College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Authors Posts by JFY Networks

JFY Networks

96 POSTS 5 COMMENTS

0 54
Online Study Apps to Help You SUCCEED IN COLLEGE

Digital assistance in Math and English

Improving Accuplacer scores is a worthwhile idea regardless of remediation policies, because it signifies improved foundation skills. Tests like Accuplacer are not just arbitrary exercises: they measure the skills required for an academic or vocational pursuit. Math and English are the foundation skills. In recent weeks we posted two blogs addressing the importance of being ready for the Accuplacer no matter the version. One post highlighted the MATH component while the other focused on ENGLISH. In both cases we shared various online tools, that if used with consistency, will most assuredly help a student improve Accuplacer scores. Here is a compilation of the online resources.

But before you start, it’s a good idea to run through a practice test. Familiarizing yourself with test questions is helpful and can be an easy way to boost your score a few points.

ACCUPLACER Classic: Sample Questions for Students

This covers:

  • Sentence Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing Effectiveness
  • Arithmetic
  • Elementary Algebra
  • College Level Mathematics
  • ESL Reading Skills and Language

ANSWER KEY included

ACCUPLACER Next Generation: Practice and Preparedness

ENGLISH

IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY
WORD OF THE DAY available on Google Play and Apple Store

CREATE YOUR OWN FLASH CARDS
QUIZLET: Improve your grades by studying with flashcards, games and more.

READ the NEWS
NEW YOUR TIMES online or the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Try reading a variety of articles- news, science, business and entertainment. You get 10 free articles a month on each device for the New York Times or most newspapers, but BBC News and CNN give you unlimited access. After you finish an article, summarize what you just read. Make sure you are reading actively.

WORK on READING COMPREHENSION
ME STUDYING READING FOR COLLEGE SUCCESS and READ COMPREHENSION HIGH SCHOOL.

GRAMMAR: low cost apps
1800 ENGLISH GRAMMAR QUESTIONS – This app provides grammar tests and corrects your answers.

Another good option is ENGLISH GRAMMAR BOOK – This app will give you many choices by level or by topic.

MATHEMATICS

COMPREHENSIVE FREE MATH PROGRAM

EDREADY, it gives you an initial diagnostic test to guide your study path. After you finish your test, you can go to the study path and choose what you want to study. (This program is not available as an app, but you can use the browser-based version on your phone.)

VISUAL ASSIST with MATH PROBLEMS

Free app called PHOTOMATH. You just take a picture of your math problem and it provides detailed step-by-step solutions. You can also access the browser-based version.

SOCRATIC MATH & HOMEWORK HELP: Socratic Math & Homework Help is accessible on your browser.

OTHER MATH APPS THAT MAY BE of INTEREST

CK-12: A great free app is ck-12. This app has many subjects and offers activities for students with different learning styles. In each topic there are exercises, videos, games and free textbook excerpts. You can also use this on your computer found here.

DRAGONBOX: One of the best low-cost game apps is DragonBox Algebra 12+ ($7.99). This app uses games and puzzles to teach algebra. Students can work through a variety of topics and have some fun while studying. To buy this app, go to the app store on your phone. You can also use your computer to study by clicking here.

KING of MATH: Another popular free or cheap app is King of Math. There is a free version and a full version for $2.99. This app also uses games to build math skills. The topics cover basic review through pre-algebra. This app could be a good starting point. It is designed for a younger audience, but you may have fun with the content. You can also use it for free in the browser-based version.

VARSITY TUTORS: For comprehensive multiple-choice practice, try High School Math Practice by Varsity Tutors. The app is free, and it can help you build your skills or prepare for a specific test. This app offers many diagnostic tests and practice in all areas of high school math. You can also use this program on your computer by clicking here.

The skills you build now will have both immediate and long-term benefits. Studying is an investment in your future.

ORIGINAL BLOG POSTS:

Part 1 of this 2-part series found here: How to Succeed in College by Really Trying: Summer Study for the Accuplacer (Part 1)

Part 2 of this 2-part series found here: Mathematics in the Summer? How to Succeed in College by Really Trying (Part 2)


JFYNet’s website offers links to a variety of sites maintained by third parties. In accessing these sites, you are leaving the JFYNet website. These links are offered only for use at your own discretion. JFYNet does not provide, and is not responsible for, the product, service, or overall website content available on third-party sites. JFYNet does not represent either you or the third-party site in any transaction you enter into with the third-party site. JFYNet‘s privacy and security polices do not apply to linked websites. You should consult the privacy disclosures and security policies on each third-party site for further information. Third-party websites may provide less security than JFYNet‘s website.

0 109
Summer Study for Math

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

My last blog post discussed the fact that students don’t understand the connection between Accuplacer scores and remedial college courses until they meet with an advisor and see how many non-credit-bearing courses they will have to take. Although some colleges allow a good high school GPA to substitute for remedial math courses, using high school courses as a proxy is much more common for English than math. It’s generally easier to study English on your own than math, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your math skills. You may not be pursuing a STEM major, but you will still need to take math courses. Not only do you need basic math skills for everyday living, but you will need math skills for many majors including accounting, trades and social sciences. Keep in mind that the skills you build now are the foundation of success in college.

Start with a basic self-assessment

Where do your test results place you? What skills do you need to build? How much time do you want to commit? First, analyze your scores. If your elementary algebra score is low, some schools will require you to take the basic arithmetic test. Most schools give algebra first and some skip arithmetic entirely. Once you get your scores, meet with a counselor and see what you need to do to improve. Make sure you are familiar with your college’s rules for your major. Some schools have different requirements for STEM versus non-STEM majors. If your algebra score is not too far from the cutoff, see if you can just re-take it. A little study could save you a lot of time and money. You really have to know your school’s specific requirements, because they differ from school to school.

Another thing to check is which version of the Accuplacer your school is using, and when. The Accuplacer is changing this academic year. The current Accuplacer, now called “classic,” will be available until January 28, 2019, but many schools will begin using the new “Next-Generation” Accuplacer tests in the fall of 2018. You probably took the old “classic” version this past spring. The Next-Generation tests are more difficult, so you might want to study up and re-take the “classic” this fall while you still can.

My advice for test review is the same as in my last post about building English skills. If you don’t have a lot of time, familiarizing yourself with test questions is an easy way to boost your score. There are two ways to practice the test. To take Classic Accuplacer tests this summer or early fall, click here to review sample questions. But if you are taking the Next-Generation tests, click here and select each subject for sample next generation questions. For a more analytical approach, use the free study app for students, login and sign up for free practice. This app will give you a diagnostic test which will analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You will have two choices: just do the practice test, or learn as you go. I advise students to choose the “learn as you go” option to get immediate feedback and detailed explanations. Then repeat the test in the sample test mode.

There are many resources to help you build your math skills

NROC’s EdReady is a comprehensive free math program. This program is not available as an app, but you can use the browser-based version on your phone. The first thing you do in EdReady is choose your goal. Your choice guides your study path. If you have made a final decision on a school, you can see if the software provides a specific path for your college. Otherwise, you can select from several paths. If you just want to concentrate on building general skills for college, select College Readiness. You can also select exam-specific paths such as Common Placement exams, SAT or ACT.

For any of these choices, EdReady gives you an initial diagnostic test to guide your study path. After you finish your test, you can go to the study path and choose what you want to study. If you feel that you already have mastered a topic, you can skip the presentation, review, and practice and try to test out of it. You may get stuck on a topic, but keep at it. If you have a friend who likes math, ask that person for help if you get stuck. Another way to get help is a free app called Photomath. You just take a picture of your math problem and it provides detailed step-by-step solutions. You can also access the browser-based version here. Another free app that works the same way is Socratic Math & Homework Help accessible on your browser. These apps will help when you get stuck, but don’t rely on the problem solver apps too much. Reasoning and application are essential components of building math skills, so try to figure out the problem on your own first.

There are many free or inexpensive apps you can download on your phone.

Summer Study for Math

ck-12

A great free app is ck-12. This app has many subjects and offers activities for students with different learning styles. In each topic there are exercises, videos, games and free textbook excerpts. You can also use this on your computer found here.

DragonBox

One of the best low-cost game apps is DragonBox Algebra 12+ ($7.99). This app uses games and puzzles to teach algebra. Students can work through a variety of topics and have some fun while studying. To buy this app, go to the app store on your phone. You can also use your computer to study by clicking here.

King of Math

Another popular free or cheap app is King of Math. There is a free version and a full version for $2.99. This app also uses games to build math skills. The topics cover basic review through pre-algebra. This app could be a good starting point. It is designed for a younger audience, but you may have fun with the content. You can also use it for free in the browser-based version.

Varsity Tutors

For comprehensive multiple choice practice, try High School Math Practice by Varsity Tutors. The app is free and it can help you build your skills or prepare for a specific test. This app offers many diagnostic tests and practice in all areas of high school math. You can also use this program on your computer by clicking here.

Studying math on your own can be difficult, but there are some guidelines

First of all, be honest with yourself about what you need to work on. Do you think you understand slope, but you still get the wrong answer? You may understand the equation but your incorrect answer might be due to a weakness in signed numbers. Check the equation on a calculator and see if your answer is correct. Then analyze your error to see where you are making mistakes. You want to build your foundation skills so you can advance. Don’t skip any steps.

Studying math is like building a house: you have to start on the ground floor. Make sure your study environment is distraction-free. You may like to study with music, but math requires very intense concentration. If you’re rapping along, you might not be getting the full benefit of the instruction. Some students actually study better with music, but you should still practice studying in silence. In college, there will be many times when you are taking a test and you won’t have access to music, so get used to working without it. Constant practice is very important. It is more beneficial to study a shorter amount of time and have sessions more frequently. If you only study once or twice a week, your progress will be slower because you will have to spend time reviewing. You can also try listening to the demonstrations in your online study program. Listen to the concept explanation, look at the equation and pause the lecture. Try working through the problem on your own before watching the solution. Compare your process to the demonstration so you can identify where you’re having problems. Finally, give yourself a reward after you’ve done a certain amount of studying. You deserve it!

Learning math might seem like an insurmountable task, but don’t get discouraged. There are so many online options, you just have to find the program that works best for you. Regular practice is your best friend. The skills you build now will have both immediate and long term benefits. Studying is an investment in your future. Take my word for it.


Part 1 of this 2-part series found here: How to Succeed in College by Really Trying: Summer Study for the Accuplacer (Part 1)

0 53

Sometimes We Need to Be Reminded…
… that our schools are full of great kids, hard-working and creative teachers, overworked and underappreciated administrators, and effective programs.

Read more about some of these outstanding people, schools and communities in our series: Spotlighting JFYNetWorks Partner Schools… July 2018 edition.

0 184
School’s Out—Sort Of

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

’No more pencils no more books, No more teacher’s …’

It’s July and I’m hearing the Alice Cooper song “School’s Out for Summer! “ in my head.

I’ve finished up my work in the schools for the year. Tenth graders took their MCAS tests and seniors took the Accuplacer tests in English and math. Their scores were sent to colleges for placement in courses. Testing was pretty much all I did in May and June. It was frustrating trying to work with the seniors who had mentally already left school despite their physical presence in the building. Every time I thought I was done, there was another teacher asking if I could come one more day to test students who were absent or did not do well the first time and needed scores sent to colleges. I always say yes because I wish my seniors well in their next endeavors, college, work, or the military.

0 1560
Summer Study for Accuplacer

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

Many students don’t understand the connection between Accuplacer scores and their immediate future.

They may not see any connection until they meet with an admissions counselor and find out how many remedial courses they have to take. Although some community colleges are now waiving remedial math courses based on certain high school GPA levels, many institutions still require a minimum Accuplacer score for math and all still require it for English classes. Improving Accuplacer scores is a worthwhile idea regardless of remediation policies, because it signifies improved foundation skills. Tests like Accuplacer are not just arbitrary exercises: they measure the skills required for an academic or vocational pursuit. Math and English are the foundation skills. Today, let’s look at some strategies for improving English skills. (Part II will deal with math.)

0 753
Math is a language. Let’s teach it.

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

For English Language Learners (ELL), mastering English is the key to success in all subjects. When we teach students who are struggling with math, we must take into account their skill level in English as well. This presents challenges in the blended learning classroom, because in order to benefit from individualized work in math, ELL students often need language support.

0 161
jfynet partner school 2018 grads

Congratulations to these all of the JFYNet Partner Schools… it has been our honor to help you on your way.

East Boston HS Valedictorian Ooviya Sathiyamoorthy’s 2018 Valedictory Address

I hope as my name-Ooviya-means “portrait” that you carry your names with awareness and respect for who you all are, because framed portraits can be beautiful, but when left to an unguarded world, they can become crooked too. I’m sure I’m quite the crooked-looking portrait… Click here to read the entire address.

0 729
Power of Speech: Public SPeaking increases Confidence

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

By now you’ve surely seen them, heard them, admired them. The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have been vocal, organized and poised when facing adulation or opposition. Their public speaking has been so good they’ve been accused of being actors. They have not played the typical role of victim. They’re not trolling for sympathy; they’re calling for action.

0 629
College Acceptance Letter - Springtime waiting angst

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

It’s springtime, when students check their email and mailboxes for those letters from colleges. Everyone knows a thick packet means acceptance and a letter-size envelope means rejection. The wait is fraught.

0 363
JFYNetWorks awarded $100,000 Cummings Foundation grant

BOSTON, JUNE 01, 2018 – JFYNetWorks is one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s “$100K for 100” program. The Boston-based organization was chosen from a total of 597 applicants through a competitive review process. Cummings Foundation has announced a total of $20 million in grants to Greater Boston charities in the past two months.