In response to the 12/4/2013 post, “10 Surprising ThingsYou Learn While Implementing 3-week Checkpoints,” a reader writes:


After reading the LYS blog post yesterday, I have some questions. What is the “deepest hole” re-teaching strategy? Where can I learn more about it? Was it in the Fundamental 5 book? Because I think this is the first time I have heard of this…

SC Response Here is the quick answer (and no, this is not discussed in The Fundamental 5).  The “Deepest Hole” strategy is part of the LYS data analysis and adjustment process that we train teachers, campuses, and districts on.  As with most LYS systems, it is simple in theory, but requires discipline and support to implement correctly.

Basically, the strategy is based on the premise that you cannot remediate everything for everybody and make any forward progress.  That essentially, most re-teaching strategies are doomed to fail in the long run because the teacher starts slow, gets off pace and then is never able to catch up.  And not being on pace in an aligned, high stakes testing environment guarantees low test scores. So the solution is to not attempt to remediate everything for everybody.  Instead, based on the item analysis of the last checkpoint, focus re-teaching time and activities on the identified “deepest hole,” which is the concept on which the students performed the worst.

The deepest hole represents either what should have been taught, but wasn’t, or what was not taught long enough, or what wasn’t taught well.  This deepest hole impacts the student’s fundamental understanding of the content.  Fill that hole and the student will perform better, not only on the targeted concept, but also on the connected concepts in the content.  And by narrowing the re-teaching focus, the teacher can continue to make progress on introducing and teaching new content. Because not staying on pace ensures overall failure.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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