A simple routine to support literacy development in all subjects

When you look at the five components of reading and how teachers’ emphasis on them changes as students learn to read, one constant is word learning. This shouldn’t be surprising for those familiar with Scarborough’s Reading Rope, which suggests that vocabulary and background knowledge are essential components of skilled reading. These two strands of the rope can account for a 50-60 percent variation in reading comprehension scores. Not only do students need to know how to decode words, but they must also know the meaning of words in order to apply their meaning toward comprehension.

Fortunately, students are building vocabulary and background knowledge all the time as they pick up new words from context through reading and listening, learn new words and ideas in their daily lives, and of course, in all the various content areas they study in school.

Explicit vocabulary instruction not only helps students build vocabulary in the moment, but also gives them the tools to learn new words as they encounter them. Here’s an effective routine to help students learn new words whether they’re in an English class or the science lab.…Read More

Benchmarking Toolkit for 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an extant trend toward digitized communications, and highlighted the weaknesses in many schools’ and districts’ communication plans. School communication is currently strong in some areas, notably general parental engagement and support, but it has major weaknesses. These include school-teacher and school-student communication in schools, as well as communication with a hard-to-reach quartile of parents. Schools must address these and transfer the lessons of the coronavirus pandemic to their communication plans with schools back to in-person teaching.

Parallel Learning Expands Executive Team With New Esteemed Digital Health and Education Talent to Further Scale and Accelerate Growth

NEW YORK, NY (FEBRUARY 4, 2022) – Parallel Learning (Parallel), the digital health platform that provides a new way to test, diagnose, and empower students with learning and thinking differences, announced today two new key hires to its growing executive team, in addition to plans to expand its services into Illinois, Texas and Florida next month. Susan Liu joins as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Robert Stager joins as Director of Partnerships, with both executives bringing extensive knowledge to the digital health and education space. The recent hires will support Parallel’s continued growth plans, fueling its mission to support and advocate for children with learning or thinking differences.

Prior to Parallel, Liu was VP of Clinical Operations at Cerebral Inc., a fast-growing online mental health company, where she led the clinical operations and customer service function through the company’s rapid growth from pre-Series A to a multibillion valuation Series C. As an experienced start-up operator with a background in public health and a passion for building teams from the ground-up, Liu scaled the operations to serve over 200,000 patients in less than two years and grew the clinical network from less than 100 to more than 2,000 nationwide in less than one and a half years. In her role as COO at Parallel, Liu will focus on building the systems and processes for scale and growth, in go-to-market operations as well as clinical and care operations.

“I’m thrilled to join the Parallel team and to dedicate my focus to empowering young students—especially during this dire time of need as the U.S. faces a massive education crisis,” said Susan Liu, Chief Operating Officer at Parallel Learning. “As a proud immigrant and a product of the public school system myself, I am passionate about increasing access to care and opportunity for kids of all ages. I look forward to bringing my expertise to this role to help us continue to grow and achieve our goals, and I could not be more excited to be part of this dynamic team.”…Read More

How technology can support diversity in the classroom

Diversity, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, especially the inclusion of people of different races, cultures, etc. in a group or organization.

As an educator, with over 17 years of experience, I’ve heard the word diversity used in various contexts throughout my career. However, over the last 16 months or so, the importance of diversity–and especially inclusion–has been highlighted to Americans across the country, in very visible, and sometimes unsettling ways.

Throughout my career, I have taught a variety of grades from 1st grade to 6th grade ELA in a host of states and school districts. Currently, I am the Gifted and Talented Specialist for River Trail Elementary in Upstate South Carolina.  In this role, I’ve taken a fresh look at how I am helping to highlight the power of diversity in the classroom and build a more inclusive learning environment–particularly in the STEM fields–in which all learners can see themselves as they prepare for life beyond graduation.…Read More

3 ways chatbots can support mental health in schools

The U.S. Surgeon General has issued an advisory warning about a mental health crisis for children. Several national health organizations have also declared a national state of emergency for child and adolescent mental health resulting from prolonged stress, instability, and isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is old news for most of our educators, who once again find themselves as the baseline support system we rely on to fulfill the basic needs of our nation’s youth.

“When students returned to classrooms in August this year, we saw higher levels of stress and anxiety,” said Patrick Brady, Superintendent at the Massena Central School District in New York. “Addressing mental health concerns has become a number one priority in our district.”…Read More

Redesigning education for post-pandemic success

(Editor’s note: This article is the first in a three-part series about how school systems can build on the progress and leverage the investments they’ve made in technology during the pandemic to achieve true digital transformation. Part 1 looks at how K-12 leaders can build an effective blueprint for redesigning education in a way that’s more equitable, meaningful, and learner-centered. Part 2 will explore how leaders can obtain stakeholder buy-in and support for their vision, and Part 3 will examine what professional development should look like to turn this vision into action.)

COVID-19 arguably produced the biggest shift in education since the invention of the printing press. Nearly overnight, teaching and learning moved from classrooms to online environments. School systems invested thousands of dollars in Chromebooks, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other technologies. Educators spent countless hours working to ensure that students could learn from home uninterrupted.

Yet, aside from where the learning occurred, what else actually changed?…Read More

The biggest takeaways for the post-pandemic future of education

There is no argument that teachers are the most valuable asset in a student’s learning experience. This fact was only further underscored over the past 18 months.

While the increase in easy-to-use technology used in the classroom has been a significant improvement, teachers remain the most important factor in the learning equation and should be recognized as such.

Lessons learned over the course of the pandemic have highlighted ways that schools and districts can best support teachers and students throughout the learning experience.…Read More

TEACHERMADE BRINGS CO-TEACHER SUPPORT TO ITS INTERACTIVE ONLINE PLATFORM

Jacksonville, FL — TeacherMade, the online platform for making interactive digital learning activities, has released a software update that allows Teachers to share account access with other Teachers, paraprofessionals, substitutes, administrators, IEP/504 teams, or any other stakeholder. The new Co-Teacher shared access allows Teachers and staff to collaborate on lesson authoring, grading, assigning, and sharing. A video explaining how to use this powerful new feature is available at https://youtu.be/NUKUqm9si5s.

TeacherMade was created during the Covid-19 pandemic to meet the urgent needs of Teachers and students thrust into remote learning. Now TeacherMade is growing into a complete online learning platform that supports every stakeholder. The new Co-Teacher update makes TeacherMade a more complete solution for schools. 

TeacherMade has a library of original, pre-built, engaging online learning experiences for students. But most schools build their own private-use libraries from the PDFs their Teachers already use. TeacherMade’s one-of-a-kind PDF editor is the fastest way to digitally enhance an existing paper lesson. Digitally enhanced activities are part of a resilient curriculum that can adapt to in-person, remote, and asynchronous environments.…Read More