Stride Academy for PARCC Assessment Practice

As we all know, beginning this coming school year, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Career (PARCC) assessments will replace some states’ Achievement and End of Course math and ELA assessments.

It’s not too early to plan how you will prepare – and Stride Academy can help!

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Here are 5 Ways Stride Academy Aligns with PARCC Assessment: 

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1.    Practice curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards. 

This means that from Day 1 of the school year, your students are able to practice the exact standards and skills that will be assessed on the PARCC math and ELA tests – anytime, during school and after school, on any device.

2.    Data reporting, assessment and custom quiz building also aligned to CCSS!

Meanwhile, teachers and staff can access real-time data reporting, assessment and custom quiz building tools to see at any time how students are performing on these specific standards and skills. Focus your classroom instruction on prevalent skill gaps using the data from Stride Academy. The closer you get to PARCC testing dates, you can create “test run” practice assessments to get your students used to working efficiently on a timed test.

Areas of weakness

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3.    A variety of interactive, technology-enhanced item types to help students prepare for the different types of questions they will see on the PARCC tests.
We know that PARCC will include multiple choice, but also interactive technology questions that require students to drag and drop items, type an answer where no choices are given, or select from many options.

Stride Academy offers 10 innovative item types that require specialized interactions to assist students in demonstrating a deeper understanding of content, just as they will be required to do on the PARCC tests.

4.    Authentic texts and content-rich reading passages.
The PARCC passage selection guidelines state: “The texts students encounter on tests should be worthy of careful attention, be content rich and challenging, and exhibit professional published quality.”

Stride Academy’s literary pieces are from enduring authors such as William Shakespeare, Louisa May Alcott and Mark Twain. Our informational texts cover a variety of genres and topics from social studies, science and technology. All of our reading passages are measured for text complexity using validated readability methods to ensure vocabulary and word count are appropriate for each grade level. Just as it will be on the PARCC ELA/literacy assessments, our passages are reinforced by multiple choice and selected-response questions that will require students to provide evidence to support their answers.

5.     End of Course content for high school assessment.

As PARCC will also replace many states’ EOC tests in math and ELA for high school, Stride Academy provides high school students excellent practice in Algebra I & II, Geometry, and English I, II & III, aligned to your state’s standards. As of June 2014, Stride Academy also added U.S. History and Biology high school content to support the end of course tests in those subject areas that will not be covered by PARCC.

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The Rise of the Self-Learner

If you attended the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE)’s 2014 Model Schools Conference June 22-25 in Orlando, you may have had the privilege of hearing Raymond J. McNulty speak about “The Rise of the Self-Learner.” Mr. McNulty is Chairman of the Board for the National Dropout Prevention Network, Senior Fellow at ICLE, and Advisor to LTS Education Systems.

McNulty urges teachers to give up some of the time they spend teaching to allow students to be self-learners, using technology. Why?  Because students learn at very different paces.

As educators, you know all too well that time and standards drive learning. Each year, the specific knowledge and skills that a student must learn by the end of the year is predetermined for them.

Time and Standards Drive Learning

  • “On Pace” Students will master this content in the given number of days for the school year.
  • Accelerated Students will master this content well before their peers, and become bored in class.
  • However, a significant number of Struggling Students will not have enough time in the school year to get where they need to be. They’ve carried with them skill gaps from the previous grade level(s).

From Raymond J. McNulty’s presentation: “The New Normal in Education: Creating the Schools We Need” 

How Does Stride Academy Support “Self-Learning”?
Stride Academy’s Adaptive Technology does quickly what it would take an educator so much longer to do. The program automatically identifies what skills a student is missing, then delivers appropriate curriculum to remediate and build strong core knowledge for struggling learners.  For students who are ready to move on to more challenging coursework, the program automatically accelerates.

Suggested Implementation
Thirty minutes of self-learning in Stride Academy, 3x a week, relieves the teacher from the complex work of differentiating for every student and enables the teacher to better focus group instructional time.

Student Stride Report

From this example of a Stride Academy Adaptive Learning Report, you can see the exact path Jenny Smith has navigated — scaffolding down to foundational skill practice before she can begin to scaffold back up to grade-level skills.

 

Clayton M. Wilcox, Ed.D., Honored With Nation’s Highest Technology Award

LTS Education Systems congratulates advisory board member Dr. Clayton Wilcox on his International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Outstanding Leader Award.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Dr. Clayton Wilcox, superintendent of Washington County Public Schools in Maryland and Advisory Board member for educational technology publisher LTS Education Systems (http://www.ltseducation.com), was awarded the Outstanding Leader Award by the International Society for Technology in Education on June 29 at ISTE 2014.

The annual ISTE conference and expo, held this year at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta, is one of the largest, most comprehensive ed tech events and draws an international audience of educators and education leaders who are compelled to transform learning, teaching and leading in the digital age.

The Outstanding Leader Award recognizes one leader outside of the classroom who exemplifies outstanding achievement and leadership in implementing technology to improve education. A former classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, superintendent at numerous districts and advisor at a leading educational technology company, Dr. Wilcox has dedicated his career to supporting teachers and advancing student achievement.

Under Wilcox’s leadership, almost 6,000 iPads have been added to the Washington County school system in the last two years, as well as more laptop and desktop computers. The school system has also added and increased the efficiency of wireless Internet hubs to support seamless access to the Internet for students on all devices.

“We are honored to have Dr. Wilcox on our advisory board. His experience and depth of knowledge in utilizing technology to drive achievement is unmatched in the U.S. education market today. The students, parents and teachers of Washington County benefit greatly with Dr. Wilcox as their leader. It is wonderful that ISTE recognizes Dr. Wilcox’s focus on technology,” said Brian M. Shulman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LTS Education Systems. LTS is publisher of the Stride Academy adaptive game-based learning platform.

Dr. Wilcox serves on the LTS Advisory Board with fellow national education authorities Bill Daggett, Ed.D., Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE); Raymond J. McNulty, Chairman of the Board for the National Dropout Prevention Network and Senior Fellow at ICLE; and Margaret Jorgensen, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer at K12.

About LTS Education Systems 

LTS has spent 13 years engineering innovative, personalized and motivational online educational programming. LTS’ development team strives to enhance the 21st Century student’s learning experience through an adaptive, digital game-based learning methodology that has been recently recognized by Dr. Bill Daggett and the International Center for Leadership in Education as a major trend in successful educational practices to promote college and career readiness. For more information, visit http://www.LTSeducation.com or http://www.strideacademy.com.

Chalk It Up

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Sidewalk chalk ignites the imagination and is fun for all ages. Since summer is here, it’s time to get outside and create fun summer learning opportunities for your child.  Here are some fun and simple activities to encourage math, reading and science using sidewalk chalk.

Math: 

  1. Sidewalk Bingo: Set up a bingo grid on the pavement and watch your child identify numbers as he/she completes a bingo. Celebrate a bingo with a cool, summer treat!
  2. Counting Ladder: Draw a number ladder and have your child count as they move up and down the ladder.
  3. Whip Into Shape: Call out different shapes and have your child draw them on the pavement.
  4. Tick Tock: Create a large, outdoor clock using sidewalk chalk and two sticks for the hands. Call out different times and have your child move the hands to represent that time.
  5. Number Splash: Write out numbers on the pavement and have your child toss a water balloon to the number that you call aloud.
  6. Problem Solved: Write out numbers on the pavement and give your child equations to solve to improve addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills.  Have your child toss a bean bag to the correct answer.

Reading:

  1. Jumping Letters: Write out letters of the alphabet on the pavement and have your child identify the letters as he/she jumps from letter to letter.
  2. Wordsmith: Have a list of words that your child can write out on the pavement to practice spelling.
  3. Storyteller: Write out a words on the pavement and ask your child to create a story using those words.
  4. Capitalization Connector: Write out upper and lower case letters on the pavement and have your child connect them to their match.
  5. Story Art: Have your child create their own piece of art using sidewalk chalk and ask them to describe what they drew by telling a story. For more difficulty, ask them to identify the characters, setting, plot, conflict, point of view and theme of their story.

Science:

  1. Shadow Art: Trace your child’s shadow early in the day and continue to check back throughout the day to see if it has moved.
  2. Life-sized Animals: Find out the sizes of different animals and help your child measure them on the pavement.  Ask them to use the sidewalk chalk to draw the body of the animal.

Garden-based Learning

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Learning outside of the classroom can be fun, especially when it’s a hands-on experience. Summer is a perfect time to try out-of-the-box ideas to engage your kids in learning and help avoid the summer slide. Most kids love summer because they get to play outside. Why not try incorporating some learning experiences into those fun outdoor activities? A great idea to engage your kids is planting a garden. Even though the summer has started, it’s not too late to get started.

To start, decide what you want and where you are going to plant. Talk with your kids about things they like to eat and see if you can grow that at your home. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables in season. 

Next, head to your favorite lawn and garden center – like a local nursery, Lowes, Home Depot or Walmart – to pick out your plants, seeds, pots, soil and other supplies. Taking your kids with you to pick out the supplies will help them learn about various plants and what conditions are best for them to grow. It should get them excited to start gardening.

It’s time to get started! Digging in the dirt together is a great way to make family memories. It’s also a valuable teaching moment to explain that food comes from the ground and not the grocery store. Talk about the type of plants you purchased; how weather, bugs, sunlight and water affect growth; and what the results will be over time.

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Benefits of planting a garden are that it allows your kids to have scientific discovery and learn basic life skills like nutrition, responsibility, patience, self-confidence, observation and exploration.

Kids learn about responsibility when they realize the work that must go into gardening. From planting seeds and picking weeds to daily watering, your kids will learn that hard work and being responsible are required for a thriving crop.

As your kids observe and discover the growth process of your plants, it allows them to anticipate and be patient as the evidence of their hard work unfolds before their eyes. Once your fruits and vegetables begin to produce, use this guide to help know when it’s ripe enough to pick.

Praising your kids for their hard work is a great way to reinforce confidence in them and help build character. Most importantly have fun and use this gardening experience as a way to have quality time with your kids!

Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County Preventing the Summer Slide

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County, Florida are preventing the summer slide by using Stride Academy in twelve of their Clubs throughout the summer. Check out the great spot on the news on how they are using Stride Academy for their summer reading program! Keep up the great work, Club members!

BGC Martin County News Clip

http://www.wptv.com/web/wptv/news/region-martin-county/a-new-reading-program-in-martin-county-hopes-to-prevent-the-summer-slide-for-students

Summer Camp Guide to Avoid Summer Learning Loss

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School is out and your children are ready for summer fun! You may have already planned out your summer, but in case you haven’t, there are great opportunities throughout the country for your children’s ongoing education through summer camps and activities.

Your child may think that summer means a break from learning, but with the threat of summer learning loss, it’s even more imperative to participate in summer learning opportunities. While standard learning happens in a classroom, it’s time to get creative and try new approaches to learning during the summer. There are many great summer camps and programs throughout the U.S. that you can enroll your child. These programs vary in length, activities and availability, but it’s a great place to start looking for your child’s summer enrichment!

American Camp Association: If you are looking for an overnight camp, day camp, family camp or a camp for adults, the American Camp Association makes it easy to access the camp that best meets your family needs for the summer, including a list of suggested questions to ask yourself when choosing a camp.

College Sports Camps: If your children love college sports and want to learn from their favorite coaches, check out the College Sports Camps website to find the right sport camp hosted on the campuses of colleges and universities across the U.S.

Camp Page: Are you looking for an easy way to find a particular camp for your child? If it’s adventure, academic, sports, art or technology you are looking for, then Camp Page is right place for you! It is a great resource to help you locate the right camp that meets your child’s interests.

Camp Resource: Camp Resource makes your search for co-ed camps, boy’s camps and girl’s camps easy! With a variety of camps listed by category – adventure camps, performing arts and fine arts camps, sports camps, academic camps and technology camps, you will find the perfect camp for your child in no time!

My Summer Camps: My Summer Camps is a great resource directory that allows you to search for camps according to age, type and location. They have a great list of camps to help you find the right summer camp for your child or family!

YMCA: YMCA’s across the country offer various activities for your child to participate over the summer.  At your local YMCA, your child can participate in swimming lessons, the summer food program and recreational and learning activities. One of the best things the YMCA offers during the summer is camp. Whether it’s an overnight camp, day camp or specialty camp you’re looking for, the YMCA has it! Check out their website to find a YMCA camp near you!

LTS Heads to Capitol Hill

On Thursday, May 22, LTS Director of Strategic Partnerships, Wendy Weisbart, along with after school leaders from around the country, headed to Washington, D.C. for the Afterschool for All Challenge to encourage members of Congress to support the Afterschool for America’s Children Act.

After school programs are safe environments that provide supplemental learning for children with working families. These programs should be available to all children, but according to the Afterschool Alliance, 18 million children who would like to participate don’t have a program available in their community. The 21st Century Community Learning Center is currently the only federally funded source dedicated to after school programs. The 21st CCLC initiative supports before and after school, weekend, and summer school educational services that meet state and local standards in subjects like math and reading.

The Afterschool for America’s Children Act supports the 21st CCLC initiative and will enhance after school programs nationwide. Some benefits that will occur through the Afterschool for America’s Children Act are strengthening school-community partnerships, professional development for program staff, experiential learning for students, alignment with college- and career-readiness goals, increased parent engagement and competitive grant processes.

While on Capitol Hill, Weisbart was able to meet with Senator Harry Reid, Senator Dean Heller and Congressman Joe Heck. She was able to talk with them about LTS Education Systems and the importance of providing free quality after school programs to underprivileged youth.

DC - Senator Harry Reid   DC - Senator Harry Reid candid

Pictured above with Senator Harry Reid are: Mr. Ricky Gourrier, Executive Director, Nevada Afterschool Network; Wendy Weisbart, Director of Strategic Partnerships, LTS Education Systems; Ranna Daud, Executive Director, After School All Stars; Shannon Goodrick, Executive Director, Fallon Youth Club; Jenifer Lopez, Attorney General’s Office, Public Information Officer; RJ Lopez

DC - Senator Dean Heller

Pictured above with Senator Dean Heller are: Ricky Gourrier, Ranna Daud, Wendy Weisbart and Shannon Goodrick.

DC - Congressman Joe Heck

Pictured above with Congressman Joe Heck are: Ricky Gourrier, Ranna Daud, Wendy Weisbart and Shannon Goodrick.

DC - Lincoln Memorial Candid  DC- candid

DC - Capital Building

Ricky Gourrier, Ranna Daud, Wendy Weisbart and Shannon Goodrick pictured below as they enjoy the sites of Washington, D.C. at the United States Capitol and the Supreme Court of the United States.

U.S. History & Biology Added to Stride Academy Curriculum

Attention U.S. History & Biology Teachers! The school year may be over, but it’s never too early to begin locating resources for student success next year. If you are a U.S. History or Biology teacher, great news: Stride Academy now offers End of Course practice items, video lessons and printable lessons in both subjects. U.S. History and Biology are the latest additions to Stride Academy’s EOC curriculum, which also includes Algebra I & II, Geometry, and English I, II & III.

Here are some of the benefits of Stride Academy’s U.S. History curriculum:

  • For high school students enrolled in U.S. History, Stride Academy U.S. History curriculum assists in preparation for the U.S. History End of Course exams.
  • 500 U.S. History practice items, each supported by video lessons and printable lessons, were researched and created by an educator with more than 30 years of teaching experience in U.S. History.
  • The content covers topics from 1877 to present-day and references important periods of time throughout U.S. History.
  • Political cartoons and visual graphs enhance the content.
  • The curriculum is aligned to individual state standards for U.S. History in 42 states.

Click to view sample U.S. History questions.

History

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Here are some of the benefits of Stride Academy’s Biology curriculum:

  • For high school students enrolled in Biology, Stride Academy Biology curriculum assists in preparation for the Biology End of Course exams.
  • 500 Biology practice items, each supported by video lessons and printable lessons, were researched and created by educators with vast experience in this subject area.
  • The content was developed to help students gain a deeper understanding of Biology terminology, skills and standards.
  • The curriculum is aligned to individual state standards for Biology in 42 states.

Click to view sample Biology questions.

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Please share this great opportunity with a high school teacher who could benefit!