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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

Online Learning

Unexpected Lessons of the Pandemic

by Joan Reissman

What We Learned and How Students Benefited

Nobody’s saying the pandemic has been easy. Many families have suffered terrible losses. People have lost loved ones, jobs, homes. Students have felt isolated and disengaged. They’ve missed interaction with their peers. Teachers have felt overwhelmed trying to manage online and in-person students at the same time, forced to do an academic juggling act. But even though the pandemic has exposed many systemic problems, there have been surprising success stories, and some teachers and students have flourished during this time.

Visible Learning for Accelerated Achievement

by Eileen Wedegartner

How language and mindset empower teachers and impact students

In 2016, I enrolled in a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement class for teachers offered by the state. The professor mentioned two books by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie, one for ELA and the other for mathematics. I bought the ELA book, Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12: Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning.

Remote learning boosts Kingsman student achievement

by Joan Reissman

A resourceful school turns pandemic necessity into academic virtue

The past 14 months of virus disruption have produced a mediastorm about the many difficulties faced by teachers and students forced to practice remote and hybrid learning, and the resulting learning loss or unfinished learning. Teachers have had to perform a juggling act every time they step into the classroom or log into Zoom. Many commentators have declared remote learning a frustrating failure. But not all users of the medium agree. I have worked this year with a school that figured out how to make remote learning work. The Kingsman Academy Public Charter School in Washington D.C. adapted its program to the necessities of online education and saw its students flourish. As a remote learning consultant to the school, I observed students making exceptional progress.

MA High School Students, No Cost Online Academic Support Available

Brought to you by JFYNetWorks and DESE

JFYNetWorks offers schools and districts an opportunity to provide high school students with standards-aligned online math and ELA instruction through a special initiative with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (announced in Commissioner Riley’s March 1 Weekly Update). The goal of this initiative is to help students reach grade-level skills, recover learning loss, and reduce achievement gaps. It begins now and continues through the summer and the 2021-22 school year.

MA High School Students: No Cost Online Academic Support Available

Brought to you by JFYNetWorks and DESE

JFYNetWorks offers schools and districts an opportunity to provide high school students with standards-aligned online math and ELA instruction through a special initiative with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (announced in Commissioner Riley’s March 1 Weekly Update). The goal of this initiative is to help students reach grade-level skills, recover learning loss, and reduce achievement gaps. It begins now and continues through the summer and the 2021-22 school year.

Giving students a voice leads to engagement.

by Joan Reissman

As teachers, we want our students to get the most out of learning time. In order to learn, they need to be engaged. Making online lessons dynamic and giving students a chance to interact and have a voice are key elements in generating excitement about learning. Many free supplemental programs help make learning more engaging. This blog post will provide some tips and suggestions for quick tools a teacher can use to give students a voice and make the curriculum more dynamic. Of the many products on the market, I am highlighting tools that are easy to use and incorporate in lessons.

Keeping in Touch Online. Progress, Not perfection

by Greg Cunningham

How teachers and students are making the virtual classroom work

“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.”

With this soothing mantra we began the first ever season of the Massachusetts Speech and Debate League during which all tournaments would be held online with students performing from home using video cameras. We quickly found that each tournament takes much more preparation than in-person tournaments, and nothing about them is easy. But something is preferable to nothing; and when students, coaches and league administrators work together, we know that even if the tournaments are not perfect, they provide an outlet for students to improve their public speaking skills and to craft and share their messages.