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Preparing students for twenty-first-century jobs

In education circles, twenty-first-century skills have become recognized as a range of abilities and competencies that go beyond traditional classroom instruction. These skills — such as problem-solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation — prepare students for success in today’s classrooms and the workforce.

The nationally normed Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) assessment cross-functionally improves students’ achievement, while providing the opportunity to build twenty-first-century skills in a variety of subject matters. Istation is a blended learning solution for reading, math, and Spanish for grades pre-K through 8th grade.

If you want to get the most out of classroom Intervention An instructional intervention is a specific program or set of steps to help a child improve in an area of need. Interventions are designed so that you and the school can track your child's progress. practices, optimize your efforts with effective blended-learning support from Istation. Istation’s computer-adaptive curriculum and Formative Assessment Designed to monitor student learning during instruction and to assist teachers in identifying student instructional needs, allows teachers to provide ongoing instruction aimed at improving student outcomes. have the essentials that schools need to personalize learning.

Technology Integration (SAMR)

There are four types of technology integration within the classroom, and they can be remembered with the acronym SAMR:

1. Substitution
2. Augmentation
3. Modification
4. Redefinition

Substitution and Augmentation allow technology to enhance the classroom. Modification and Redefinition allow technology to transform the classroom. Which technology integration have you used or want to try in your classroom? Let SAMR be a guide to achieving your twenty-first-century learning goals!

MTSS Paradigm Shift

Your Summer Plan for Reading Success

Istation is a great way to keep young minds active throughout the summer. Of course, we realize how important a break from school is too, so we’ve developed a plan that includes learning and fun. Youcan use this color-coded calendar each month this summer to keep your child’s mind and body active and engaged.

Here is how an ideal summer month with Istation may look:

Istation Summer Reading Calendar

Five Things Parents Can Do This Summer

Research shows that children who read fluently do better in school. It’s not just teachers who make it happen, though. Parents play a key role, too. The “summer slide” is the documented learning loss that occurs when students are out of school. Experts say that reading just five books during the summer months can help. Here are five new, easy-to-implement ideas for parents, grandparents, and guardians.

How to Be a Reading Role Model:

1) Show. Don’t tell. Let your children see you read. It doesn’t matter what you read — a book, a magazine, an online article — just as long as your children see you engaged with text.

2) Have a family game night. Playing games like Scrabble, Boggle, Pictionary, and Scattergories can teach spelling, vocabulary, and communication skills.

3) Eat dinner as a family without TV or phones. (That’s a tall order, we know!) With older kids, focus on a good conversation. Talk about what went on that day or about what’s planned for the rest of the week. For younger      children, try to incorporate word games like “I spy something that rhymes with...” or “Name a synonym for...” Make dinner fun and help your children become good conversationalists!

4) Keep track of it all. Mark a calendar with the amount of time your children spend reading (and working on Istation, of course) each day. At the end of the summer, add up the hours. When school begins again, encourage your children to tell their teachers how much time they spent reading over the summer. Teachers will be thrilled and your children will feel proud!

5) Ask questions. Whether your children are reading or using electronics, engage them with questions. This will help boost their critical thinking skills while providing you with an opportunity to bond. For great questions to ask, check out the next page.

Teachers will be quite happy in the fall if you implement a few of these ideas over the summer.

We bet you’ll be happy with the results too!

Go Places with Reading

A summer vacation that’s educational and fun? We know how to make it happen!

The great thing about reading is that you can do it anywhere. Encourage your children to read in a variety of places: in the car, at the store, or by the pool. Words are all around us! Children can read recipes, nutritional labels, price tags, and more.

Encouraging your children to read is a great way to have fun, practice reading, and bond. Finding ways to incorporate reading is a great way to build lasting memories while on a road trip!

Wherever you go, make reading a part of your adventure. In the words of the late, great Dr. Seuss, “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

Keep your mind active while traveling using these fun ideas from Istation

Do’s for EdTech Integration

Victoria Tong (@FiggieTong), the Language Arts instructional Coach at Coppell Middle School West (CMS West) in Texas, told us that Istation’s reading intervention tool has played an important part in getting the school on track and helping teachers see improvements in student reading scores. Here are some of her edtech integration do’s and don’ts:

DO ensure consistent small-group days throughout the entire school

Mondays and Fridays are known as small-group days schoolwide for CMS West. Students in all language arts classes for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade participate in small-group activities on these two days of the week. 

DO create a more structured environment for monthly assessments

Lounging on the floor to read a book or work on a project may be comfortable, but teachers at CMS West found that while comfortable seating is necessary at times, their students performed better on monthly ISIP™ assessments if they were sitting in a more formal position. After analyzing scores — and a lot of trial and error — the verdict was in: treating ISIP assessments more formally improves students’ results.

DO encourage 1 devise/1 student

Going 1:1 has helped by giving all students access to their own personal device. Logging in to apps or taking monthly ISIP assessments is now a seamless process that students are used to.

DO share data with your students and have them track their own progress monthly

CMS West students focus on measuring, tracking, and discussing their own growth in Istation. The data is placed in their hands so that they can take ownership and feel in control of their success. Teachers meet with each student to help set attainable goals and brainstorm ways they can grow in their weakest areas.

Student using Istation Reading

Don'ts for EdTech Integration

DON’T try to squeeze in small groups on an ad hoc basis

Without a structured time for small groups in the classroom, it’s easy to miss that time during the day. You may get caught up in doing something else and not get to small-group intervention time that week. Committing to two days a week has allowed small-group time to be a fixed part of the school’s culture.

DON’T only use the digital lessons in Istation

Istation provides a wealth of resources. From printable books to over 2,500 easy-to-execute lessons and practice activities, Istation makes it easy to print and teach. Lessons are scripted and timed to fit conveniently where you would like them and are fully flexible, so feel free to adapt them or use only a part of them!

DON’T: Hide the data from students

Keeping data from students at the middle school level can leave them out of the loop and unmotivated. The middle school years are a pivotal time for our young adult learners, and they should know their scores, progress, and opportunities for improvement. They are working on time-management skills, achieving academic and personal goals, and learning to interact in a mature way. CMS West told us that giving students this responsibility helps them take their learning more seriously.

DON’T limit Istation use to just school time

The Istation Home feature offers students a way to explore the program differently than at school. When students log in to Istation at home, they can continue working along their instructional path or navigate to Ipractice to work on their favorite lessons or games.

Teachers have the option of assigning individual, skill-based lessons to a whole class or specific students using the Assignments feature. Additionally, parents have access to Istation’s reports and Parent Portal resources and can take an active role in their child’s education.

Following the guidelines above, CMS West saw dramatic changes in its  Student Tiers Student tiers help to deliver differentiated instruction to students based on their level of difficulty with particular subject matter. during the last school year. At the beginning of the year, 214 students were in Tier 3. By the end of the year, that number had dropped to 100 students.

Istation students playing with red capes

Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom

Offering support to families in the community is a great way to bolster support for extending learning beyond the typical school day. Oak Grove Elementary School in Florida started doing this by connecting with students’ parents and working with local libraries to set up instructional time for extra practice. Providing parents access to educational resources in their homes and around the community accelerated literacy growth.

5 Ways to Strengthen Fidelity of Implementation

Istation’s Priority Reports show students’ strengths as well as the areas in which they need extra practice. These reports provide guidance when leading small groups or one-on-one interventions. There are teacher directed lessons (TDLs) associated with each skill shown on the Priority Report. Having these resources available can save time in gathering materials for intervention efforts.

Build Your Intervention Team With Istation

 

Blended Learning for Reading, Math and Spanish

Delivering powerful results while ensuring equity and reducing teacher workload, Istation’s educational technology meets the needs of all students – at school and at home. Contact us to learn how to build your intervention team with Istation.

 

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