Online Education Blog – LetsGoLearn.com
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/
Online Education Blog – LetsGoLearn.comenmargy@letsgolearn.comCopyright 20142014-11-21T18:18:13+00:0050 Ways to Take the Common out of Common Core
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/50_ways_to_take_the_common_out_of_common_core/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/50_ways_to_take_the_common_out_of_common_core/#When:18:18:13ZThe Education Commission of the States has just published "50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments in 2014-2015."
Remember way back when Common Core Standards launched? In 2010, 45 states and D.C. adopted them as their "state" standards. And remember it was so important to have common standardized assessments that measured these Common Core standards that the federal government granted 360 million to Smarter Balanced and PARCC to develop them? (Note: it did cause some controversy that two sets of assessments were funded rather than a "single" set of assessments. But this was just another irony in a long series of ironies.) By 2012, 28 states chose Smarter Balanced and 24 chose PARCC.
But look where we are now. In a report published by the Education Commission of the States, "50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments in 2014-15," Tonette Salazar presents the following as key facts:
12 states and D.C. are giving PARCC.
18 states are giving Smarter Balanced.
20 states are giving state-created assessments.
2 states are giving a combination of consortia-developed and state-developed assessments.2014-11-21T18:18:13+00:00Obama, Duncan, CCSSO Support Reduction of High-Stakes Assessments
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/obama_duncan_ccsso_support_reduction_of_high-stakes_assessments/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/obama_duncan_ccsso_support_reduction_of_high-stakes_assessments/#When:18:10:01ZToo much testing? In the last week, policy makers have edged a little closer to what teachers, parents, and students have been saying for years -- too much class time is spent on assessments that become an end themselves. In a recent Washington Post article, Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of Great City Schools, was quoted as saying, "But it's time that we step back and see if the tail is wagging the dog." And in an article in the Christian Science Monitor, President Obama was quoted as saying, "I have directed [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan to support states and school districts in the effort to improve assessment of student learning so that parents and teachers have the information they need, that classroom time is used wisely, and assessments are one part of fair evaluation of teachers and accountability for schools."
The Council of Chief State School Officers and the Council of Great City Schools will work together, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, to evaluate the teting systems of all standardized state assessments. "In a survey of its 67 member districts, the Council of the Great City Schools found that students sit for an average of 113 standardized tests between preschool and 12th grade." Yikes!
Those of you who use Let's Go Learn, will happily note that a few days after these article appeared, EdWeek published an article about the growing interest in formative assessment. John Richards was quoted as saying, "we found a lot of excitement -- and therefore, demand -- around formative, adaptive assessments that support personalized learning."
2014-10-17T18:10:01+00:00Let’s Go Learn: Key to Success in Higher Math
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/lets_go_learn_key_to_success_in_higher_math/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/lets_go_learn_key_to_success_in_higher_math/#When:21:14:31ZLet's Go Learn's new flowchart tool helps educators support student progress through grade-level mastery of math concepts AND through placement in courses for which they are thoroughly prepared.
Here at Let’s Go Learn we spend a lot of time thinking about how to support teachers and students. And one of the things that keeps coming up is how to decrease math anxiety and increase math achievement. Why?
Research shows that success in algebra is key to success in higher math, college, and STEM careers. And success in algebra is dependent on successive mastery of math concepts through elementary and middle schools.
Basically what we’ve discovered is that math anxiety begins when math learning stops being fun and instead represents confusion, self-doubt, and successive failure. Once a learner gets stuck and fails to learn a particular concept, the effect snowballs. The initial learning gap causes the learner to miss all the concepts that rely on mastery of the initial concept. Imagine that this cycle begins in kindergarten or first grade. Students pass from grade to grade and get more and more behind. How do we stop the cycle?
We wanted a solution that could work in two ways -- intervening in the early grades when learning gaps first appear and remediating in later grades before a student is enrolled in algebra.
We’ve come up with a very practical solution and a Math Success flowchart for putting the solution in place.
Use the flowchart to:
o Make sure every student masters all grade level math skills in elementary grades
o Make sure students have mastered targeted pre-algebra skills in middle school BEFORE they are enrolled in algebra
o Diagnose performance in algebra throughout the year so that you catch students before they fall behind
If you'd like to read the white paper, go to Trending Now! We'd love to hear your comments.2014-09-24T21:14:31+00:00How to Get Smart on Blending Middle School Math
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/how_to_get_smart_on_blending_middle_school_math/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/how_to_get_smart_on_blending_middle_school_math/#When:21:08:54ZCheck out the bundle of blog posts on approaches to blended math. The starting point for blended math? Student-centered learning.
Getting Smart and Nellie Mae Education Foundation have funded a series of blog posts on approaches to blended math. Entitled “Getting Smart on Blending Middle Grade Math,” the posts focus on student centered learning: personalized, competency-based, always accessible, and student-driven.
You might want to start where I did -- one of Tom Vander Ark’s opinion columns in EdWeek: Vander Ark on Innovation. Written by Megan Mead, the intro post is called “Make or Break, Why Middle School Math Counts.” 2014-09-24T21:08:54+00:00A Thank You Letter from Bottomup, a South African Education Enrichment Program
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/thank_you_letter_from_bottomup_a_south_african_education_enrichment_program/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/thank_you_letter_from_bottomup_a_south_african_education_enrichment_program/#When:22:08:15ZAs part of Let's Go Learn's global outreach, we provide Bottomup, a non-profit education enrichment program, with free online math assessment, reporting, and instructional lessons.
Dear Mr. Capone,
Using the Let’s Go Learn online platform was simple and easy. Margy and her team were very helpful and even gave us an online tutorial on how to use the programme effectively.
The learners were able to navigate through the test easily, and it was a great bonus that the instructions were given verbally. This prevented learners from getting answers wrong based on their reading ability.
It was an eye-opener for us and the school we work with to see how many of the learners were below grade level. There were some that tested 2-4 years below grade level.
After completing the test, we assigned Grade 3 learners to the math program “10 Monkeys” and Grade 5 and 6 learners to the Khan Academy videos. We did this for 5 months.
After the 5 months, we were ready to do a post-test with Let’s Go Learn to see how the learners had progressed. While we saw big improvements in Grade 3 learners, the Grade 6 learners’ improvements were only slight. This test was incredibly helpful as now we could really see whether the intervention was working and also where we could improve.
Whilst Khan Academy is a fantastic programme, we found learners going to find math problems that they had already solved and that were really easy for them to do instead of trying to master the problems they were actually struggling with.
We are extremely happy that Let’s Go Learn has offered to sponsor accounts to their online math learning platform, LGL Edge. We will be testing this out with our Grade 5 and 6 learners to investigate if their programme will help our learners to excel. We think that it will be extremely helpful as the programme explains concepts in a very basic, child-friendly way. At the end of the year, we will again conduct a Let’s Go Learn test to see progress for the second half of the year.
Thank you again to Let’s Go Learn for your ongoing support and for allowing us to help learners who could not afford these services. We hope that this partnership will be a lasting one and that we will see successes through the Edge programme.
Kind Regards,
The Bottomup Team2014-08-14T22:08:15+00:00STAR testing is out and CAASPP testing won’t start until Spring 2015
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/star_testing_is_out_and_caaspp_testing_wont_start_until_spring_2015/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/star_testing_is_out_and_caaspp_testing_wont_start_until_spring_2015/#When:17:17:26ZLet’s Go Learn has the PERFECT solution: our ONLINE computer-adaptive diagnostic assessments, reporting, and personalized learning lessons in K-12 reading and K-9 math.
How will you measure school and personalized learning growth? Let’s Go Learn has the PERFECT solution: our ONLINE computer-adaptive diagnostic assessments, reporting, and personalized learning lessons in K-12 reading and K-9 math.
With Let’s Go Learn, you can measure growth and:
· Identify EACH student’s learning gap
· Apply our diagnostic data to place each student in the BEST intervention
· Analyze, track, and measure GROWTH at the student and school levels
· Use our PERSONALIZED instruction to supplement your instruction
Sign up NOW for a free classroom trial of our reading assessment (DORA) or our math assessment (ADAM): http://www.letsgolearn.com/forms/tp_form1/blog_aug_82014-08-11T17:17:26+00:00Want to Help Smarter Balanced Set Cutoff Test Scores?
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/want_to_help_smarter_balanced_set_cutoff_test_scores/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/want_to_help_smarter_balanced_set_cutoff_test_scores/#When:19:59:42ZRegister by September 19th and you can help set cutoff scores in reading and math for Smarter Balanced.
Catherine Gewertz reports in her EdWeek post that Smarter Balanced is inviting the public to help set test cutoff scores. Guess all those complaints about springing Common Core on the public have had an effect. All you have to do is register by September 19th and select two days between October 6th and 17th that you can be available by a connected computer. Although Smarter Balanced has four performance levels (thorough, adequate, partial, and minimal), reviewers will focus on adequate (AKA proficient) responses. They'll get a bit of training, answer keys, and samples of responses at all four levels. I don't know about you, but I'm signing up now.2014-08-06T19:59:42+00:00Summer Loss Prevention Program Show Great Gains with Let’s Go Learn
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/summer_loss_prevention_program_show_great_gains_with_lets_go_learn/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/summer_loss_prevention_program_show_great_gains_with_lets_go_learn/#When:20:14:15ZLast year the YMCA of East Valley used Let’s Go Learn’s online diagnostic assessments in its Summer Learning Loss Program. Instead of experiencing a loss, “students that finished the program registered an average increase in grade level by a total of 45 percent, 12 percent in mathematics and 78 percent in reading.”
A story in the Highland News reported that last year the YMCA of East Valley used Let’s Go Learn’s online diagnostic assessments in its Summer Learning Loss Program. The program was designed to decrease or eliminate the learning loss that most students experience during the summer. Instead of experiencing a loss, “students that finished the program registered an average increase in grade level by a total of 45 percent, 12 percent in mathematics and 78 percent in reading.”
To spread the success, the YMCA is expanding the number of students in this summer’s program from 64 students to 135 students. K-7 students will again use LGL’s DORA reading assessment and ADAM math assessment “to keep the students in a captivating environment allowing them to thrive.”
Interested? Contact Scott Griego at 1-707-689-8901 or start a free trial at http://www.letsgolearn.com/forms/tp_form1/2014-06-23T20:14:15+00:00Bridges Charter School Students Show Remarkable Gains in Let’s Go Learn Pilot
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/bridge_charter_school_students_show_remarkable_gains_in_lets_go_learn_pilot/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/bridge_charter_school_students_show_remarkable_gains_in_lets_go_learn_pilot/#When:23:01:09Z45 students in Grade 3 at Bridges Charter School participated in a pilot of Let’s Go Learn’s reading and math solutions. They used DORA and ADAM for pre-assessments and afterwards used our LGL Edge math and reading lessons for between 1 and 2 months.They then completed the pilot with post-assessments. Their gain results are stellar.
45 3rd grade students at Bridges Charter School in Thousand Oaks, recently piloted Let’s Go Learn’s online reading and math diagnostic assessments, reporting, and courses. Students completed pre-assessments and then worked online at school and home on LGL Edge reading and math courses. Teachers then had them complete post-assessments.
In math, the time between the 2 assessments was roughly 2 months. The expected gains would be 0.2 years. Students using LGL Math Edge made overall gains in math at the 0.7 years level in only 2 months time.
In reading, the time between the 2 assessments was roughly 1.5 months, and therefore the expected gains would be 0.15 years. Showing gains in reading in a short period of time is more difficult than in math because the margin of error is greater when measuring reading sub-tests as compared to mathematics. However, students who used LGL Reading Edge courses regularly gained 2 years in word recognition and 1 year in vocabulary.
Teachers who piloted the program described the top four features of the Let's Go Learn's reading and math solutions -- 1) support personalized learning; 2) help improve student learning and skill-building; 3) provide online support for monitoring and tracking student progress; and 4) support parent communication with reporting.
Richard Capone upon learning the pilot results expressed his delight: "We are proud to partner with Bridges Charter School and support their vision of discovery and academic excellence!"2014-06-11T23:01:09+00:00Blended Learning: Just a Buzz or the Real Thing?
http://www.letsgolearn.com/blog/blended_learning_just_a_buzz_or_the_real_thing/
http://www.letsgolearn.com/site/blended_learning_just_a_buzz_or_the_real_thing/#When:00:46:26ZBlended learning has become widely popularized in education circles. Why the recent buzz? We’ve known for a long time that when technology is used in the classroom with traditional instruction, students profit: “A technology-rich school environment motivates students, strengthens their academic and career/technical skills, and helps them relate to the real world” (SRSB Report, 2001).
Recent technology solutions have raised new interest in blended learning as a combination of online and traditional instruction that will allow us to systematically improve student learning. Michael Horn in a Forbes article on blended learning reports: “Millions of students and teachers are using the Khan Academy every month to blend their learning in a variety of ways.” Many teachers are using online instruction as homework or personalized learning opportunities that break the constraints of the traditional school day. Classroom time can then be more effectively spent on projects and constructivist learning opportunities. Student-driven instruction thus becomes a viable option on a large scale.
In his article, Horn focuses on blended learning as a necessary evolution in American education: “... Platforms like the Khan Academy will be a critical way for them [teachers] to free up their time so that they can focus on helping students master higher-order skills through projects and rich discussions and playing the role of mentor, facilitator, and tutor—all critical roles that have too often been lost in our factory-model education system that dehumanizes the time that students and teachers spend together.”
If you're looking for an efficient, effective way to move toward a blended learning model, download our CEO's white paper entitled “The Phases of Blended Learning Initiatives” by liking our facebook page2014-04-23T00:46:26+00:00