Citrus County School District in Florida Invests in Technology to Benefit Teaching and Learning

photo © 2012 Brad Flickinger | more info

LTS is proud to partner with the Citrus County School District of Central Florida through technology investments in Stride Academy helping prepare students for college and career readiness. Stride Academy assists to personalize learning through a powerful combination of adaptive technology, customized educational resources, and game-based incentives.

With a recent increase in high-speed wireless internet and iPad usage across the district, many educators are seeing how technology is transforming learning inside and outside of the classroom. Learn more about how Citrus County is using technology to engage students in and mark achievements here.

 

Stride Academy Fall Writing Contest WINNER!

Thank you to all the teachers who entered their students in the “What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You” writing contest. Students shared how they were thankful for everything from friends and family to football and food.

Excellent entries came in from all over the country from second graders to eighth graders. In the end, Cassidy A.‘s entry, from Mrs. Brewer’s 3rd grade class at White Plains Elementary School, stood out among the rest. Read her entry below to see why.

Thanksgiving

Congratulations, Cassidy, on winning a $100 gift card from Papa John’s Pizza for your class! We will be contacting your teacher to deliver your class’ prize!

HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Keeping Your Class Healthy This Winter

Temperatures are steadily dropping, which can only mean cold and flu season is right around the corner. No one likes getting the sniffles, and everyone hates getting the flu. We’ve pulled together the best tips for keeping your class healthy through the upcoming winter!

1. Have your students wash their hands with soap and water. Warm water is best with foaming or liquid soap. Find a fun scent or cheerful dispenser for your classroom, and squirt enough for each student as they line up to wash up before meals or as they’re coming back from recess! 

2. Use proper hand-washing techniques. Hand-washing should be done often: before and after eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing or rubbing a running nose, and after playing outside. Teach students to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice through as they scrub their hands. It takes about 20 seconds to thoroughly kill germs. They’ll have clean hands and have fun singing while they wash up!

3. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable. Read labels to find ones with above 60 percent alcohol content, but don’t look for “Antibacterial” or “Antimicrobial” since those will kill even the good germs. Have your students use hand sanitizer any time they aren’t able to wash their hands. A quick squirt after a sneeze is the perfect example!

4. Cough and sneeze into a sleeve. Elbows and upper arms are better at blocking germs from spreading than when you cover a sneeze with a hand. Learning this trick at a young age will make it second nature and keep down the number of germy hands in the future!

5. Use tissues only once before tossing. Using a tissue once, then it throwing away and washing your hands after is the most effective way to stop the spread of germs. Always make sure students throw their tissues away as soon as they use them, that’ll help stop germs and keep the tissues from being left on desks.

6. Suggest students not share drinks, chap stick, etc. with friends. Explain to your students why it’s important not to share things like water bottles or utensils with others since they have germs all over them, and they’re an easy way to pass on sickness.

7. Make sure everyone eats a healthy diet. A healthy well-balanced diet makes for a healthy immune system. Encourage parents to prepare lunches rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and iron, or if students are assigned snack days, request that parents look for healthy options that will boost immune systems.

8. Disinfect high traffic areas. Use a diluted bleach solution or products with antiviral agents to wipe down tables, writing utensils, white boards, door knobs, books, and other commonly touched surfaces. This is probably easiest to do at the end of every day and when you have a break during lunch or recess!

9. Ask for help in keeping your classroom healthy. It might help to send a note home to parents asking for donations of tissues, hand sanitizing wipes, and other tools to keep the classroom environment as healthy as possible.

10. Put an air purifier in your classroom. Good air purifiers will improve indoor air quality by removing allergens and harmful particles. You can keep your classroom’s air cleaner with little hassle.

Even following these tips, it’s inevitable that you’ll still wind up with sick students. Don’t let them get behind! Stride Academy is here to keep your student’s learning even when they can’t be present in school!

Stride Academy Spotlight: Thompson Elementary, Houston, TX

Testimonial of a Stride Principal

Mr. Cleo Wadley, Principal of Thompson Elementary School : Houston, TX

kids with comp

Stride Academy is the best interactive learning program we’ve used with our students, hands down. The software is directly aligned with the state TEKS, effectively ties into our curriculum, and compiles easy-to-read reports that detail our students’ strengths and skill deficiencies. The system generates tailored study guides for various concepts that our students have not yet mastered. These study guides provide students with additional practice materials based on their specific learning level without a teacher having to put together different packets and various assignments in order to differentiate amongst the students. The software does it all!

We love how the program automatically adjusts the curriculum up or down based on the student’s individual needs and performance. This discreet scaffolding allows our learners to be successful because they’re answering questions based solely on their comprehension level. We really appreciate that the system works in real-time and allows us to make adjustments to our students’ curriculum paths, create quizzes, and modify other options at our discretion from any computer.

This program is easy to use and keeps our students engaged and motivated by earning coins for correct answers, which can be redeemed for the built-in gaming. They enjoy the bold graphics, exciting games, and the ability to compete against classmates during friendly gaming competitions. In addition, the software can be adjusted to present the questions in various languages, which can be extremely helpful while working with our large number of English Language Learners.

Best of all, Stride Academy allows students to use the software from home with their personal access codes. Our students enjoy the program so much that they willingly use it after school and even on the weekends. Since incorporating Stride Academy as a learning tool in our classrooms, our students have shown marked improvement in a variety of content areas. Our many success stories include a student, who struggled with specific skills and scored poorly on a school assessment as a result.  After using Stride Academy for only about 3 weeks, the same student was reassessed and scored almost 50 points higher on the same skill set.  As a school, we absolutely love this program!

One of our students who is in Tier III interventions has a behavior modification plan and has difficulty complying with rules and expectations. As an individual intervention, one of my third grade teachers uses Stride Academy to keep him engaged as well as scaffold his learning up or down as needed. With Stride Academy, he can pre-select certain concepts that he needs the student to experience. Moreover, the video lessons and printable lessons supplement the teacher’s face-to-face time with him. It has been a great tool for Thompson Elementary.”

We would like to thank Mr. Wadley for sharing how Stride Academy has impacted his school.  We love hearing from our Stride Academy educators and parents! Do you have a Stride Academy story to share from your school or organization? Contact Cate Powell at cpowell@ltsed.com.

Stride Academy Fall Writing Contest

What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?

thankgiving

The holiday season is around the corner! Here at LTS we’re celebrating what we’re thankful for all month long. We want to hear from your students and see what they’re thankful for in our Fall Writing Contest!

LTS and Stride Academy are offering a chance for your students’ essay to win a pizza party for their class by participating in the Fall Writing Contest. One student’s paper will be selected by a panel of judges and showcased on our Stride Academy blog! Grade level writing capabilities will be taken into account as we are looking for age-appropriate originality and creativity.

Guidelines: 

  • Teachers should submit individual students’ papers on the topic: “What does Thanksgiving mean to you?” (1 page maximum).
  • Submissions should be sent to cpowell@ltsed.com and must include the student’s first name and last initial, grade level, class name and school name. Entries must be sent by the classroom teacher to be accepted.
  • All submissions must be received by 5:00pm CST on Friday, November 21. Late entries cannot be accepted.
  • The winning essay will be announced on Monday, November 24 and featured on all LTS social media platforms.

Prize: 

  • The teacher’s class with the winning entry will receive a $100 Papa John’s gift card for a class pizza party and will be featured on our blog.
Questions? Contact: Cate Powell, LTS Customer Experience Specialist, at cpowell@ltsed.com

New Features on the Teacher Dashboard!

Check out the NEW Stride Academy Teacher Dashboard!

Stride Academy 2

While the work of a teacher is more complex as focus shifts from the class to the individual student, our New Teacher Dashboard has some exciting updates to continuously track student performance and incorporate personalized learning in the classroom.

This real-time dashboard allows you to quickly access needs and prescribe appropriate curriculum for your students. Here are a few highlights of these new features:

Class Performance

Easily view your students’ progress, above or below grade level, by looking at these bar graphs. Click on any section to drill down to student data.

*Don’t miss important notifications for your class posted at the top of your Teacher Dashboard.

Oct 2014 - Teacher Dashboard 1 - Edit

Students At-A-Glance: Adaptive Engine event indicators reveal problem points at a glance. Students are organized into three convenient groups – Students Potentially at Risk, Students on Pace and Students Thriving. Clicking on an individual student name links to individual student results.

Clicking on the View link for any student who is potentially at risk will lead you to a more detailed explanation of the issue.

Oct 2014 - Teacher Dashboard VIEW EDIT

Academic Badges: Academic badges are awarded when a student has, (a) answered at least 80% of the available questions in a skill category, and (b) scored at least 70% correct for all of their answers in the skill. This includes a student’s correct answer on the second attempt at a question.

Click View All Student Academic Badges to see a complete list by student.

Oct 2014 - Teacher Dashboard 3

Individual Student Performance by Subject

Clicking on any student’s name will lead you to the Individual Student Performance view revealing at-a-glance information for general performance by each subject.

Print this screen (or Save in PDF format). Use this real-time report of the student’s skill performance to plan differentiated instruction, targeted skills practice, and monitor progress on specific standards over time.

Oct 2014 - Sample Student Performance 1 - Edits

Student performance is organized by curriculum and broken down into standards to identify areas of need. Quickly assign available educational resources aligned to skills.

Oct 2014 - Sample Student Performance 2 - Edits

Oct 2014 - Sample Student Performance 3 - edits
Graphs show performance by both grade level difficulty and subject. Mouse over the graph to see percentages.

Red signifies less than 50% correct answers. Yellow signifies 50-70% correct answers. Green signifies 71-100% correct answers.

Oct 2014 - Sample Student Performance 4 - edits

Don’t Miss the New Teacher Dashboard Webinar!

Mark your calendars to join us Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 3:30pm CST for our New Teacher Dashboard Webinar hosted by Tamra Barron, LTS Director of Training. To register, click here and complete the form. You don’t want to miss out on learning about these new updates!

World Teachers’ Day

Today is World Teachers’ Day!

“Invest in the future, invest in teachers!”

Multiculturalism

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Everyone has had at least one teacher who has made a huge impact on their lives. Whether it’s the Kindergarten teacher who taught you your colors or the Senior English teacher who introduced you to Shakespeare, these amazing people have left a mark on our lives we can never forget.

World Teachers’ Day, founded in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is designed to celebrate teachers worldwide. It aims to mobilize support for teachers and ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers. UNESCO states that “quality education offers hope and the promise of a better standard of living.”

This year’s slogan, Invest in the future, invest in teachers, aims to provide quality education for all. According to UNESCO, there is a shortage of professional, well-trained, and well-supported teachers to achieve better quality education worldwide. Not all teachers have equal resources and training that help them support the diverse needs of their students. UNESCO reports that today the world faces a learning crisis, with 250 million children not acquiring basic skills of reading and writing. Teachers worldwide work with the resources they have to provide the best possible education for their students, but oftentimes the resources afforded to them are not adequate. UNESCO’s goal with World Teachers’ Day is to address the barriers to better education and teachers’ role in developing globally-minded citizens. This goal hits close to home for everyone at LTS Education Systems. Through the Stride Academy program, we strive to provide engaging curriculum, assessment, instruction and learning games to address critical learning standards, helping teachers to become more efficient in focusing on the areas where students are struggling most.

LTS and Stride Academy would like to recognize all of our hard working teachers and administrators for dedicating their lives to the future of our youth! Your perseverance will be treasured by your students for years to come!

For more information about World Teachers’ Day please visit UNESCO’s website or here to find out what celebrations are happening around the world!

#StrideCoinMasters Photo Contest

Introducing the #StrideCoinMasters Photo Contest!

Stride Coin - 1000

Starting Monday, September 29th, Stride Academy is hosting the #StrideCoinMasters Photo Contest! Post weekly photos of your top 3 coin earners from your classroom on one of the following social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. Follow us, and use the hashtag #StrideCoinMasters for your chance to win!

At the end of two weeks, we will choose a winner and the top 3 students in the class will receive a Stride Academy Gym Bag! Winners will be chosen based on top scores and photo creativity. This is a great way to encourage students to participate in Stride Academy!

Submissions are due by 5pm CST on Friday, October 10th. Winners will be announced on Monday, October 13th. They will be featured on all LTS social media platforms and in our monthly newsletter! Feel free to post multiple pictures of the week’s top coin earners!

Here’s How to Enter:

  • Must be following us on the medium in which you are posting.
  • Must tag us and use #StrideCoinMasters.
  • Photos must be of top 3 students; the more creativity the greater the chance to win!
  • Must include top 3 scores of the week in the post.
  • Prizes will go to the 3 students in the chosen photo.
  • All submissions are due by 5:00pm CST on Friday, October 10.

We can’t wait to see how your #StrideCoinMasters have excelled! Don’t forget to follow us on all social media sites to see what others are posting as well!

TEI Webinar FAQ

“Continuing Education” Technology-Enhanced Items Webinar was a HUGE success!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the New Technology-Enhanced Item Types webinar last week!

In case you missed it, this Technology-Enhanced Items Tutorial will catch you up! The following are some FAQs from the webinar:

1.  What are Technology-Enhanced Items (TEI)?

Computer-delivered items that require students to carry out specialized interactions in order to solve a problem or answer a question. TEI allow the Stride Academy system to collect valuable student response data.

2.  Why have we added Technology-Enhanced Items to Stride Academy?

To prepare students for PARCC, Smarter Balanced, ACT Aspire and other technology-based assessments which test national or state standards using these same question formats . Using TEI in Stride Academy allows students to have practice with these types of problems before taking state assessments, so the specialized interactions become second nature. With TEI, students are required to demonstrate deeper understanding in more ways than the traditional multiple choice questions, and TEI allows for constructive responses.

3.  In what grades are Technology-Enhanced Items available?

Grades 3 through High School.

4.  In what subjects are Technology-Enhanced Items available?

Currently, Mathematics and Reading.

5.  How do Technology-Enhanced Items align with state standards / Common Core?

TEI are written to skills that unpack the individual state and national standards.

6.  What types of Technology-Enhanced Items will be seen in Stride Academy?

  • Drag and Drop, available in Mathematics and Reading
  • Drop Down Menu, available in Mathematics
  • Highlighting, available in Reading
  • Ordering, available in Mathematics and Reading
  • Written Response, available in Mathematics
  • Plotting Points, available in Mathematics
  • Evidence-Base Selected Response (Part A / Part B), available in Mathematics
  • Multiple Selected Response, available in Mathematics and Reading.  

7.  Are Stride Academy standard features available on Technology-Enhanced Items?

Yes. TEI are also supported by targeted PDF lessons, video lessons, the calculator, dictionary and scratch pad.

8.  Will rationales still be available on Technology-Enhanced Items?

Yes. If a student does not fully answer the question or if a student answers a question incorrectly on a first attempt, a rationale (educational explanation for the incorrect or incomplete answer) will appear. For TEI, rationales will be more general to a particular skill since there are many ways that a student can answer the question.

9.  What is next for Technology-Enhanced Items?

Weekly throughout 2014-15, the LTS development team will release additional new TEI for each grade level in Mathematics and Reading. We will continue to examine any new changes to TEI in PARCC, Smarter Balanced, ACT Aspire and other technology-based assessments being utilized by school districts across the country. LTS will ensure that we are meeting the needs of our customers to help with preparing for these assessments and developing students’ deeper understanding of rigorous skills and standards.

For more information, check out our new video on YouTube!

Thanks for joining us and be sure to keep an eye out for more informative webinars to keep you up to date with what is going on with Stride Academy!

Continuing Education Webinars

Stride Continuing Education Webinars Presents:

NEW Technology-Enhanced Item Types!

Join us on Thursday, September 18th at 8:30am CST and 3:30pm CST!

Introducing Technology-Enhanced Items to Prepare Students for More Rigorous Online Assessments!

Are your students struggling in learning the required content for an upcoming technology-based assessment? Join us on September 18th at 8:30am CST or 3:30pm CST to learn how these upcoming releases can help your students succeed! Seats are filling up fast, so don’t miss out!

Stride Academy’s goal for this new release is for students in Grade 3 through High School to gain a deeper understanding of important content in Math and Reading through specialized interactions.

These new item types will give students the practice they need to prepare for the ACT Aspire, PARCC, Smarter Balanced and other technology-based assessments.

Our curriculum development team will be adding new Technology-Enhanced Questions to Stride Academy weekly throughout Fall/Winter 2014. Don’t miss your chance to understand how to assist your students with these new formats, should they have any questions!

Here are a few of the new Technology-Enhanced Item Types you can expect to preview in our webinar:

1. Multiple Selected Response – Student can select more than one correct answer or image.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.15.39 PM

2. Math Drag and Drop – Student can drag images or text to match correct answers.

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3. Reading Drag and Drop – Student may be asked to drag information from one column to the next to match pairs, more images or information into the correct sequence, or locate evidence for a response and drag it into place.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 3.17.43 PM

These are only a small sample of the new functionalities you will become familiar with through the webinar. To reserve your seat, please complete this form at the link below:

Click here to select your webinar date/time>>