Knowre Blog

Common Incoming Skills Gaps for Students in Grades 2 through Grade 5

Posted by Bara Levitt on 9/30/20 3:03 PM
Bara Levitt

At the beginning of any new school year there is the expectation that many students will have experienced some learning loss since they were not actively engaging with math learning and practice during the summer break.

In response to the need to identify and address these incoming skill gaps, Knowre Math developed and launched the Ready? Check. Go! diagnostic for the 2020-2021 school year. This diagnostic is designed to identify skills gaps by giving students a chance to engage with key topics from their prior math course (ie. 3rd graders take a Ready! Check. Go! focused on 2nd grade skills). 

Students across the country have now taken the Ready? Check. Go! and there are a number of trends that we are seeing. For example, students in second, third, and fourth grade show significantly fewer skill gaps than students in grade 5 and up.

There were a number of different skills at each grade level that stood out as common skill gaps. Even if you are not using the Ready? Check. Go! with your students, our findings suggest that these skills may be useful for you to review with your students as the school year progresses. Please note, the percentage indicated at the end of each skill reflects the percentage of students who demonstrated an understanding of the skill of focus.

Skill Gaps to Focus on with Second Graders:

  • Skill 1: Using an Analog Clock to Tell Time to the Half Hour (79%)
  • Skill 2: Using Base Ten Blocks to Model a Number Written with Tens and Ones (84%)  
  • Skill 3: Using Base Ten Blocks to Add Two-Digit Numbers with Regrouping (84%)

Skill Gaps to Focus on with Third Graders:

  • Skill 1: Using Place Value to Subtract a Two-Digit Number from a Three-Digit Number with One Regrouping (72%)
  • Skill 2: Counting the Vertices of a Solid (76%)
  • Skill 3: Showing Time to the Hour and Half Hour on an Analog Clock (72%)
  • Skill 4: Using an Analog Clock to Tell Time in Five Minute Increments (75%)

Skill Gaps to Focus on with Fourth Graders:

  • Skill 1: Subtracting a 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-Digit Number from a 4-Digit Number Vertically with Regrouping Over Two Zeros (68%)
  • Skill 2: Using an Array to Divide (66%)
  • Skill 3: Writing Fractions Greater Than One from a Model (14%)

Skill Gaps to Focus on with Fifth Graders

  • Skill 1: Rounding a Whole Number to the Nearest Thousand (54%)
  • Skill 2: Using the Standard Algorithm to Multiply a 2-Digit Number and a 2-Digit Number with No Regrouping (68%)
  • Skill 3: Dividing a 3-Digit Number by a 1-Digit Number Using Long Division (66%) 
  • Skill 4: Multiplying a Whole Number and a Fraction (54%)
  • Skill 5: Measuring Angles Greater Than 90° (57%)
  • Skill 6: Identifying Acute, Right, and Obtuse Triangles (53%)
  • Skill 7: Selecting the Lines of Symmetry in a Figure (45%)
  • Skill 8: Dividing a 3-Digit Number by a 1-Digit Number in the Context of a Money Related Word Problem (60%)

Sample problems for each of the skill gaps shared above can be found on this resource. We recommend reviewing and practicing these skills with your students so that they do not hinder them from successfully engaging with new content this school year. 

Look out in the coming weeks for more resources designed to support you as you work with students to close their skill gaps.

If you’d like to use the Ready? Check. Go! diagnostic to identify and address your student’s skill gaps, sign up for a free trial of Knowre Math.


Topics: Back to School, Data, Education Technology, Formative Assessment, Student Success, Math Instruction, Schools