Maintaining Learning Continuity in Liwa International School for Girls

Liwa International School for Girls is an American Curriculum school that has invested in digital solutions to improve the quality of teaching and learning that are taking place in all subjects. It is a K-12 school with a predominantly Emirati or Arabic-speaking cohort. English is, therefore, an additional language for the majority of their learners.

 

Liwa International School for Girls Logo

 

Kate Hutchinson, Head of EYFS and Elementary, and Shakila Mohammed, Assistant Principal for Early Years and Elementary, were both looking for a package that would help them improve attainment results in Maths, English, and Language Arts. They decided to invest in Exact Path and it is having a significant impact which has exceeded their original expectations.

Kate explains, “this initiative has been used across the whole school and we are seeing significant improvements in attainment results. It has become the main resource for Maths, Reading and Language Arts and has improved upon and replaced many pre-existing resources that were being used and the fact that they are all sign-posted and collated within one resource is brilliant and saves preparation time.”

Shakila has been impressed with Exact Path and says “it has helped to improve parental engagement and students are coming into school early to be part of it. It has brought parents, teachers and students together. Parent demonstration videos were created and success challenges for both students and teachers have added competition and driven usage.”

Kate and Shakila have both seen huge improvements in attainment throughout the year. Exact Path uses diagnostic data (which can be your MAP results) to identify learning gaps. It then provides students with engaging lessons by using animated videos to explain skills and knowledge. It reinforces this instruction by enabling students to practise the new skills and knowledge before assessing them with a Mastery Quiz and a Progress Check. At all stages, it gives feedback to the students and provides live reporting to the teacher so that they can monitor progress and intervene where necessary. It provides live formative assessment data which is updated continuously and adapts as your students make progress.

Kate and her staff use Exact Path within lessons to assess new material as part of station rotations and catch-up courses. Some children arrive in school at 7am to use it as part of catch-up programmes, “it is firmly embedded into our schemes of work and lesson plans and has become a key component of our teaching, learning and improvement strategies. We have ‘buddying’ schemes, super users, student and teacher challenges and have created drop-in rooms where students can work on the program.”

It was very effective when ‘normal’ teaching and learning were occurring but Shakila has been very impressed by its use and effectiveness during distance learning, “it has enabled us to transition easily to distance learning and teachers can monitor formative assessments remotely and intervene through Zoom synchronous lessons. We have just set up our student summer challenges within it and hope that this will maintain the growth they have seen and limit any summer learning loss.”

Both Kate and Shakila confirm that Exact Path has enabled them to personalize learning, improve attainment and maintain learning continuity”.

 

WEBINAR

Join Kate and Shakila on 28th July at 12pm BST as Liwa International School for Girls host a webinar discussing how they have implemented Exact Path and the impacts it has had.

If you would like to learn more, please sign up for the webinar here. 

 

 

Creating Motivated and Confident Learners by Celebrating Success

Do you remember when you were at school and you would receive a reward for doing great work? We probably all remember a time when this happened to us and we had a sense of bursting pride from it. This also helped with our confidence, instilled more of a love of learning, and may even have led to what we do as a job now.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at why we should be celebrating success in the classroom, as well as strategies for doing so, without taking away from that all-important teacher time.

Why We Should Celebrate Success…

To Help Students See That Hard Work Leads to Growth

There needs to be a move away from the thinking that achievement can be based on either ability, others around us or plain good luck. Effort is significant too. Although this is already widely understood, we should be rewarding this over anything to motivate our students. Focusing on this as a tool that underpins achievement will help with students seeing the value of working hard and will help them with putting more effort into their work, which in turn, will improve their outcomes and growth.

To Instil a Love of Learning

You can help your students grow in confidence in so many areas by celebrating their accomplishments. Besides, what’s better to build confidence than being told you’re doing well?

To Motivate Learners with Their Studies

Praise is a major driver in motivating students to work hard and do well. But we need to make sure we’re giving praise that is helpful. We can do this by making sure it’s sincere and genuine, specific and descriptive, to ensure students know where they have done well, but also realistic, so it focuses on specific behaviors.

How We Should Celebrate Success…

Celebrating success must be done well for students to really benefit from its impact. Consider implementing the following into your praise:

  • Focus on the hard work and effort rather than just the achievement when praising students.
  • Make sure you clearly point out who is being celebrated and the reason why.
  • Give more background information about performance.
  • Make sure praise is transparent and varied.

Strategies for Celebrating Success

It’s true that there are many schools with their own Behaviour Policy in place that details rewards or what to do when there’s negative behaviour. However, it may be worth reviewing some of this policy to help with motivation and creating confident learners.

Create Postcards for Parents/Carers

This is a personal reward, but you could send home postcards to say “well done” for something – this will help engagement and the home school link. You can make these yourself and print them out. Sometimes, students won’t come home and shout about their successes, so these are a great idea for you to do something to show great work.

Share Any Successes on Social Media

Does your class or school have a social media page? We know these are very popular! You could post photos or messages of your students’ work to show parents and celebrate success; this is a great way of improving parental engagement and quickly sharing fantastic work with a wider audience too.

Set Up a Special Treat or Lunch

When your whole class has done fantastic work, as a special reward, at lunch, you could give your students passes, or Golden Tickets, to a separate table and maybe even have teachers serve them ! This will make them feel very special and set them apart from their peers – plus, other students will see which will inspire them to want to try and aim for that treat too!

Don’t forget that on Exact Path, you can also set up Challenges which mean you can put a ‘special lunch’ as a reward for skills completed or time spent on learning paths. Our report from Century Analytics shows that students who complete just eight lessons on Exact Path demonstrate significant growth, so this is a great way to improve outcomes.

Celebrating success is a great idea for so many reasons – success looks different for every student, so taking time to highlight this can help with motivation, confidence and class morale. So how do you celebrate success in your classroom? Let us know in the comments below.

You’ve Identified the Gaps, What Do You Do Now?

Let’s imagine you’ve identified your students’ learning gaps from a diagnostic assessment. What are your next steps to provide personalized learning and best support each student in your class to help them improve their understanding?

One of our solutions, EducationCity, could be the answer! Let’s dig deeper in how you’ll able to deliver a personalized learning approach…

MyCity on EducationCity

MyCity enables you to create an individualized lesson plan so you can monitor progression and support intervention, saving you valuable time in planning lessons.

What are the benefits?

  • Additional Help: Address misconceptions so you’ll able to provide extra support for students (identified from the Assessment Report).
  • Support Different Abilities: Set different work for groups of students’ depending on their capability.
  • Track Progress: Easily identify areas of weakness and learning gaps using the tracking tab within the MyCity, as well as seeing who has completed work, what’s still in progress and what hasn’t been started.

MyRevision on EducationCity

When students score less than 100% on an assessment, a MyRevision Journal is created, which includes a range of resources to build students’ knowledge on the topic they may be struggling with.

What are the benefits?

  • Revision Pathway: A MyRevision is personalized for each student, targeting areas of improvement identified from the diagnostic assessment.
  • Boosts Progress: Improve students’ understanding on a concept, reinforcing knowledge taught in the classroom before the assessment.

Grouping Students’ on EducationCity

Group students by any criteria you choose, so you can create similar ability groups for targeted learning or even mixed ability groups to encourage students to support one another.

What are the benefits?

  • Adapt Learning: Set particular work for each group within a MyCity to support with targeted learning.
  • Keeping Track of Groups’: Monitor progress in SuccessTracker and MyCity to keep track of where your teaching methods need to be adapted.
  • Intervention: Noticed some students need extra practice? Set specific Groups practice in a certain subject area in MyCity to do in class or at home.

Home Access with EducationCity

Home access enables students to continue learning away from home and over the holidays, enabling the child’s parents to monitor their progress and step in if needed.

What are the benefits?

  • Automated Marking: Within SuccessTracker and MyCity’s Tracking tab, you can see your students’ results from automatically marked activities and assessments, saving you valuable time so you can focus on other areas of teaching.
  • Personalized Learning: Allocate specific content to students in a MyCity so you know they are providing homework appropriate to their needs.

Being able to effectively monitor growth during a child’s educational journey is important, so you can celebrate their achievements, especially if they have overcome a misconception barrier. Identifying learning gaps as soon as possible is key in being able to put steps in place for improvement.

If you’d like to explore the features mentioned above for yourself, simply sign in here. Alternatively, if your school doesn’t have EducationCity, get in touch with our team to set you up with some free access.

How to Use Data Visualization

What misconceptions do you come across in your class? Have you spotted learning gaps? These are the challenges we want to try and help overcome with EducationCity’s Assessment Report.

Before we explore the solutions to any misconceptions you may have come across, take a sneak preview into the How to Use Data Visualization pack. This includes how they report on EducationCity can help you identify learning gaps, and where misconceptions have occurred. Click the button below to download the pack.

Why do misconceptions occur?

A misconception is a misunderstanding of a view or opinion that is perceived inaccurately. Sometimes students may find it hard to grasp ideas or concepts covered in class.

They may perform best in different areas of their learning, for example, some students may be stronger in certain subjects than others or perform better in assessments. Some steps can be put in place to support students in fully understanding the underlying concepts, enabling you to measure their success and growth.

How can misconceptions be addressed?

Instructional support (scaffolding) can be used to help students master a new task or keep up with more advanced learners. Examples of scaffolding strategies using technological aids and being part of learning groups that pool students’ knowledge to support one another.

Performance feedback either from peers or a teacher ensures students who are mastering new academic skills have frequent opportunities to try these skills out with immediate feedback and encouragement. Effective guidance will only help students grow in their abilities!

Make the lesson relatable with students ‘Talk-Through’ Activities. When students appear to have successfully learned a skill, set up activities for them to complete and ask the students to ‘talk’ through the activity, e.g., each step that they are taking, describe their problem-solving strategies aloud, describe any problems they may come across and how they will solve them. This will not only make students feel more confident but help to address any gaps in learning where intervention may be needed.

So, now we’ve discovered how misconceptions can be resolved, how can EducationCity’s Assessment Report help?

Once you know what areas within the topic have been misunderstood, you can then start to personalize your lessons to help your students’ understanding.

Whilst it’s important you manage students’ progress, it’s also beneficial for students to track their learning progress too. Following an assessment, a Revision Journal is automatically generated if the student scores less than 100%. The revision contains Activities and Learn Screens to offer additional support. This means that whilst a student is completing their work, they can keep track of their scores as the content is automatically marked. This takes the time you would spend for marking out of your hands!

In the example below from an Assessment Report, you can see that Alanna answered a question incorrectly, where she had to complete the number sentence. Her peers, Alex and Amelia, got this correct, so this is a good opportunity for group work to help Alanna fill this learning gap.

Aaron didn’t attempt that same question, nor a few of the others that fall under the number sequences objective, so it could be he struggled with this area of the assessment. You could personalize learning and address these areas of weakness by creating a MyCity with the content on number sequences and patterns for some revision and practice.

Whether you have students struggling in your class who need that additional bit of support or reinforcement on a topic, there are several ways misconceptions can be addressed using EducationCity.

If you’d like to explore the Assessment Report for yourself, simply sign in. Alternatively, if your school doesn’t have EducationCity, get in touch with our team to set you up with some free access.

 

Benefits of Assessment Types & How They Work Together to Support Your Instruction

As you’re probably already aware, assessing students’ understanding and attainment can be done in many ways. This could be from self-evaluation and student interviews to formative and summative assessments. All techniques have their place in the classroom. Using a combination of these will create a holistic picture which can really help you understand exactly where your students are at.

Let’s take more of a look into formative and summative assessments and discuss how they can play a part in helping your students grow their knowledge and skills.

All about summative assessment

Summative assessment is normally carried out at the end of a year or term, and its purpose is to evaluate a students’ learning of a topic/topics over that time period.

Summative assessment helps you as a teacher to evaluate your students’ progress from whichever starting point you have identified. It also supports you with identifying gaps between students’ understanding and learning objectives to decide how best to move forward with your instruction.

Here are some methods of summative assessment

End-of-unit exams – where students take a formal exam to evaluate understanding.

Portfolio/cumulative work – where students complete work over a longer period of time and put it together into one piece of work to demonstrate understanding.

Standardized tests – such as those that are administered to show school results.

All about formative assessment

You might say that formative assessment is more diagnostic and informal than summative assessment. It is designed to give ongoing feedback on a subject area to help you adjust your teaching and learning methods as you go.

Feedback from formative assessments can help give both you and your students an idea of where they’re at and what extra support they might need. Many formative methods fit quickly and simply into daily classroom life, and whilst some feedback may be recorded, on-the-spot feedback allows misconceptions to be identified and addressed in the moment.

Here are some methods of formative assessment

Quizzes – these can be created by students or yourself. Ask students questions, and allow them to work through incorrect answers as a class so they can gain a better understanding of how to get to the correct answer.

In-class clicker systems – students use clickers to answer multiple choice questions to check for mastery in the class.

Cumulative presentations – after a subject area has been taught, you could task students with creating a presentation so you can see their thoughts and understanding.

Linking summative and formative assessment

Sometimes there isn’t really a clear line between formative and summative assessment and they can be done in very similar ways.

The main difference between the two, however, is that formative assessment is part of the instructional process and helps you inform changes for your teaching methods. Summative assessment helps see where students are at in their learning.

Mainly though, they are both ways to assess students, and are ideal for giving students feedback. They inform instructional changes too, as well as adjust future lesson planning, and sometimes, even the curriculum offered in schools.

Why is assessment important

Ultimately, both assessment types are important to a students’ learning progress and both look to help students with an end result – improving their understanding and helping them succeed.

It could be said, though, that you should spend as much time on formative assessment as summative. Both are really valuable for students’ success with their progress and understanding.

With both methods, you can help your students succeed, as well as get insights into their progress and where they are with targets or learning goals. This is why your school’s learning program should consider both, in addition to any other strategies you may use.

Connecting the Dots with EducationCity’s Assessment & Reporting Features

We’ve launched some exciting changes on EducationCity recently, to support our journey to becoming an integrated assessment and curriculum content resource.

As part of our 20th year providing educational resources to schools worldwide with EducationCity, we’ve added to our offering and ever-growing bank of resources. We’ve been busy looking into how we can support teachers with their time and challenges. This is where, with teacher feedback, we started our assessment journey.

As part of this journey, we undertook some user testing on assessments with a research company called Schoolzone. From this, we found that 97% of respondents said our assessments are pitched correctly for age-related expectations. Also, 98% said our assessments are appropriate preparation for standardized testing.

With this feedback in mind, we expanded our range of assessments which involved our team of educators writing over 4,000 new assessment questions. These were all curriculum-linked and with the view to helping teachers with providing more personalized support. Alongside this too, we also had the view of helping them with identifying gaps and saving time with differentiation.

Depending on which curriculum you’re following, we’ve added assessments in all year groups and these include:

EducationCity Assessments

 

Also, we have a number of different types of assessments as you can see, which we explain below.

EducationCity Assessment

Formative Assessments

These are available in maths and English and are ideal for helping you to gauge where your students are in their understanding. When your students take these, you can adjust instruction and planned teaching and learning activities to adapt to your students’ understanding.

Summative Assessments

Appearing in maths, English and science, our summative assessments are ideal for the end of the year so you can get a full picture of your students’ understanding and evidence for end of year reporting.

Unit Assessments

Unit assessments are currently available in maths and aimed at testing students’ understanding of individual concepts. These aregreat for checking whether your class is ready to move on to the next concept you plan to teach, and which students might need a bit more support to get there.

Revision Journals

When formative and unit assessments are taken, a Revision Journal is generated for a student which is ideal for addressing any misconceptions and is great for remedial work. It pulls together resources to support them on weaker areas identified in the assessment.

Revision Journal

Reducing Teacher Workload with the Assessment Report

Our new Assessment Report can be found in SuccessTracker. Let’s go over a few ways the data from assessments taken by students can help you manage individual students’ learning.

Assessment Report

Identify Gaps to Support Intervention

The Assessment Report allows you to see misconceptions and gaps in understanding at a glance.

Broken down by objective and question, you’ll be able to see which students answered correctly and incorrectly, as well as the answers they gave. This is all done in real-time so you’ll get results instantly. From here, you can also easily decide which students need further intervention, and what support they might need to master a concept.

Differentiate Learning Easily

Finding time to differentiate learning is the eternal teaching challenge, and the Assessment Report can take some of the work out of that.

Clicking on any question allows you to easily group students based on their level of understanding. It’s great for re-teaching or just grouping students together to do some peer teaching. This is a great tool if you’re using blended learning in your classroom. Particularly if you work with a station rotation model, you can support students who may need it, ask students to work on their Revision Journal or instruct your students to peer teach as well.

Rewarding Your Students for Their Success

If your students score higher than the minimum score set in Preferences, they’ll be able to print a certificate to celebrate their achievement (you’ll also be able to print one out in SuccessTracker).

Certificate

These developments are only the beginning of our journey! We’re now looking to create teacher-generated assessments where you can build your own assessments, as well as adapting our reporting areas even further to support you, and creating Revision Journals which are adaptive and support development in foundational skills.

All this with the purpose of supporting you with saving time and helping you gain valuable insights to support your instruction. Our developments help connect the dots between instruction and learning, assist with ability grouping and inform lesson planning.

We’ll be talking more about our assessment and reporting developments next year, so keep an eye out for more!

Here’s Our December Release Update on EducationCity…

In our latest release, we’ll share some pieces of content we’ve added to EducationCity, tell you about our latest update to assessments and share our new E-safety bundle with you. Take a read to find out more…

Whilst there’s over 50 pieces of content heading your way, we asked our EducationCity Education Team for their favorite pieces of content from this release. Try the content out for yourself by searching the content ID number in the Search bar.

LKS2 Science Learn Screen

“Seasons to Be Cheerful is a new ‘explore’ style Learn Screen for Year 1. The engaging images are full of ideas for discussion about each of the seasons, and the interactive style allows for easily navigable access to all the content.” Kerry Wilkinson, Assistant Educational Content Developer and former Deputy Headteacher

Seasons to be Cheerful (#41851): Observing changes in a scene through the different seasons.

What else should I know about this Learn Screen?

This Learn Screen is interactive and offers an element of choice for students to explore the different seasons, either on their own or as a whole class activity. It’s perfect for KS1 children, especially when learning about seasonal changes and opens up discussion as to why we wear thicker clothes in winter or why the leaves change color in autumn?

LKS2 English Video

“Class Act is another of our comprehension pieces of content in our new video format: it focuses on listening to and discussing poetry. Class Act uses an original and bespoke poem aimed at LKS2.” Jane Wardle, Educational Content Developer and writer

Class Act (#41899): Listen to and discuss poems.

What else should I know about this Video?

Class Act includes original text and follows a “listen and learn” theme where students are asked questions related to the text after they have read/listened to the story. This Learn Screen could be used as a class discussion, as you could pause it in between the story to ask students’ thoughts or at the end, to recognize who has understood the text. Perfect for building students’ confidence to read aloud!

UKS2 E-Safety Video

“Online Gaming is an ‘explore’ style Learn Screen for 9-11 year olds. It celebrates the positives of online gaming as a creative space where children can come together and interact, alongside advice on how to behave and stay safe when in an online environment.” Elizabeth Edmonds, Educational Content Developer and teacher

Online Gaming (#42169): Staying safe when playing games online.

What else should I know about this Learn Screen?

 This particular Learn Screen demystifies technology and explores topical issues related to Internet safety, online gaming and how students interact with others online. It’s user-friendly for both teachers and children and covers all areas of exploring the Internet.

That’s not all…

E-Safety Bundle

This December release sees the arrival of the new e-safety bundle to EducationCity. It is designed to enable children to safely access the enriching opportunities the Internet has to offer, with a whole host of brand new content on hand.

Some of the topics that the content covers are:

  • The impact of electronic devices and sleep.
  • Fear of missing out (FOMO).
  • The differences between face-to-face and electronic communication.
  • The relationship between your online and offline self.

To find the new bundle, simply head to Computing, select any year group and you’ll find the e-safety content there.

 There’s more to come with e-safety, so keep your eyes peeled!

To see all of the new content, simply sign in and search for the content with the IDs provided above. Alternatively, if your school doesn’t have EducationCity, sign up for a free trial.

We Hope You Have a Lovely Holiday!

Can you believe we’re well into December already? We think this year has gone super fast! Before we say goodbye and see you soon, we have a little something to share with you…

As it’s the holiday period, we wanted to share our festive e-card with you all…

Click on the button below to view the e-card.

 

Well, that’s all for now! We hope you have a lovely break and we’ll see you in 2020!

Introduce Topics & Reinforce Understanding with EducationCity’s Learn Screens

Lesson planning can be time consuming, especially when you want to be providing each student individualized learning across the whole classroom environment.

This is where we want to help you out! In this blog, we’re going to focus on how one of Edmentum International’s solutions, EducationCity, can support you with managing your workload.

Not too familiar with EducationCity? Let us tell you a little more…

EducationCity introduces a wealth of teacher resources online, to help you plan for targeted instruction, and to help pinpoint specific classroom objectives, giving you more time to do what you do best… teach.

Introducing Learn Screens

Example of EducationCityLearn Screens within EducationCity are a great tool to engage your whole class in introducing a new topic on a projector or interactive smart board and can be assigned to individual students to support intervention.

They are designed to introduce an objective or concept in an engaging video to glossary format… a bit like an animated slideshow. Each Learn Screen utilizes the familiar EducationCity characters, who grow with students as they progress through their early years and primary years, in a student-friendly, real-life scenario to explore a topic.

How can Learn Screens support students’ learning?

  • Helps with grasping topics and is useful when supporting the understanding of a concept. They take students through each objective step-by-step, and they are engaging and colourful, so they’re great for learning with.
  • They support mastery of concepts because students can go through them at their own pace – perfect for understanding concepts and for test preparation!
  • With audio and text reinforcement they are fantastic to use within an EAL program.

Want to explore Learn Screens? Sign in to your EducationCity account to give them a go for yourself and see how they’re great for introducing a new topic.

December & January Opening Hours

We wanted to let you know about our opening hours over the holidays. The Edmentum International Team’s office will be closing on 23rd December at 15:30pm GMT and will be reopening on 6th January at 7am GMT.

We’re sorry if we cause any inconvenience with this but please be assured that we will return to the office and will be ready to support you with any questions in 2020.

From all the team here at Edmentum International, we would like to wish you a wonderful holiday and hope to speak to you when we’re back!