Over the last three weeks, leaders in education have joined us in cities around the country for the Classworks Connections Conference (C3) - an interactive workshop designed to help school leaders build an environment for success for their teachers and students.
In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of training, and how it can make or break your classroom technology implementations. During our C3 sessions, administrators saw firsthand how investing in professional learning can set the tone for a successful implementation.
Although there were many gems to pull from the engaging discussions we had during the conference, here are three of the biggest takeaways educators loved from C3.
As captain of the ship, it’s your job to ensure the success of the voyage - and that only happens if your crew is confident in what they’re doing. Each person in an individualized learning environment plays a key role in the success of an implementation, and teachers look to you for guidance. Being aware of each person’s role and what a successful environment is supposed to look like can help steer your implementation in the right direction.
The teacher is the facilitator, coach, and cheerleader. In an individualized learning environment, when students are working independently without direct instruction from the teacher, it’s important for the teacher to be actively monitoring data and conferencing with the students to make adjustments or help clarify difficult concepts.
In an individualized environment, the student has ownership of their learning. Teachers can help students set goals for themselves and provide help along the way. Students can work on concepts that resonate with their ability levels, at the pace that’s right for them. Student dashboards, like Classworks My Scores, makes it easy for students to share in the accountability of their learning journey. When conducting classroom observations, teachers and admins should see that students are engaged and working on-task, not sprinting through to get to the end.
Technology assists in identifying skills at the student’s performance level and uses a mix of activities to keep students engaged. With compatibility for many devices, teachers can get creative in the ways they weave classroom technology into their lessons. Plus, having data available in real-time has the greatest impact on students and teachers.
Some would say having instruction perfectly aligned to individual students’ needs is enough. However, being able to support that content with rigorous, tier one lessons that drive home tough concepts is a game-changer. Plus, having on-demand, reading and math activities with direct instruction that promotes conceptual understanding, scaffolded content, and higher-order thinking is another step towards a more comprehensive RTI process - one that offers support to students in every tier.
If you’re looking to fully support a tiered intervention program in your school, be sure your instructional resources include rigorous activities like these:
In today’s classrooms, teachers and administrators rely on perfectly-timed data to make informed decisions. With an overabundance of information coming at you from all angles, sometimes the most relevant pieces get lost in the fold. For teachers, this means knowing how to track the goals you’ve set for your students and actively monitoring and conferencing to ensure that they’re being met. On the other hand, administrators need to know how that data translates to the success of an implementation or if it’s time for some fine-tuning.
Reports that show time-on-task and mastery are great indicators of the progress students are making towards closing learning gaps. Whereas more granular reporting - like this Individualized Learning report - can reveal underlying issues with specific skills in math or ELA. Knowing which data points to monitor, which reports to run, and when to run them can make a world of difference during classroom observations, in your departmental data meetings, or when reporting to other stakeholders.
Having a program that automates tasks like individualizing content or measuring skill mastery can make teaching a whole lot easier for classrooms of mixed ability levels. But, all these tools play an important role in your school or district’s larger intervention process. Knowing when and how to use these tools effectively, and how to translate the collected data is crucial to the success of any implementation. We provide guidance on supporting each tier of your intervention process in our free web series.
Are you seeing great things from your school’s intervention program? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you! If you’re using Classworks to support intervention and you have a success story to share, we want to hear it! Reach out on live chat, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.