Friday, December 12, 2014

Critical Updates for iOS Users

This information was in my email this morning. While teachers who subscribe to this blog by email get this information, parents and students who are using Stride Academy on personal iOS devices will need someone from the school to make it available. You may wish to copy the information below and paste it into your own school blog, Facebook page, or however you ordinarily communicate with parents.

In addition to the instructions below, first, be sure you are running the most version of the operating system. The latest release is iOS8.1.2, released December 9. (If you do not know what version you are running, here is how to find it:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap "General"
  3. Tap "About"
  4. Scroll down and look for "Version."

iOS users MUST update your
Stride Academy shortcut ASAP

As a result of recent changes to iOS made by Apple, you must delete and reinstall your Stride Academy shortcut on your iPad to access critical updates to our program. This is necessary to avoid technical issues and ensure compatibility with Stride Academy.

Stride Academy will NOT function properly on your iPad if you do not reinstall your shortcut.

Please follow these steps to update your
Stride Academy shortcut:
  1. Delete the Stride Academy icon (shortcut) from your home screen.
  2. In Settings, select "Safari," then "Clear History and Website Data."
  3. Power off/on your iPad.
  4. Launch Safari.
  5. Go to
  6. When prompted, click the button in the top bar to
    "Add to Home Screen."
  7. Launch the app from the new "Stride Web" icon.
Congratulations! You have reinstalled your shortcut. You should now enjoy smooth and trouble-free access to Stride Academy on your iPad.

Be sure to share this important update with students and parents accessing Stride Academy on their iPads from home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Using Data to Recognize Students

These students are in Casey Lee's second-grade class at Alexandria Elementary School. Every week, Mrs. Lee names a "King of Answers" and a "Queen of Answers" for the boy and girl with the highest number of correct answers for that week. To gather this information, she runs the "Stride Growth Report" and sets the later date range to the dates of the previous week.

Mrs. Lee also names a "Master of Coins." Using the "Rewards" menu, she clicks the "Print" button and produces a report showing coins earned for each student.

This example shows how teachers can use data to motivate student use of Stride Academy. The more they use the program, the better the data gets.

How are you using data to motivate students in your classroom? Leave a comment or email me. We want to spotlight the success you and students are having.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Stride Academy Alabama News


Enter the "Stride Alabama Accelerated Achievers" Contest!

To get students on board practicing skills in preparation for ACT Aspire, we are sponsoring the "Stride Alabama Accelerated Achievers" Contest!

Prizes will be awarded to the schools with top usage of Stride Academy from January 5 - April 5, 2015, plus one teacher and one principal who have effectively used Stride Academy at their school.
Each category winner will receive a trophy to display at school!
  1. NEW! Teacher Impact Award
  2. NEW! Principal Impact Award
  3. Top Overall Usage - Elementary School
  4. Top Overall Usage - Middle School
  5. Top Overall Usage - High School
  6. Top Afterschool Usage- Elementary School
  7. Top Afterschool Usage- Middle School
  8. Top Afterschool Usage - High School

    *To level the playing field for smaller and larger schools, Stride Academy usage will be calculated by finding the average questions answered per student at each school (total questions divided by total active students). 
Impact Award Guidelines:
  1. Share how a teacher/principal has effectively promoted and applied the use of Stride Academy at your school in 500 characters or less.
  2. Submissions should be sent to and must include the teacher or principal's name, grade level and school name.
  3. All submissions are due by March 15, 2015.
  4. The winner for each category will be selected by a panel of Stride Academy Academic Specialists. 

Stride Academy Alabama Spotlight

New Brockton Elementary School: New Brockton, AL

6th grade students at New Brockton Elementary School in Coffee County have enjoyed using Stride Academy throughout the Fall. Pictured are the top performers from their Fall Break Contest. Amber, the overall winner, earned over 37,000 star points during the contest. 

Dodge Elementary School: Mobile, AL 

Louisa, William and Malik, winners from the Stride Coin Masters Photo Contest, show off their Stride Academy gym bags! Students at Dodge Elementary have answered over 407,000 questions in Stride Academy this year! 

White Plains Elementary: Anniston, AL

With over 100 submissions to our Fall Writing Contest on "What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You," Cassidy, a 3rd grade student in Mrs. Brewer's class at White Plains Elementary, was selected as the winner winning a pizza party for her class! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Scenes from Alexandria Elementary School

These students from Alexandria Elementary School are enjoying working on Stride Academy. Part of each school day includes time in one of the school's three computer labs. Lab time is devoted to using Stride Academy to measure their progress through the Progress Monitoring Assessment or challenge each student at his or her level via the Stride Fast 360 Adaptive Technology.

During the recent SGA Presidential election speeches, one of the students said, "If you elect me as president, I promise to work to get more Stride Academy time at school for students." Not a bad endorsement!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stride Academy Newsletter

This post is a copy/paste from my email. I am posting here because I simply have no way of knowing who is getting those emails. The post from November 4 addressed this first topic. 

The post also addresses contests. Promoting the use of Stride Academy outside of school is important, and we are approaching the largest blocks of non-school time you will have all year. What follows is information about setting up contests and the ability to sign up for a short webinar on the subject. The time of the webinar is one that is going to prohibits most of you from attending. Whether or not the webinar will be recorded is something I cannot answer. Perhaps an instructional coach or administrator could attend.

Fall Writing Contest: "What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?" 

Stride Academy is offering a chance for your students' essay to win a pizza party for their class by participating in the Fall Writing Contest. One student's paper will be selected by a panel of judges and showcased on our Stride Academy blog! Grade level writing capabilities will be taken into account as we are looking for age-appropriate originality and creativity.


  • Teachers should submit individual students' papers on the topic: "What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?" (1 page maximum).
  • Submissions should be sent to and must include the student's first name and last initial, grade level, class name and school name. Entries must be sent by the classroom teacher to be accepted. 
  • All submissions must be received by 5:00pm CST on Friday, November 21. Late entries cannot be accepted.
  • The winning essay will be announced on Monday, November 24 and featured on all LTS social media platforms.


    • The teacher's class with the winning entry will receive a $100 Papa John's gift card for a class pizza party and will be featured on our blog.
    Engage Learners Through the Holiday Break with Holiday Contests!
    Creating a school-wide or class-wide contest is a great way to keep students engaged over the holidays. Contests track how many Star Points each student has earned in the games. Of course, to get to the games, students must correctly answer practice questions!
    • Login to Stride Academy through your Administrator or Teacher account.
    • Select Contests on the menu bar.
    • Label, date and assign your contest.
    • Select Publish to make your contest live.
    • Track students' scores at any time during the contest by selecting View Scores.
    • Students can also see their scores in real-time when they are logged in, by going to theScores menu and selecting Contests
    Stride Academy Webinar Series: "Using Stride Academy Over the Holidays
    Join us for a webinar on Thursday, November 13 at 8:30am CST to learn more about how you can use Stride Academy over the holidays. To register, click here

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Stride Academy Writing Contest

    Stride Academy Writing Contest

    What Does Thanksgiving Mean to You?

    The holiday season is around the corner! Here at LTS we’re celebrating what we’re thankful for all month long. We want to hear from your students and see what they’re thankful for in our Stride Academy Writing Contest! Here’s how it works:
    1. Teachers will have their students write individual, 1-page maximum papers on the topic: “What does Thanksgiving mean to you?”
    2. Submissions must include student’s name, grade level, class name, and school name.
    3. Teachers will enter the submissions via email to
    4. All submissions are due by 5:00pm CST on Friday, November 21.
    5. One student’s paper will be chosen and showcased on the Stride Academy blog. Grade level capabilities will be taken into account.
    6. The winner will be announced on Monday, November 24!
    7. Winner will be featured on the blog and all LTS social media platforms and receive a $100 Papa Johns gift card for their class!
    Questions? Contact: Cate Powell, LTS Customer Experience Specialist, at

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    Notes from Schools Visits

    Here are the notes from the presentation I made at each school. The link is to a note in Evernote which I have made public.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    The New Dashboard

    When you opened Stride Academy today, you saw a very different look on your dashboard. LTS will be conducting a free webinar on Wednesday, October 22 at 3:30 to discuss the features.

    To register for the webinar, click here. You will receive an email containing information on the URL. and call-in number.

    I listened to a short webinar myself and have spent some time exploring the new look. Here are some of my significant take-aways.
    • On the previous dashboard, when you saw a certain percentage of students were working "Below Grade Level," you have wanted to know who those students are. Now, clicking on the bar shows the students who make up that percentage.
    • On the "Recently Awarded Academic Badges," "recently awarded" is defined as the last five badges. If you are capturing a list of those students weekly (as I have suggested during work with faculties), be sure to click the "See all student details" to see the students who earned badges during the week that you would have otherwise missed.
    • Knowing who has not completed PMA just got easier. You will see a blue link in the upper-right portion of the dashboard.
    • One piece of information we used to get on the old dashboard is not here. Previously, the left-hand side of the dashboard provided percentage of students answering 70-100% of questions correctly, 50-70% correctly, and less then 50% correctly. The closest parallel I could give you is to run the Growth Report (which I have spoken about in faculty meetings). At the bottom of the report, you will see the percentage of correct answers for the class as whole within the two date ranges you selected. An upcoming post will give you a link to a spreadsheet where you can input those figures and get a nice graph for your students.
    LTS has provided this information on the new dashboard:

    Class Performance 

    Easily view what percentage of your students are at, above or below grade level by looking at these bar graphs. Click on any section to drill down to student data. 
    *Don't miss important notifications for your class posted at the top of your Teacher Dashboard
    Students At-A-Glance: Adaptive Engine event indicators reveal problem points at a glance. Students are organized into three convenient groups - Students Potentially at Risk, Students on Pace and Students Thriving. Clicking on an individual student name links to individual student results.
    Clicking on the View link for any student who is potentially at risk will lead you to a more detailed explanation of the issue.
    Academic Badges: Academic badges are awarded when a student has, (a) answered at least 80% of the available questions in a skill category, and (b) scored at least 70% correct for all of their answers in the skill. This includes a student's correct answer on the second attempt at a question.
    Click View All Student Academic Badges to see a complete list by student.

    Individual Student Performance by Subject

    Clicking on any student’s name will lead you to the Individual Student Performance view revealing at-a-glance information for general performance by each subject.

    Print this screen (or Save in PDF format). Use this real-time report of the student’s skill performance to plan differentiated instruction, targeted skills practice, and monitor progress on specific standards over time.
    Student performance is organized by curriculum and broken down into standards to identify areas of need. Quickly assign available educational resources aligned to skills. 
    Graphs show performance by both grade level difficulty and subject. Mouse over the graph to see percentages. 

    Red signifies less than 50% correct answers. Yellow signifies 50-70% correct answers. Green signifies 71-100% correct answers.


    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Scenes from Saks Elementary School

    I had a great day working with teachers and walking through the school on Tuesday at Saks Elementary School. I walked in the computer lab to see a group of first graders enjoying working on Stride Academy. Here are few photos:


    Thursday, October 2, 2014

    Introducing the #StrideCoinMasters Photo Contest!

    Introducing the #StrideCoinMasters Photo Contest!

    Stride Coin - 1000
    Starting Monday, September 29th, Stride Academy is hosting a #StrideCoinMasters Photo Contest! Post weekly photos of your top 3 coin earners from your classroom on one of the following social media sites: FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Google+Follow us and use the hashtag#StrideCoinMasters for your chance to win!
    At the end of two weeks, we will choose a winner and the top 3 students in the class will receive a Stride Academy Gym Bag! Winners will be chosen based on top scores and photo creativity. This is a great way to encourage students to participate in Stride Academy!
    Submissions are due by 5pm CST on Friday, October 10th. Winners will be announced onMonday, October 13th. They will featured on all LTS social media platforms and in our monthly newsletter! Feel free to post multiple pictures of the week’s top coin earners!
    Here’s How to Enter:
    • Must be following us on the medium in which you are posting.
    • Must tag us and use #StrideCoinMasters.
    • Photos must be of top 3 students; the more creativity the greater the chance to win!
    • Must include top 3 scores of the week in the post.
    • Prizes will go to the 3 students in the chosen photo.
    • All submissions are due by 5:00pm CST on Friday, October 10.
    We can’t wait to see how your #StrideCoinMasters have excelled! Don’t forget to follow us on all social media sites to see what others are posting as well!

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    Alternative School and Stride Academy

    During the Stride Academy training with the faculty at the Calhoun County Alternative Education Program, one of the topics we discussed was how to handle enrollment of students in Stride Academy during their alternative school assignment.

    We decided that the best scenario would be to leave students enrolled in Stride Academy at their home school. The work they do there will be reflected in the data their teacher's in the home school are seeing. Data will always be available to the teachers to review, something which will come in handy just prior to their return.

    While at the alternative school, the email address of one or more of the faculty members will be added to the "Parent Email" line. One a weekly basis, the faculty will receive an email summarizing the progress of the students.

    Ms. Kines has a log in which will allow her to add these email addresses for all students and then remove them when assignment to the alternative school is over.

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Free Webinar from Stride Academy

    I received an email message from Stride Academy with the offer of a free workshop highlighting new features. To register, go here. While I notice their email (below) lists September 18 at 8:30 AM (not the best time for most teachers), the registration form lists two times:
    September 18 8:30AM
    September 18 3:30 PM

    The drop-down menu to select date and time is near the bottom. You will also see a box where you can ask specific questions you would like to see addressed i the webinar.

    Here is the message I received:

    Stride Continuing Education Webinars Presents:
    NEW Technology-Enhanced Item Types!
    Join us on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 8:30 a.m. CST
    Introducing Technology-Enhanced Items to Prepare Students for More Rigorous Online Assessments...
    Stride Academy's innovative new item types require specialized interactions to assist students in gaining a deeper understanding of important content in Math and Reading for Grade 3 through High School.

    Practice on these new item types will assist students in preparing for the ACT Aspire, PARCC, Smarter Balanced and other technology-based assessments.
    Join us Thursday morning, Sept. 18, at 8:30 a.m. CST, for a preview and discussion of these new formats that your students have already started to see as they work in the Stride Academy program:
    • Drag and Drop 
    • Multiple Selected Response
    • Highlighting of Reading Text
    • Ordering
    • Plotting Points
    • Drop Down Menus
    • Written Response

    Our curriculum development team will be adding new Technology-Enhanced Questions to Stride Academy weekly throughout Fall/Winter 2014. Be sure you understand how to assist your students with these new formats, should they have any questions.

    Here are a few of the new Technology-Enhanced Item Types you can expect to preview in our webinar:
    1. Multiple Selected Response - Student can select more than one correct answer or image.
    2. Math Drag and Drop - Student can drag images or text to match correct answers.
    3. Reading Drag and Drop - Student may be asked to drag information from one column to the 
    next to match pairs, move images or information into the correct sequence, or locate evidence for a response and drag it into place.