can be prepared to use them in your classroom.
1. Analyze Errors Before Retakes
Remediation often means allowing students to retake a quiz or test. While this is a great start, you (and your students) could get more out of retakes as a remediation method with a simple tweak.
If a student or students have done poorly, rather than leaving them to retry on their own, have the students review where they went wrong.
Start by having students review the assessment to analyze their errors. Ask students to determine exactly where they went wrong and if they have any ideas on how they can do better.
You could even go as far as asking students to provide their own error analyses before they are allowed to retake the assessment.
By asking students to spend extra time reviewing where they went wrong, you encourage them to look at the information differently. This remediation strategy will help them retain the information better and hopefully succeed the next time they take the assessment!
2. Provide Options for Tutoring
Tutoring is a major component of remediation. Tutoring is a great strategy for helping a struggling student better develop a specific skill. While there are lots of tutoring strategies, they break down into two main categories.
First, you could set up a system for peer tutoring. That means students who excel in a subject get paired with students who are struggling.
For example, if one of your students has trouble with a specific body system in your anatomy and physiology class, partner that student with the student who scored best on the last test.
While peer tutoring takes some of the pressure off of you, you still need to facilitate the meeting and ensure your students are working together.
You could also go the traditional route and tutor on your own.
If you do this, you have some options for flexibility. You could meet with the student in the morning before school, during lunch, or after school. Another option is to set up a way for the student to be tutored online through a tool like a digital curriculum.
Both tutoring strategies can help struggling students, and each is effective in its own way. Depending on the situation and the student’s personality one may work better than the other.
When thinking about tutoring as a remediation strategy, choose the option that works best for the unique student in need.
3. Encourage Reviewing in a New Way
The students who struggle are often the last to ask for help. You only know whether they understand the material after you grade their work.
Some teachers make the mistake of taking students through the exact same material again and hoping that it’ll stick this time. But this doesn’t work as often as teachers would like.
Instead, rather than re-explaining a concept to a student, you can reverse the roles and ask the student to explain it to you. Here’s how one teacher explained how she uses this strategy:
“I have them tell me about what they are learning. I say ‘Let’s go back through because I haven’t been through this lesson so can you show me? If I see what’s going on it will help me answer your questions.’ We’ll go back through something and then I’ll start seeing those little light bulb moments.”
By having a struggling student become the “teacher” they will feel empowered to review the material and teach you about it.
A key part of this remediation strategy is using it with multiple students, so you don’t single anybody out. Be sure you mix it up with a few other students, so it is a common occurrence in your classroom.
4. Work on Organization and Study Habits
Sometimes, students struggle because they don’t have the foundational organization and study habits that will help them succeed in school.
This remediation strategy is focused on preparing students to learn something new and retain it long-term.
To help students develop effective study habits, you can:
Show the student how to use a graphic organizer
Work on the student’s note organization
Share strategies on good note-taking
You’ll be surprised how an adjustment in organization and planning can help a student learn better!
5. Introduce Differentiated Instruction to Your Classroom
Differentiated instruction can help your students in two main ways:
First, some differentiation strategies work great as remediation techniques. Second, differentiation can help to reduce the number of students who need remediation in the first place!
You have lots of ways to differentiate your CTE class. Depending on your unique students, you will want to try different strategies.
In addition to other remedial strategies, some CTE teachers use digital curriculum systems to help improve the remediation process. Digital curriculum solutions streamline remediation by incorporating multiple strategies, saving time and energy for teachers like you.
By including specific tools to examine student progress, guide the learning process, and administer exams, digital options allow you to stay in command of your classes and ensure no student is falling behind.
Digital curriculum also allows educators flexibility to provide remediation and enrichment whenever it is needed.
Using digital curriculum, you have these remediation options:
Monitoring student progress to see who is struggling
Retaking tests online – anytime, anywhere
Worksheets and guides for better note-taking
Differentiating lessons is made easy
Overall, using a comprehensive curriculum system can save you hours on remediation. When integrated into a blended learning environment, a digital curriculum can help your students learn better the first time, decreasing their need for remediation overall.
Solve Your Biggest Challenges as a CTE Teacher
In this article, you’ve discovered some of the best remediation strategies out there for CTE classrooms. If you use these strategies well, your struggling students will be well on their way to achieving the success they hope for.
However, in reality, the best teaching strategy is minimizing the number of students who need remediation in the first place. And to do that, you need more time and energy to devote to fulfilling their needs.