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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

- Authored by: Joan Reissman

Curriculum Development, No Razzle Dazzle: Just Substance and Support

by Joan Reissman, Learning Specialist

How JFYNet Online helps teachers through Connected Learning

Software companies like to razzle dazzle you with overwhelming displays of curriculum content. The material is often good, but content alone isn’t effective. It has to be used properly, and most software companies give only limited training, and at steep extra cost. JFYNet takes a different approach. Our software is supported by training and ongoing coaching and support. JFY’s online learning curricula cover math and ELA from grades 6 through 12. Our Learning Specialists help you use our online programs throughout the year so that your students get the most differentiated, customized instruction possible.

JFY’s curriculum development is a core component of our AIMS methodology (Assessment, Instruction, Measurement, Support). This methodology guides and informs our curriculum development with customized tasks and assessments that we design, in consultation with you, specifically for your students’ needs. Do you want to know how much, and exactly what, your students have retained or lost over the six months’ shutdown? JFY can help. Whether your concern is upcoming standardized tests or grade-level skills, JFY learning specialists can design the right assessments for you.

It’s more important than ever this year to assess students so that we can focus on the specific content they need to stay on track toward graduation and post-secondary plans. Many software programs contain built-in assessments, but they are generically designed for a general student population. JFY learning specialists respond to actual teacher and student needs by creating custom assessments and assignments. This is one aspect of our AIMS support. For example, when DESE issued modified “interim” standards last spring, JFY created a new curriculum alignment to match the standards. We are always ready to provide new material when the need arises.

Students are starting the school year with unprecedented challenges, and teachers are going to need information to help them get on track. Students entering high school have always come from different middle schools with different courses and teachers. This year, they haven’t even had a complete 8th grade. You need to know where they are academically. We can create assessments and assignments that will help you see what they’ve learned and what they need to learn.

JFY has twenty years of experience working with schools, standards, assessments, curriculum and tests. Our teacher support in all these areas is the unique JFY difference.

After students take a custom assessment, our learning specialists help teachers with the heart of the program–instruction. Armed with assessment data, JFY creates custom assignments. This is actual data-driven instruction. Whether you want a quiz on specific standards or a homework assignment, your learning specialist will design it for you. Now that all schools are using online learning, it’s more important than ever to have a robust program. Software is more flexible than print: you can choose the exact lesson or questions that you want at the moment to monitor student comprehension. Our custom tasks enable you to assess what students have learned and plan your next lesson. Online learning helps you differentiate instruction. You can vary assignments from student to student to make sure each student is getting what he or she needs. Our math and English programs adapt to every student so that each is working at the appropriate skill level, with accommodations for students that need them.

Teachers need to measure progress constantly during the year. Our software provides formative and summative assessments that show student progress in an accessible and actionable format. This real-time feedback enables teachers to make timely curriculum adjustments so that precious instructional time is not wasted.

JFY learning specialists are always available by email, text and phone to help you refine your curriculum and solve problems. When the shutdown started last spring, JFY teachers continued teaching their classes with the same JFY material they had been using in the classroom. More than 2000 students made the transition from classroom to home without missing a beat. Teachers didn’t need to worry about distributing physical materials or collecting papers– everything was already online. When it is safe, JFY teachers will again have the advantage of a support partner who makes classroom visits. That’s a service software companies don’t provide. Whether onsite or online, the personal connection is what defines our service. JFYNet is not just a product. It’s a long-term partnership.

Check out these resources for some examples of how we can help you and your students.


To learn more about JFYNet’s Connected Learning Solutions click on the button below:JFYNet Connected Learning


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JFYNet reflects on new normal

JFYNet Remote Learning Specialists mull over the New Normal

by Greg, Eileen, Cathie and Joan

Greg Cunningham

On March 16th, the world stopped. Or so it seemed. Restaurants closed, office workers were told to work from home, and going to the grocery store felt like a sequel to The Hunger Games. (I distinctly remember a woman in the deli yelling “I volunteer as tribute” when her number was called.) We were all instructed to stay home where we quickly discovered that Zoom was not just the name of a vintage PBS TV show.

Specialists’ messages to the 2020 graduates

Hats off to the Class of 2020

from Cathie, Eileen, Joan and Greg

Cathie

When I graduated from high school, our class motto was “At this peak we begin climbing.” My message to this year’s graduates is, You have climbed the peak! Congratulations! As you stand there, you look back to your high school days and ahead to all that is before you. This is not the only peak you will climb in your life. You will pass through some valleys, and you will ascend other peaks. Cherish your time in the valleys. It is there that you grow, learn things about yourself, and gain strength to conquer the next peak. As you prepare for that next climb, I wish you a smooth ascent and a beautiful view from the top!

Next Generation ELA: MCAS 2.0, Testing Strategies and Review [WEBINAR]

Preparation for English Language Arts in the Next Gen ELA MCAS

This recorded webinar will provide specific strategies for students to use during online testing, including a review of the technology enhanced format used by the English/Language Arts MCAS test and an explanation on how to make the best use of tools available when answering questions. Strategies are provided to prepare students for the specific types of questions featured on the upcoming English/Language Arts MCAS test.

How to Prepare for the 10th Grade ELA MCAS

Spring MCAS tests just around the corner.

by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

Mid-Winter Spring ELA MCAS
We’ve hardly had a winter, but Spring MCAS tests will be here before you know it. It’s time to start preparing.

There will be two ELA test administrations in March, first the retest and then the regular Spring test. The ELA retests (Composition and Reading Comprehension) start March 2 and go to March 5. They will be the traditional paper version based on the structure of the old Legacy test. That means separate Composition and Reading Comprehension sessions. The Reading Comp sections include multiple choice and constructed response items. Three weeks later, March 24 and 25, students will be taking the new ELA test. This test will be computer based and follow the guidelines for Next-Generation MCAS 2.0.

February Biology MCAS

If eligible, don’t wait till June

by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

If you are eligible to take the Biology MCAS in February, you should definitely consider doing it. As with any test required for graduation, you want to give yourself as many chances as possible to pass. The February test (Feb. 5 and 6) will be a legacy test—the old MCAS. That means the questions will be based on the 2006 standards (which overlap with the 2016 standards) and it will be paper based, not online. If you don’t take this test now, you will have to wait until June. Then you’ll be running into finals and all the distractions of the end of the school year. Why not take it now if you are eligible?

The teacher must be sensitive to the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

Every educator is familiar with differentiated instruction and blended learning. We are bombarded by multiple options for digital learning. There is a glut of high-quality digital content, but do we know how best to use it to serve the needs of our students and make learning accessible for everyone? As teachers, we want students to be engaged and build foundational skills. One of the best ways to engage students is to deepen differentiated instruction with personalized learning.

Summertime Studytime

Math and English Review

by Joan Reissman, MCAS Maven

GPA ON THE LINE

The weather is finally nice. You’re sick of school. Going to the beach and hanging out with friends seems like a great idea. After ten months of stuffy classrooms, the last thing you want to think about is next school year. I hear you! You can have fun! But, if you use just a little of your precious summer time to do some studying, you will hit the ground running in September (or August). A little preparation over the summer can really pay off when you head back to class in the fall.