Certell’s Poptential™ Free American History Curriculum Highlights Legacy of African Americans for Black History Month

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Poptential™, a family of free, award-winning social studies course packages that infuse lessons with digital storytelling, offers an array of engaging content about the Civil Rights Movement for instruction during Black History Month. Click to tweet.

Observed in the United States since 1976, Black History Month is celebrated yearly in February to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society. Poptential’s American History Volume II curriculum, Bell Ringers, and digital media clips feature the accomplishments of African American leaders and civil rights activists as they fought for racial equality.

Poptential’s Unit 6: The Fracturing of America includes content and multimedia to help teachers lead discussions on the Civil Rights movement, including:…Read More

HMH to Acquire NWEA

Boston and Portland, Ore.—Learning technology company  HMH and  NWEA, a not-for-profit, research and educational services organization serving K-12 students, announced today they have signed an agreement for HMH to acquire NWEA. Upon closing, NWEA will operate as a division of HMH, with its current offerings, including its flagship assessment—MAP Growth—remaining under the NWEA brand. NWEA assessment solutions will be integrated with HMH curriculum on HMH’s platform to create a combined offering that links interim assessment to instruction. HMH is a portfolio company of Veritas Capital, a private investment firm that focuses on companies that provide technology and technology-enabled solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide.

By combining NWEA’s assessments with HMH’s curriculum, HMH is expected to deliver a holistic solution for educators that helps them understand how students are growing academically and what areas need the most focus to maximize that growth. Most importantly, this solution will turn insights from assessments into content recommendations that help teachers address student-specific skill gaps and advance student learning.

“We are thrilled at the potential this acquisition brings for K-12 educators, at a time when the connection between instruction and assessment is increasingly critical for student success,” said Jack Lynch, CEO of HMH. “HMH and NWEA have great alignment in mission and long-term vision and share the collective belief in the transformative power of education. Both teams are deeply focused on helping all children learn and serve millions of K-12 educators and students across the globe.”…Read More

5 ways video improves school-home communication

Increasingly, district leaders are incorporating video into school-home communication. Many districts that tried video options out of necessity during the pandemic are seeing the benefits that video can provide for parent engagement and are expanding video options even as schools are back to in-person instruction.

Districts are finding that using video can improve school-home communication by making the process of engagement easier for parents. Video options can help with:

  • Removing barriers to school-home communication.
  • Providing educators with real-time connections with students’ families without the hassles of gathering everyone in the same location.
  • Reaching parents who might be hard to engage otherwise. If a parent is working two jobs, doesn’t have access to transportation, or would have other barriers to coming to an in-person meeting, a video call can make the process easier for a parent.
  • An overall shift in individuals’ behaviors and technological skills to rely on video tools.

Here are five tips for school leaders who want to incorporate video into their school-home communication strategies.…Read More

6 tips for tech-enabled instruction in the early literacy classroom

There are plenty of reasons that K–3 teachers tend to be less likely than their middle and high school peers to use technology in the classroom. From their focus on hands-on learning to a lack of district-provided devices in the lower grades, the reasons are both pedagogical and budgetary. However, by incorporating technology into their classrooms, K–3 teachers can add flexibility and personalization to their instruction—and even get some of their own time back.

That said, not all technology is created equal, and even well-made tools can be counterproductive when used improperly. Here are a few tips and tricks for integrating technology into your reading lessons.

1. Get to know the tech you already have.…Read More

Students are still behind in math–what needs to change?

As students return to class this fall, K–12 teachers and administrators face many challenges—and math instruction is high on the list.

Although state assessment data from the 2021–2022 school year suggest that students have begun to close pandemic-related learning gaps, the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results reveal that students’ math scores dropped seven points—the first-ever score drop for math in the assessment’s fifty-year history.

Educators now face the daunting task of making up for lost instructional time from the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time, addressing drops in math achievement and teaching grade-level content. Where do educators start?…Read More

5 tips to help students master foundational skills

English language arts (ELA) standards identify a set of foundational skills students must master in their progression to becoming skilled readers. These skills include alphabet recognition, concepts of print, phonological awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, and fluency.

To effectively teach foundational skills within the classroom, educators need access to engaging materials that offer the right level of challenge for students and provide ease of usability. Unfortunately, only 7 percent of K-5 teachers use one or more high-quality ELA material for their classroom instruction due to common roadblocks like long adoption cycles and costs associated with the materials. But that statistic may soon change.

The pandemic left a lasting, negative impact on the American education system. K-5 student test scores plummeted in math and reading nationwide this year, erasing two decades of progress. Now, many teachers, schools, and districts want to reassess their foundational skills instruction.…Read More

Schools can do better than retaining struggling readers

Grade retention is ineffective and expensive, but 17 states and Washington, D.C. mandate it (and at least 12 more states allow it) for students who are not reading proficiently by grade 3. The best way to stop grade retention, whether you live in a state with laws mandating it or not, is to provide students with explicit, phonics-based literacy instruction rooted in the science of reading, beginning in kindergarten.

Here’s how schools and districts can help students begin learning to read on track and stay there to avoid retention.

Who Gets Retained?…Read More

Learning Without Tears Showcases Assessments to Guide Instruction for Get Set for School®

Washington, DC Showcasing as part of its new literacy solution at the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) annual conference,   Learning Without Tears’ acclaimed Early Childhood curriculum, Get Set for School® (GSS), now includes Assessments to Guide Instruction (AGI), an addition to the complete program that provides greater value and more complete foundational learning. This new assessment tool allows educators to easily assess, track, and remediate student performance over the course of the school year.  With AGI, teachers can easily provide updates and suggestions to families, building strong school-to-home connections, an important element of young learners’ success. 

“Learning Without Tears has built a powerful literacy solution, based on the success we have had in early childhood education for more than 40 years,” said Terry Nealon, CEO of Learning Without Tears. “Get Set for School is a central component of that literacy expertise and is already being used by thousands of schools across the country for kindergarten-readiness. Expanding GSS to include Assessments to Guide Instruction increases the impact LWT’s literacy solution can have on very young learners. With a clear, individual assessment of what their students need at this early point in their education, teachers can create a lifelong learner and lover of reading, by understanding and then meeting students where they are.” 

The award-winning Get Set for School complete curriculum is divided into six learning areas that seamlessly create a better academic outcome for pre-K students. Students are taught developmentally, learning the easiest skills first, then building on that knowledge as learning progresses. Multi-sensory activities provide hands-on learning and play-based opportunities for students to learn.   …Read More