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Resources for the Virtual Classroom from JFYNet

by Greg Cunningham, Learning Specialist

An online toolbox for teachers

When I entered a classroom (when that was still possible), students would often greet me as “the test prep guy.” They may, in fact, have been working to pass the next standardized test on the schedule. But I knew, and the teacher knew, that they were building crucial skills necessary for success in subsequent grades, in college, and in the workforce. In order to build those necessary skills, JFY Learning Specialists provide a myriad of resources to support teachers in their efforts to support their students.

The JFY website contains multiple videos and blog posts that explain what students should expect from specific standardized tests. Students often know the required information and have the necessary skills to succeed, but are thrown off by the structure of the assessment or the wording of questions. If they know what to expect and how to navigate the format smoothly, they have a much better chance of using their knowledge effectively to achieve the highest possible score on the assessment.

In order to tap this resource, students must first log in to JFY’s software. To facilitate this step, we provide short videos with login instructions on the website for both returning students and first-timers. Whether using remote, hybrid or in-person models, a teacher cannot help each student in the class at the same time when they forget the process for logging in. Students have access to these training videos to help themselves log in and use their time on actual skill-building activities rather than struggling to engage with the software.

JFY’s software focuses on math and ELA, the foundational skills. But science teachers and social science teachers also need resources to engage students and enrich learning. When the shutdown happened in March, our Specialists immediately began vetting and compiling free resources and software to help science and social science teachers actively engage students remotely. This rapid response to the needs of teachers has been the foundation of JFY’s services. We quickly assess needs and provide prompt and effective solutions.

The Coronavirus has created some of the most challenging circumstances ever faced by teachers and students. While we cannot make the virus go away, we can help schools, teachers, students and parents adjust to the “new normal” by providing timely and effective solutions to the issues surrounding online learning. Nothing will ever replace a teacher in the classroom with students. The resources JFY provides ensure that teachers have the tools to make their virtual classrooms as exciting as their imaginations can conjure. Those tools will transition back to the physical classroom. The toolbox will not be very heavy.


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


HOW ARE WE DOING? In our pursuit to serve up content that matters to you, we ask that you take a couple of minutes to let us know how we’re doing? Please click here to be navigated to our JFYNet Satisfaction Survey. Thank you!

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


HOW ARE WE DOING? In our pursuit to serve up content that matters to you, we ask that you take a couple of minutes to let us know how we’re doing? Please click here to be navigated to our JFYNet Satisfaction Survey. Thank you!

Strategies and Resources for special education students

by Greg Cunningham, JFYNet Learning Specialist

Effective Connected Learning tools for special education students

Two groups of students have been especially hard hit by the shutdown: English Learners and special education students with IEPs or 504 plans. These are some of the most educationally vulnerable groups in our schools. Special attention needs to be paid to them in order to help them keep up with current studies and simultaneously catch up on previously learned material that may have been lost during the shutdown. JFYNet’s online reading program helps teachers provide effective accommodations for Special Education students and strategies for EL students whether in the classroom or working remotely.

When students first log in to our program, they take an assessment called the Level Set that measures their current Lexile score. (The Lexile is a standard national measurement of reading skill.) This measurement makes it possible for all students to read the same material, but each at his or her individual level of difficulty. This system allows a whole class to have a “mentor” text: a text that students and teachers can use for multiple purposes, which is differentiated to individual skill levels. The program automatically parses out and tiers the text by student reading level, relieving the teacher of that painstaking task.

When students log in to their assignments they see their target vocabulary. They can listen to it, repeat it, and hear the part of speech. They can also see and hear it used in a sentence. This multi-modal presentation helps them process new vocabulary by both seeing and hearing it. Teachers can then use it in an original sentence, or have students do a think-pair-share with the word. This is a standard strategy for EL students. The program also provides opportunities for students to build familiarity with new words through activities such as word search.

The program will read to students. Reading aloud is an indirect vocabulary development tool. For students who have learning disabilities in reading, this technique can be particularly helpful. Sentences are parsed out with yellow highlights. Each individual word is then highlighted in blue as it is spoken. Students can re-listen to a sentence or paragraph as many times as necessary. This feature allows students to continually revisit the text to process it.

After students read a text, they can highlight specific passages and annotate the selection. They can copy their work and bring it over into a reading-response. This helps them develop their comprehension strategies, and also helps them use a text thoughtfully to respond to a question.

Students can work in partner pairs to develop their own text-dependent questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy. Teachers can assign text-dependent questions for students to develop based on their WIDA level. In addition, the JFYNet program contains a wide array of graphic organizers for teachers to use with EL students or students with Special Education accommodations from a 504 plan or an IEP.

All students will need extra support coming into this academic year, but English Learners and special needs students will need more tools and support in order to realize necessary achievement. No matter what skills students need to master during this upcoming academic year, the tools in our ELA program will help all students find success, especially those who require targeted support.


This video illustrates just how effective and beneficial the program is for students.


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


HOW ARE WE DOING? In our pursuit to serve up content that matters to you, we ask that you take a couple of minutes to let us know how we’re doing? Please click here to be navigated to our JFYNet Satisfaction Survey. Thank you!

Math Hybrid Learning Model with JFYNetWorks

Support for Teachers and Students

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

In the fall, many math teachers will be using a hybrid or remote learning model, with some students at home and some in the classroom. Teachers cannot be in two places at the same time. If students are working from home, they may need help while the teacher’s attention is focused elsewhere.

In Using math software provided by JFYNet, teachers can move smoothly between models to address students’ questions and give them immediate support to work more independently whether in class or working remotely. Software certainly does not replace the need for a teacher. What it does is give teachers tools to identify and respond to students’ needs quickly and efficiently, no matter where they are. Actually, it does enable teachers to be in multiple places at the same time.


More VIDEOS ON-DEMAND found here.


HOW ARE WE DOING? In our pursuit to serve up content that matters to you, we ask that you take a couple of minutes to let us know how we’re doing? Please click here to be navigated to our JFYNet Satisfaction Survey. Thank you!

Blending in the Classroom - Dynamic Learning

Creating a diverse and dynamic learning environment

by Greg Cunningham, Blended Learning Specialist

When I first saw the job title “Blended Learning Specialist” I pictured a culinary instructor in an apron demonstrating how to make smoothies in a food processor. “Two scoops of ice, one cup of blueberries, a banana, a pinch of cinnamon and blend. ” What I discovered was a bit different: a new world inside the classroom fostered by the ability to help students learn in an environment where they are the center of attention and the teacher acts as a coach and motivator of their learning.

Enter Connected, Hyperlinked Students

Reaching and teaching the hyperlinked student

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

I recently had a conversation with one of the teachers I work with about a course she is teaching this year. The content is intriguing, relevant and full of rigor. It has to do with social media, networking, media bias, and how we humans are adapting to these rapid changes. It is a course I would have been dying to get into in high school or college.

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.

The Crafts and Art of Teaching

by Eileen Wedegartner, Blended Learning Specialist

Embracing techniques serving student success

Nothing can take the place of a teacher in a classroom. Nothing can supplant the role of the person who designs a lesson in which there is time to activate prior knowledge, impart new information, model how to use that information, and structure activities to practice and embed that process.

Be Amazing in 2018, Blended Curriculum: Building Skills & Confidence

Blended Learning – AIMS

Blended Learning is the fusion of online and teacher-led instruction. It selects and organizes content from the vast resources of the internet and places customized instructional units in the skilled hands of the classroom teacher and at the fingertips of the student. Blended Learning is the pedagogical tool that makes student-centered instruction possible. Our data-driven, outcomes-based methodology includes ongoing training and support for teachers. We call it AIMS – Assess, Instruct, Measure and Support. Learn more here.

How to Create an Effective Bended Learning Classroom

Assess, Instruct, Measure, Support

by Joan Reissman, Blended Learning Specialist

Everyone today talks about blending technology into their classrooms. When I first started working for JFYNetWorks, many teachers asked, “How can a computer be better than me?” Those days are long gone as technology has become such an essential part of our lives, but many teachers still ask how they can create an effective blended learning environment.