Join Stride This Summer on Social Media for Your Chance to Win!

always learning

As we close another school year and welcome summer, LTS Education Systems and Stride invite you to take part in our #AlwaysLearning #STRIDE campaign on social media!

While you set your sights on summertime, don’t forget to seize the many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. (And remind your students and your own children to do the same!) Summer is a big, blue sky full of possibilities to expand your horizons and bring back newfound knowledge to share when you return in the Fall!

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Join Stride in #AlwaysLearning on Social Media!

As in past summers, LTS and Stride will continue to support summer learning by sharing fun tips and activities on our social media channels. This summer, we want to encourage you and your students to share the unique ways that you are “always learning” by participating in our #alwayslearning #STRIDE campaign!

It’s easy. Simply show how you and your students (or children) are learning over the summer in summer programs, in your community, at home or on vacation. Post your summer learning pictures or video clips to our LTS social media channels (click on the links below), and be sure to use the hashtags #alwayslearning #STRIDE!

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Three Winners Will Receive Gift Certificates for Fandango!

LTS and Stride will award $25 Fandango movie gift cards for the BEST entries (pictures or video clips) in three categories:

  1. Most Original Summer Learning Idea
  2. Learning Through Travel
  3. Summer Learning At Home / In Your Own Backyard

Submit your entries through July 31, 2015. Winners will be determined by an LTS panel of judges on August 1, 2015. To submit an entry, simply post your picture or video to one of our LTS social media channels (shown above). You must use the hashtags #alwayslearning and #STRIDE to be considered. DOUBLE your chances of winning by tagging your friends in your post and challenging them to participate!

If you need assistance, please contact Amy Frith at afrith@LTSed.com.

We look forward to seeing your summer learning ideas, and wish you the best summer ever!

5 New Stride Games to Kickstart Summer

Congratulations to all students and teachers on the close of another great school year. It’s Summertime!  Please enjoy 5 brand-new Arcade game selections, available today (and all summer long!) when you login to Stride.

Star Burst

Solve math problems and aim your Starfish at the correct answer to score as many points as you can before time runs out!  Available for Grades K-5.

Star Burst

Flappy Challenge

Navigate the Flappy Fly safely through a maze of hurdles — but take care, or she’ll go “splat!” Available for all grades.

Flappy Challenge

Diameter

Test your timing and reaction skills with this fast-paced, arcade-style game. Available for all grades.

Diameter

Klokz

This “survival” game requires you to use your sense of direction and timing to act fast and “stay alive” as you dodge projectiles coming at you from every direction! Available for all grades.

Klokz

Korridor

Be quick! Challenge your reaction skills to make it all the way through the fast-moving korridor obstacle course. Available for all grades. 

Korridor

Be sure your students are aware of these new game selections before school lets out for the summer!  If you need help, please feel free to reach out to Customer Support at support@ltsed.com or call toll-free at 866.552.9192, ext. 2.

A Team Effort at Brownsville ISD 21st CCLC

Brownsville ISD

In the Brownsville Independent School District, situated on the southernmost tip of Texas on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, students at nine 21st Century Community Learning Centers are using Stride Academy to reinforce skills being taught during the regular school day.

According to Mary J. Trevino, Project Director, “Individual student and class reports, based on current guided practice and progress monitoring, are used in conjunction with district timelines and benchmark data to differentiate and individualize instruction. The collaboration between the regular school day instruction and before- and after-school programming provides students with multiple opportunities to ensure student success.”

Kudos to the staff and students at these BISD sites for their hard work this year in Stride Academy!

BISD 21st programBenavides Elementary
Castaneda Elementary
Cromack Elementary
Garcia Middle School
Lucio Middle School
Perkins Middle School
Russell Elementary
Stillman Middle School
Villa Nueva Elementary

 

“Our School Growth Reports show that Stride Academy is a factor in school success. And, the success at each site is due to the commitment of each Site Coordinator and his/her staff. “ – JoAnn Marchan-Briones, Lead Teacher

Work First, Work to Earn, then Play!

Brownsville 21st CCLC teachers love the model of “work first, play later.” While every campus has their own unique strategies in place for Stride Academy, the Student Grouping Report is reviewed regularly, and then the Customized Instructional Resource pages are extended as whole-group or small-group “mini lessons” — or in some cases one-on-one instruction — which students must complete prior to logging into Stride Academy for “play time.”

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Brownsville students, pictured above, love the thrill of earning coins, points and badges! They have experienced a definite boost in self-esteem, as they realize the effect of persistent practice on their grades and benchmarks.

“Our English Language Learners, who use the Language Settings Tool [for translations], and students requiring additional support are feeling more confident about their abilities and striving to do better all the time,” says Ms. Marchan-Briones.

“Hey! How Come You Have More Points?”

60a687211cba073b622d9b1f_280x259Sometimes your students’ competitiveness in Stride Academy can be downright amusing! And other times, you may find yourself smiling with warm satisfaction in knowing that even the smallest strides are huge victories for them. Of all the feedback we receive about Stride Academy, the most memorable are often the honest and candid comments you send in, overheard from the students themselves!

The Brownsville 21st CCLC program shared some of the thoughts that can be heard from their before- and after-school students on any given day when using Stride Academy:

     ”Hey!  How come you have more points than me?”

     ”I didn’t know I could use the word like that… but now I know!”

     ”I don’t feel dumb!”

     (To their parents): “Aww, man – Do I have to leave early?”

Send in your candid comments from students using Stride Academy!

Academic Badges Inspire Student Achievement

Oscar Adams Elementary School in Gadsden, AL, motivates students and prepares for the ACT Aspire with a unique contest driven by academic badges earned in Stride Academy.

Contests are an easy way to get students enthusiastic about Stride Academy Oscar Adams Elementary School in Gadsden, AL, added their own flare to Stride contests by creating a “Show Your Badges” contest focused on academic badges. Stride academic badges are earned when a student answers 80% of the available questions in a skill category with 70% accuracy. Educators at Oscar Adams Elementary created this contest during the third nine weeks’ grading period to reward students who were mastering skills, encourage students to try their best, and help eliminate guessing at answers in Stride Academy. Each week, the K-5 student who earned the most academic badges during the week was presented with a certificate, a coupon for a free icecream, and recognition during the morning announcements.

At the end of ten weeks, the student who earned the most academic badges overall during the contest period would claim the Grand Prize. In the end, three students tied for the Grand Prize with 39 academic badges each. Each Grand Prize winner received a certificate, coupons for free popcorn or icecream, recognition during the morning announcements, and lunch with a staff member or friend of their choice.  The winners were photographed and honored on the school’s bulletin board and website.

Congratulations to the Grand Prize winners RaNyiah D. in Ms. Brooks’ 3rd grade class, Carlos S. in Ms. Johnson’s 2nd grade class, and Krystiana F. in Ms. Newton’s 2nd grade class!

Oscar Adams Elementary

We would also like to congratulate the weekly winners at Oscar Adams Elementary:

Week 1: Jason L., Mr. Mason’s 2nd grade class

Week 2: Ashley F., Ms. Newton’s 2nd grade class

Week 3: Ariyuna M., Mr. Mason’s 2nd grade class and Hennessy P., Ms. Cooley’s 3rd grade class

Week 4: Kennedy F., Ms. Bone’s 4th grade class and Je’Brelon J., Ms. Baker’s 1st grade class

Week 5: Antaniyah L., Ms. Johnson’s 2nd grade class

Week 6: EmMaya F., Ms. Carlton’s 5th grade class

Week 7: Krystiana F., Ms. Newton’s 2nd grade class

Week 8: Joshua O., Mr. Mason’s 2nd grade class

Week 9: Bradley G., Ms. Bone’s 4th grade class

Week 10: Madison B., Ms. Baker’s 1st grade class

In conjunction with the “Show Your Badges” contest, teachers at Oscar Adams Elementary have used Stride Academy to help prepare for the ACT Aspire end of year assessment. Students involved in their afterschool program, EDGE, have been logging on to Stride Academy for extra test preparation. Beth Webster, Title I Resource Teacher, shared, “[Stride Academy] is a great resource for test prep!”  Since Stride Academy has 24/7 access, teachers have encouraged students to login from home for extra practice.

Thank you to the educators at Oscar Adams Elementary School for finding new and creative ways to encourage student use in Stride Academy! We are proud of your achievements this year!

If you would like your school featured on our blog, please email Cate Powell to share how you are using Stride Academy!

Teacher’s Daily Routine Includes Stride Academy

Mrs. Samantha Matthews at Hokes Bluff Elementary School in Gadsden AL, shares how she incorporates Stride Academy into her daily teaching routine.

Class with Stride Signs

As you think about your daily routine, what are some of the regular things you check off your list? Wake up. Check. Brush your teeth. Check. Take a shower. Check. Eat Breakfast. Check. Drive to work. Check. Make a lesson plan. Check. Login to Stride Academy? For Mrs. Samantha Matthews, 4th grade teacher at Hokes Bluff Elementary in Gadsden, AL, Stride Academy has become an integral part of her everyday teaching checklist.

I adore Stride Academy! It has been perfect for me and exceptionally useful in my classroom. It has made my year more successful and easier [for me] to teach.” – Mrs. Samantha Matthews, 4th Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Matthews began using Stride Academy in her classroom to accompany her daily teaching of Alabama College- and Career-Ready standards, but it has been exceptionally beneficial over the last few weeks as she prepares her students for the ACT Aspire.

Throughout the school year, Mrs. Matthews has utilized the features within Stride Academy to help 20150410_100732reinforce the skills and standards her students need to learn. The new Video Library, available on the Teacher dashboard in Stride Academy, has been a great addition to her teaching routine. Prior to class, Mrs. Matthews selects a video from the Video Library that aligns with the standards she will cover that day. Using the Smart Board in her classroom, Mrs. Matthews lets the Stride Academy video introduce the lesson. After the video lesson, she takes over and teaches the curriculum to her students. Next, with the Stride Academy Quiz Builder, Mrs. Matthews creates two quizzes for her class aligned to the lesson. The first quiz is a group activity composed of five or six items that she works through on the Smart Board with the class as a whole. Once they have tackled each item together, her class goes to the computer lab to work on the second quiz individually. The second quiz is longer, with 20 to 25 questions that test students’ knowledge of the material covered in class. After students complete the quiz, they are allowed to work on their own in Stride Academy… and that means time for a little FUN with some game-based rewards and competitions!

The Quiz Builder is an excellent tool because it allows Mrs. Matthews to instantly view students’ results. For students who perform at 80% or below on the quiz, she spends some one-on-one time with them, reviewing questions they missed. If multiple students miss similar questions, she will go over the quiz results in a group and then retest the students with a cloned quiz. (Stride Academy’s cloning feature allows you to generate an exact replica of your quiz and assign it again to students.) Mrs. Matthews averages the scores of the two quizzes for a valid score. This gives students another opportunity to work hard to improve both their scores and their skills!

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Principal Charles Gardner, finalist for Alabama’s National Distinguished Principal Award, loves Stride Academy!

Because of Mrs. Matthews’ success and creativity in using Stride Academy in the classroom, she has been asked to lead a training for other teachers within her school on how they can incorporate Stride Academy as a teaching and assessment tool. Charles Gardner, Principal at Hokes Bluff Elementary, encourages his faculty to incorporate Stride Academy as much as possible throughout the day since the data from Stride Academy is consistently used to drive instruction.

Thank you, Mrs. Samantha Matthews, for sharing how you are integrating Stride Academy into your daily teaching routine! We are always thrilled to hear of new ways that Stride Academy is being used. If you have a fresh idea on how you are using Stride Academy at your school, we want to know! Please email Cate Powell to set up an interview.

Benignus Elementary is Bananas for Stride Academy


Benignus Logo

 Brrrrrr-ing on the Winter Frenzy at Benignus Elementary!

Nothing beats the winter fun of a good old-fashioned snowball fight!  Benignus Elementary in Spring, TX (Klein ISD knows this to be true. That’s why for their “Winter Frenzy” school-wide Stride Academy contest, the Top 100 students got to toss some snow on February 20!

Students were a bit confused at first, since there was no snow on the ground. However, Benignus staff used chilled, felt balls for “snowballs.” According to Holly Mason, Assistant Principal at Benignus Elementary, “The kids loved it! It was so much fun!”

groupA[1]      groupB

    ………… actionA[1]      actionB[1]

Learning Fun All Year Long

Benignus has been extremely creative with their school-wide Stride Academy contests this year. In November, they held a “Turkey Trot” contest, with the top primary and secondary class winners each receiving spirit sticks and winning a spotlight on the school-wide video announcements.

Over winter break, Benignus students competed in the “Snowflake Showdown.” This time, the winning class got to host the school-wide video announcements from their classroom, and topped off their victory with a popcorn party.

We look forward to finding out what contests they will run this spring! Thank you for sharing these great contest ideas!

Weekly Incentives Motivate Students

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Weekly incentives are also very successful at Benignus Elementary. On the “Stride Wall” pictured here, the Reading Specialist highlights the top class from each grade level for the week (based on Stride Academy Reading performance).

beningus pic stitch “Stride Academy is hands-down the most user friendly program I have ever encountered.  The designers seem to have taken the time to see every possible challenge or question encountered by teachers.  They have created a program that fits seamlessly into our curriculum and classrooms.  Students learn while having fun, and teachers can administer prescriptive lessons or glean priceless data.” - Dede Dietzman, 1st grade Teacher, Benignus Elementary

Getting Ready for STAAR Testing

What are your strategies for using Stride Academy to help prepare for the STAAR tests this year?

Holly Mason, M.Ed., Assistant Principal at Benignus Elementary, reports:

“As testing has gotten closer, teachers are writing TEKS-aligned quizzes and assessments. Based on in-class formative and summative assessments, teachers are also assigning specific skills in Stride Academy to spiral back to and assist with TEKS/skill mastery.”

We Welcome Your School’s Contributions.

The everyday strides that your students and teachers are making in the classroom are the very reason Stride Academy exists! Your ideas and achievements help us build a better program. Let us feature you in our next blog post. Email Cate Powell at cpowell@ltsed.com to set up an interview.

 

Are You Prepared for State Testing?

An Interview with Principal Eva Luna, California

Yolo

As spring comes into view, classrooms across the country are preparing for state assessments. For decades, sharpening pencils and paper practice tests have been strategic for awakening students to the testing season. This year, many states are transitioning to online assessments and creating new strategies in order to overcome obstacles associated with these new computer-based assessments.

Our Stride Academy Customer Experience Specialist, Cate Powell, had the privilege of speaking with Eva Luna, Principal at Yolo Middle School in Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District in California, to talk about the challenges of testing season and how her staff is staying positive in preparing for upcoming assessments.

Stride Academy: What are some of the common obstacles or challenges you face every year when it comes time for test preparation?

Principal Luna: This year is the first operational administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), so Yolo has been preparing for the transition from taking the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to the SBAC. In addition to the Common Core Standards transition, there are other obstacles in the transition from paper and pencil tests to an online format. One of the first obstacles we faced is making sure that our students are computer literate. They are tech-advanced, but using technology in an academic setting is very different than playing Minecraft. Students must know and understand the terminology used in testing, like “drag and drop” or “highlight and click.” They must also be able to access the computerized tools that are part of the SBAC. This requires our teachers to go over the terminology and tools used in the tests and help make the connections clear for all students.

Stride Academy: What is the mindset of your students during this time?

Principal Luna: This window of time is challenging for teachers because they feel the intensity and pressure of state testing and want students to perform well. Students are intuitive and feel the intensity as well. We really want to get away from heightening intensity because our teachers are working hard on student’s technology skills and engaging in standards based instruction all year long. Since this is our first year using the SBAC, there is heightened anxiety because there is a sense of “this test counts”, and we don’t have a baseline already established to be able to show growth. We will have to rely on other forms of data for that.

Stride Academy: For this reason, it is important to check mastery on state standards periodically throughout the school year using tools like the Progress Monitoring Assessments. Custom-made interim assessments created in the Quiz Builder app are also valuable.

Stride Academy: How do you alleviate test anxiety? 

Principal Luna: This year when the SBAC interim tests were released, we met with teachers and coordinated a time for them to administer these tests to students. It was a valuable opportunity for teachers and students to gain a broader sense of all the aspects of the test. The more familiar the students and teachers are with it, the less anxiety occurs. Students are already online and use the internet, but there is a big difference between getting online and being able to effectively take an assessment online. Overall, we already know the SBAC has a high level of rigor to it. We want students to be familiar with what things look like when they are being tested and to see similar questions that will appear on the test. When they are familiar with these aspects of the technology-based assessment, they can spend their test-taking time more wisely, focusing on close reading of the academic texts and questions. Using practice tests (interim tests, block tests) that closely resemble the SBAC give students a sense of what the real thing is like.

Stride Academy: Stride Academy offers Technology Enhanced Items Types that directly mirror those item types utilized on the SBAC tests, PARCC, ACT Aspire, STAAR and other technology-based assessments, providing that essential practice. The TEI formats include: Drag and Drop, Evidence-Based Selected Response (Part A/Part B), Multiple Selected Response, Drop-down Menus, Written Response, Highlight Text, Plotting Points, True/False and Ordering.

Stride Academy: Prior to test dates, do you explain the purpose of the tests and how the results will be used?

Principal Luna: I am planning to have conversations with students in their classrooms to explain what the tests mean for our school and for them. I want to focus on the bigger picture of why these tests are important and how that narrows down to them individually. After we take our tests, I plan to meet with various stake holders to share our results, discuss areas that need attention and develop a plan to address those needs. We may also use the data to determine class placement, more specifically if a child needs a support class.

Stride Academy: Do your teachers find it a challenge to integrate test preparation without sacrificing their classroom instructional plan?

Principal Luna: No. Our curriculum at Yolo is standards based. The Common Core is focused and outlines the knowledge and concepts we need to address. Right now, we may not know the exact number of questions each standard will have on the SBAC tests, but our teachers know the important skills that every student needs to know. They plan and prepare from the very beginning of the year. We realize that teachers won’t have all the material covered by test taking time, but they are not teaching to a test. They do not “cram” for the test but prepare students all year long with standards based day to day teaching.

Stride Academy: Does it help to have an online-program that is accessible after school hours to assist with test preparation?

Principal Luna: Yes! We use Stride Academy in our site based After School Program. We also run contests for students to challenge them to use Stride Academy on the longer breaks from school (winter recess, spring recess, etc.). Stride Academy use supports students in the acquisition of standards based skills and knowledge. Students using Stride Academy on their own time is a good thing!

Stride Academy: How will you use Stride Academy to support test preparation this year? 

Principal Luna: Stride Academy fills a lot of niches and helps identify areas where students need help. We make Stride Academy part of our daily routine and continue to find ways to generate more interest and time on it. Teachers have stressed to their students the importance of doing well on Stride Academy in order to provide useful data. We use Stride Academy as a support tool, and it helps support the acquisition of skills and knowledge that students need to progress to more rigorous academics.

We would love for you and your school to weigh in on the challenges of test preparation, and how you are using Stride Academy to help. To share your story, please email Cate Powell at cpowell@ltsed.com.

 

 

Pushing to Greater Heights at Woodson K-8 in Houston, TX

Students at the Woodson K-8 21st Century after-school program are staying late nights and “banking on” all of their hard work in Stride Academy to help them push to greater heights to meet STAAR standards this year, says Barbara Shelby-Roberts, Program Specialist.  Woodson 6

“We Love Our Badges and Collect Our Coins” 

This is the motto of the young scholars at Woodson. While some Stride Academy students are all about the Star Points and point leader contests, Woodson scholars are focused on earning academic badges and mostly… collecting the coins!

Teachers say the kids are constantly talking among each other about how many coins they have, who has the most, and challenging each other to earn more. “They actually look at collecting coins like they are collecting actual money,” says Mrs. Brothers, a third grade teacher, “So when they can earn more, that is the highlight of their day!” What a great way to insert teachable moments about working hard to earn rewards, saving for something you really like, and making choices on how to spend your earnings!

Top Coin Earner:  Emanuel Champs

Top Coin Earner:
Emanuel Champs

Top Coin Earner:  Tyler Groggs

Top Coin Earner:
Tyler Groggs

Top Coin Earners:  Taylor Smith & JaDaria Groggs

Top Coin Earners:
Taylor Smith & JaDaria Groggs

Tyler Groggs, a third grader, is one of the after-school program’s top coin earners. She now has 700 coins saved!  Tyler told us in an interview, “What I love about Stride Academy is the math part because it really challenges your brain!”  Keep up the good work, Tyler!

1:1 Tutorial Leads to Increase in Skills Performance Woodson 5

Barbara Shelby-Roberts, Program Specialist, reports that benchmark tests and weekly tests created by the Woodson teachers show an increase in skills performance since students began using Stride Academy.

“This particular program offers our students a 1:1 tutorial that is effectively helping them to achieve at much higher levels than before, even for our Kindergarten students. Stride scaledown and up where a particular student needs to focus, and that is making all the difference for them.” – Ms. Shelby-Roberts

Ms. Campbell, a Kindergarten teacher, says her students are seeing their high-frequency words in the Stride Academy reading passages. “This is excellent practice and reinforcement for them. They appreciate being able to listen to the passages being read aloud to them, as well, and this is assisting them in growing in their reading abilities.”

Dinner Will Have to Wait

Woodson 1Woodson students are known to make their parents wait when they come to pick them up (as late as 7 pm!), so they can finish what they are doing in Stride Academy.

“Many of these students do not have access to computers at home. The excitement and rush of using Stride Academy in our computer lab has made ‘computer enrichment’ the most popular tutorial piece in our after-school program,” says Ms. Shelby-Roberts.

Some of the incentives that Woodson teachers and staff are putting into place to further motivate students are: 1,000 coins at the end of the year earns you a seat at the end-of-year pizza party. They will also be organizing a Stride Parade where students who have exceeded their goals in the program will be able to showcase their achievements.

As you can see, we cannot say enough about Woodson K-8 scholars! These students are a great group who deserve to be recognized and commended for their hard work!

Many, many thanks to the wonderful staff at Woodson K-8 (pictured below) for welcoming LTS Education Systems to your school, and allowing us the privilege of getting to know your students! 

Woodson Staff

SNHU and LTS Education Systems Announce Game Design & Development Program

School of Education will Design Digital Learning Games to Support K-12 Students

SNHU logo

MANCHESTER, NH - Southern New Hampshire University undergraduate students in the School of Education are teaming up to compete for the title of America’s next top designer of learning games. SNHU is launching the first-ever Stridebuilder™ Game Design and Development Program in partnership with LTS Education Systems, veteran publisher of digital game-based learning platforms for K-12 education since 2001.

SNHU faculty in the Gaming Department and LTS organized the collegiate program in response to a common challenge shared by K-12 educators across the country: the increasing difficulty they face in engaging today’s digital generation using conventional teaching methods in the classroom.

“The Stridebuilder Game Design and Development Program is an opportunity for tomorrow’s educators to gain invaluable experience creating meaningful and captivating game-based learning resources for elementary, middle school and high school students under the mentorship of their professors in the SNHU School of Education, Schools of Arts and Science, and an industry leader in the educational gaming arena,” said Raymond J. McNulty, Dean of Education.

“SNHU undergraduate teams will be comprised of education majors — the ‘dreamers and designers’ — who bring diverse skills to the drawing board. Upper and lower classmen with experience in technology-focused courses, as well as educational pedagogy, curriculum and assessment, will combine their expertise to design an entry for the best learning game,” said McNulty.

To build their games, teams will utilize the Construct 2 HTML5 game engine and visual development studio by Scirra Ltd.™, designed specifically for 2D games.

Game entries will be evaluated on several criteria, including a simple but compelling game design and effectiveness in filling a very specific learning gap in a K-12 subject area, such as mathematics, reading or science.

The Stridebuilder program runs from February through March 2015. Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes worth $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. Winning game submissions will also earn a place in LTS’ award-winning Stride Academy game-based learning platform, which serves K-12 students across the country with anytime, online learning accessible on tablet devices, PC and Mac.

SNHU embraces the game-based learning methodology, offering undergraduate courses in Game Design and Development, such as Character Design, Environment Design, Character Animation, Physics for Games, Artificial Intelligence for Games, and Studio Environment.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a nonprofit, regionally accredited, private university with an 80-year history of educating successful professionals. SNHU has a total enrollment of over 50,000 students in more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, available online, at our main campus in Manchester, NH, and at our five regional centers in New Hampshire and Maine. The university is regularly recognized with “Best of Business” Awards for best online degree programs, and as a top-military friendly school. Learn more at http://www.snhu.edu.

LTS Education Systems has spent 14 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.

4 Effective Resolutions for Your Classroom in the New Year

 

celebrate this new year

Welcome to 2015 and second semester! The New Year is a time for planning how you can make this year even better than the last. We’d like to recommend Four Effective Resolutions for Your Classroom in the New Year. Get inspired to… 

1. Stay Positive. The second semester stretch to summer can be arduous with standardized testing in queue. Keep a positive attitude. You’ll be amazed at how contagious your positive energy can be:

  • “Let’s get this over with.” WRONG!
    When talking about test prep, a negative approach can cause students to immediately disengage and reduce their chances of doing well. Maintain an outlook that builds confidence and compels your students to do their best. Speak about testing practice as an opportunity for exploration and sharpening skills well in advance of test dates. “We’ve got this!”

Be plentiful with positive reinforcement. Stride Academy offers oodles of feedback, allowing you to find positive points for all students as they work hard to fill in skill gaps. Congratulate them on their academic badges, coins earned, and Star points in class-wide contests. Even their total questions answered, total minutes worked and percentage after school show incredible perseverance!

Dashboard: Academic Badges by Student

Dashboard: Academic Badges by Student

2. Have a Growth Plan. What goals will you set for each student to reach by year-end?

  • Utilize PMAs. Two more Progress Monitoring Assessments are available to you in second semester. Use them to identify remaining gaps and measure growth. (Form 3 is open Jan. 10 to Feb. 14, and Form 4 is open Feb. 15 to April 4). 
  • Keep watch using your Dashboard and real-time reports.

Help your students visualize their growth. Using visual means to show student gains is proven to engage students in their lessons and help them understand the value of the work they are doing. Allow them to see the graphs and data from the Individual Student Details view of your Dashboard or their Student Progress Reports.

Dashboard: Student Details View

Dashboard: Student Details View

3. Give Individual Time & Attention to Students. Find a way to focus on each student individually. Schedule regular one-on-one time or assign individual classroom jobs. Nurture a relationship, and you’ll find students are more comfortable communicating with you about their academic concerns (and even personal matters if they need you).

  • Tip: Assign (and rotate) meaningful classroom jobs that your students are capable of, like media/computer monitor, running errands, taking attendance or watering plants. Reward them with extra coins and let them know they did a good job of meeting your expectations

Enjoy your students more while you can; by year-end, you’ll be saying goodbye to a great group of kids.

Rewards: Transact Coins

Rewards: Transact Coins

4. Stay Organized: Teach Smarter, not Harder. Second semester is an easy time to get overwhelmed as you push toward end of year objectives. Use technology to your advantage:

  • Use Student Grouping Reports to organize small groups of students with similar skill abilities/deficiencies.
  • Design your own reporting system. Decide when and how often you need to analyze student data via your Dashboard and real-time reports. Is it on Friday − weekly or biweekly? Set reminders on your email calendar for periodic data review. Be sure to also schedule emailed parent reports via the Reports tab.

Use Quiz Builder to easily create quizzes that reinforce unit/lesson plans, or retest students on specific skills. Share quizzes with your fellow teachers, so no one has to recreate the wheel. Remember that Stride Academy’s curriculum unpacks your state’s standards for you. It doesn’t get more organized than that! 

Choose Skills in Quiz Builder

Choose Skills in Quiz Builder

As always, our Customer Support team is here to help you with your teaching goals and getting the most from your Stride Academy subscription. To reach them, email support@LTSed.com or call toll-free: 866.552.9192. 

Happy New Year from LTS Education Systems and Stride Academy!