Category Archives: Supplemental

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!

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.

 

Don’t Forget About Johnny!

As teachers begin to fully implement Common Core Standards in classrooms across the country and new assessments are being built, some teachers may be asking, “What about Johnny?”

Johnny is that student who is already at a point of struggling with skills and standards.  Well then, what will happen to Johnny as the new, more rigorous standards are taught –and then assessed at the end of the school year?  And what about those students who were already teetering on the edge of performing below grade level? What do these new standards and assessments mean for them?

This is a question that many educators, principals, and parents are struggling with as we enter the new school year.  Educators know that students do not all learn at the same pace, and we need ways of reaching students on all levels.  It is extremely important that all students are taught skills and standards that will help them achieve in college and career, but many students have gaps that need to be addressed first in order for them to succeed. So what can educators do?

Districts and schools have begun to identify key supplemental programs that can be used as interventions to help struggling students. Stride Academy is one such program that has success in remediating struggling students, and bringing them up to grade level proficiency.

How does Stride Academy do it?  The program helps the teachers differentiate each student’s learning pathway.  Take a look at these two diagrams. Which one displays typical learning experiences for students?

EXHIBIT A

1 

EXHIBIT A:  The image could be used to depict a student who begins at Kindergarten and works his way smoothly through his entire school career without hitting any roadblocks or getting lost.  This sounds really great in theory, but we know this is definitely not the norm!

EXHIBIT B

2 

EXHIBIT B:  The image shows the reality that educators face all of the time.  Students begin their school career and as time passes, some students keep advancing, but others take a different course. Some become stuck, lost and left behind because they have gaps in their learning.

Each student needs their own learning path in order to ultimately meet at the same place of being college and career ready!

Supplemental programs help give students targeted instructional support on their level.  Stride Academy was developed to help all students because it is a personalized learning plan.  The program is adaptive and helps fill in the gaps that students have, in order to put them right back on the path that leads to being college and career ready.

Educators around the country will need ways to help students like the Johnny’s in the world, and Stride Academy is a great solution.

Danielle D’Alessio
Director of Curriculum
LTS Education Systems