Monday, October 31, 2016

Stride Alabama e-News

Fall is in
the air
October 2016Fall is in the air, and Stride Spirit is spreading across Alabama!  You've been busy with onboarding students to the program and jumping right in to fabulous Fall contest ideas!  We'd like to share a few examples to show fellow Stride users how "Toucan Be a Stride Leader Too!"  Use Stride Contests to get your students all the way through their assigned work from PMA Form 1, in preparation for PMA Form 2, which begins Nov. 7
B.B. Comer Memorial Elementary (Talladega County)

We love B.B. Comer Memorial Elementary School's display, which features Star Point Winners on the left, Skill Badge Winners in the middle, and Stride Millionaires (coin leaders) on the right!  Top students earn their names on the bright yellow patches adorning the toucans.  Stride offers so many ways to celebrate wins!
Alexandria Elementary (Calhoun County)
At Alexandria Elementary, the daily schedule includes what they call "Champion Time" in Stride.  For contests, each grade level focuses on a specific standard selected bi-weekly by the teachers. They use Quiz Builder to assess mastery of that standard at the end of the two weeks, and results are displayed on grade-level bulletin boards like the ones below for Stride Reading and Stride Math in Grades 3 and 5. 

Each orange paw print represents a student who scored at least 80% on the standard, or bettered his/her score  by at least 20 points from the last assessment.  Nice work, Alexandria students!  Pictured above, Assistant Principals Caryn Waugh and Jeremy Wallace enjoy helping a proud student staple her paw in place.
Crossville High School (Dekalb County)
CLAS Academic Specialist Carolyn Creighton visited Crossville HS recently and observed as students logged in to Stride to work on English I and Algebra I curriculum.  "The students were so excited to be able to use Stride -- especially those who can now use it at home," Carolyn reported. Crossville HS has been a long-time user of Stride, and now the school has a new laptop cart, making Stride more accessible to additional users!  Keep working hard, CHS!
Students Stride Along Even During Fall Break!
CLAS Academic Specialist Stephen Swann shared this picture of his grandchildren, Madison and Ethan Foster, who recently visited with him over the Fall Break. "My wife and I took them to the beach for a few days, and they asked to do Stride every morning before we took them to play in the waves and sand!  Mary Long (CLAS Academic Specialist) and their teachers at Madison Elementary (Madison City) have them very enthusiastic about the program," Stephen shares.  Dedicated Stride students take their learning fun with them wherever they go!
Do you have a Stride Contest idea or Success Story to share? Let us highlight you in an upcoming newsletter! 

Contact:  Amy Frith, Stride e-News Editor
Phone:  334.233.8538

Friday, October 28, 2016

Correction on PMA Start Date--November 7 is the Correct Date

The last post had one PMA start date in the title of the post but a different date in the body of the post.

November 7 is the correct start date for the next PMA. (The title was right but what was in the body was wrong.)

Thanks to Melissa Hampton for catching the discrepancy!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

PMA Starts November 7

If you teach students in the K-8 range, the second Progress Monitoring Assessment begins November 7. When students log in, they automatically begin PMA questions just by clicking on the big coin. Each subject area requires around 30-45 minutes.

Don't worry if a student does not finish in one sitting. When the student logs in next time, PMA questions resume. Another good feature is that when students go home, PMA pauses. Students may use Stride Academy, but they receive the regular Stride Adaptive Engine questions. That way, students are under your supervision during PMA.

Your help is needed to be sure all students complete PMA by December 2.

Monday, October 24, 2016

PMA 1 is Over. What Can I Do With the Data?

Some classes finished the first Progress Monitoring Assessment of the year. Others have been finished quite a while. The important thing is to look at the data. See what the data the saying about how effective instruction has been. Use the results to motivate students.

Here are some concrete things you can do:

  1. Run the Class PMA Report (for teachers) and School PMA Report (for administrators).
  2. Look at the standards which have been taught but were weak. How will you reteach those standards so that students master them? Are there other teachers on your grade level for whom those standards were strong? What strategies are they using?
  3. Let students know their scores in the Reading and Math portions of PMA. If you want students to take the next PMA seriously, the feedback is essential. If they hear nothing about the results, they will likely think t is not important.
  4. Run the 2015-16 PMA. How do your scores for the first PMA of 2016-17 compare with the scores from last year?
  5. Discuss with students strategies for how they can do better on PMA 2. Students should be using scratch paper on the math test. Too many students try to do the work in their heads, look at the answer choices and make a guess. Be sure they are working the problems, getting an answer, and then finding which answer choice matches their computation.
  6. Have students set goals for PMA 2.
  7. Establish incentives for students who score well on a PMA or who significantly improve their score from the previous time.
  8. Set a schedule that allows you to complete PMA early in the window. Avoid dragging it out. Just because the window lasts for a month does not mean you want it to take a month. An entire class could reasonably complete PMA within a week.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Giving the Same Quiz to Multiple Classes

Jane is a 7th grade math teacher. She has 5 classes of 7th grade math (5 different KCC numbers.) Jane creates a quiz and assigns it to the students in one class. She wants, however, for the students in the other 4 classes to be assigned that quiz as well. How does she do this?

In essence, Jane would share the quizzes with herself.

On the Quiz Builder tab, Jane would be sure to check the "Share Box."

Next, Jane would log into another class to whom she wanted to assign the quiz. On the Quiz Builder tab, she would see a list quizzes already assigned to that class. She will also see the blue "Shared Quizzes" button. When she clicks on that button, she sees all of the quizzes marked for sharing.

Jane clicks "Copy" to add the quiz to this class.

At this point, Jane can make changes to the quiz. In addition to assigning it to the appropriate students, she could add or delete questions if she wanted to make the quiz for this class slightly different.

Jane would repeat this process, logging into each class to which she wanted to assign this quiz.

To keep the list of shared quizzes from becoming overly large over time, she could log into the original class and unclick the "Share" check box.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Are You Using Quiz Builder?

Utilizing Quiz Builder

Have you tried using Quiz Builder yet?  Here’s a guide on how to best implement this feature!
The Ease of Building Quizzes
Stride makes it easy to build quizzes for your students.  All you have to do is select the standards you’d like to test on and the number of questions per standard you’d like on the quiz.  You always have the option to view our bank of quiz questions and select the specific ones you’d like, too.  This flexibility makes Quiz Builder simple to use but also gives you autonomy within the program.
Quiz Options
Quizzes can be given during school hours or at home, online or in paper form.  You can choose to have students take a quiz during class using our proctoring options, or you can assign quizzes as homework by allowing the quiz to be taken outside of school hours.   Quizzes are also easily printed, so you can hand out a paper version of the test if the computer lab is unavailable.

Pre- and Post- Testing
Quiz Builder has a cloning option, which would allow you to give an identical quiz twice.  Reports compare the two quizzes, showing growth from the first quiz to the second.  Teachers can use this feature at the beginning and end of a learning module to measure understanding going into and coming out of the lessons.
More Instruction
You can always find more information about using Quiz Builder in our Customer Support Gallery!  You’ll find the password to access the gallery under Help & Advice within your login.
Stay Connected
Please stay connected with us through social media!  We always love seeing pictures of and hearing stories about your students.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

8 Great Upgrades to Quiz Builder

Quiz Builder is a great time-saver and formative assessment tool. This post was originally published last year. These updates are worth reviewing.

Wait — There's More!
Now in Stride: 8 Great Upgrades to Quiz Builder
Hello Stride Administrators and Teachers, 
Did we mention we've been busy? We're delighted to share 8 more upgrades you can enjoy today by logging in to your Stride account!Quiz Builder - Now Expanded to Meet your Advanced Assessment Needs

1. New Sharing Options2. Proctored Quizzes

3. Advanced Search of Master Quiz List
4. Ensure Assessment Integrity by Hiding Quiz Details 
5. Control Quizzes After School Hours - Admins
6. Easy Quiz Builder Mode
7. New Search Options - Adding Questions8. New Quiz Builder Reports
Download a Print-Friendly PDF.
New Sharing Options
Teachers: Prevent rework for your fellow teachers by sharing your custom quizzes to all other classes in your school. You may also share your quizzes up to your Stride school admin or district admin. Imagine your quizzes being used for students district-wide!

School admins: You also now have the power to share quizzes up to the district admin, or share quizzes down to all classes in your school. District admin may directly assign official quizzes down to classes.

Where to find this? 
Quiz Sharing takes place on the Quiz Builder tab of the Teacher, School Administrator and District Administrator management systems. Look for the checkboxes to "Share" a quiz. Click the "Shared Quizzes" button to view a complete list of quizzes shared with you.
Proctored QuizzesLeverage district-wide and school-wide quizzes with greater precision. Emulate high-stakes testing in a proctored setting. District admins and school admins may now assign quizzes using a "Proctored" option, in addition to the "Mandatory" and "Optional" selections.
  • Mandatory: Enforces quiz delivery to all students in the assigned class(es). Teachers will not be able to edit questions or properties.
  • Optional: Quiz becomes available to teachers. Teachers will have to take action to assign students to the quiz.
  • Proctored: Teachers receive notification to control the start of the quiz and assign students, protecting the integrity of the testing duration and environment.

    Where to find this?  From the School or District management systems, visit the Quiz Builder tab. Click on a quiz title and choose "Assign Classes" to see checkboxes for these 3 options.
Advanced Search of Master Quiz ListIf you have a large (and growing!) list of quizzes to sort through, you will appreciate the ease of locating a quiz using our updated Advanced Search option.
Where to find this?  Teachers, school admin and district admin: visit the Quiz Builder tab. Look at the list of "Your Quizzes," where you will see a new button for "Advanced Search."
Ensure Assessment Integrity by Hiding Quiz DetailsDistrict admins may now protect official quizzes by hiding quiz scores, answer keys and specific question details from school admins and/or teachers. School admins may also choose to hide details of their official quizzes from teachers.
Where to find this?  From the District or School admin management system, navigate to the Quiz Builder tab. Select "New Quiz" to create a new quiz, and you will see the option to hide details ("Quiz Hidden To" in the sample screen below.)
Control Quizzes After School Hours at the School and District Admin Levels
Also shown in the sample screen above is the ability for school or district admins to control whether or not students may access a specific quiz outside of school hours. This control was previously only available to teachers. 
New Tools for Streamlined (QUICKER!) Quiz Building
Easy Quiz Builder ModeA new "Easy" quiz building mode automatically populates a list of suggested questions to fit your quiz specifications! Simply select the desired number of questions and one or more standards to cover in the quiz. Presto! Easy Quiz Builder recommends a list of aligned questions for your quiz. 
Where to find this? Visit the Quiz Builder tab and select "New Quiz." Enter the fields to describe your new quiz, then "Save" to continue to the options for Easy or Advanced Quiz Building.
NOTE: If you like the old way of building quizzes, choose Advanced mode. This allows you the precision to select your quiz questions one by one.
New Search Options for Adding Quiz Questions
Whether in Easy or Advanced Quiz Building mode, search quickly for the questions you need. Search for keywords that would appear in standards descriptions (i.e., "perimeter" in the example below), or search by standard codes. Check the box to "Only return grade level results" for an added filter.
New Quiz Builder Reports
New Quiz Builder Reports at the district, school, class and student levels display aggregate quiz results for each and every standard assessed in the quiz. View valuable information such as:
  • The number/percentage of students who have NOT yet completed a quiz (out of those assigned) - district-wide, school-wide, and within individual classes
  • The number/percentage of students who perform BELOW the threshold value for "Passing" for a particular standard 
  • The number/percentage of students who perform ABOVE the threshold value for "Passing" for a particular standard
  • Aggregate district results, aggregate school results, and aggregate class results for each standard assessed
  • Individual students in a class categorized by those who perform BELOW or ABOVE the "Passing" threshold on a standard
  • Individual student scores and their exact answers recorded on each standard.
Where to find it? Visit the Quiz Builder tab, select the quiz of interest from the master quiz list, then select "Reports" to select from all available reporting options.
These new features are now ready to use in your Stride account.  We hope you like the changes, and we'll continue to work to provide you with efficient, friendly and accessible tools.
The LTS Education Team

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How to Know Who Still Needs PMA

For a teacher, it's easy to know which students have completed PMA and which have not. Just look at the "Class Roster" tab.

What if you are an administrator? How can you tell what students throughout the school still needs to complete PMA?

When an administrator logs in, the default is the "School Info" screen. The lower-case letters indicate classes which still have at least one student not finished with PMA. The first number in the parentheses indicates how many students have not finished. But how could you get a list of names of who those students are?

Finding the Names

  1. As you are looking at the "School Info" screen, click on the blue "Enrolled students" button in the upper right-hand corner. 
  2. On the next screen, click the blue "Download as Excel" button. 
  3.  The results will be a list of students sorted by grade level. Within each grade level, students are organized by KCC.  
  4. The "PMA 1" column will give you what you are looking for.

Why This Blog is So Important

The idea from this post came as a result of a question I received earlier this morning. Dr. Laura Knighton at Pleasant Valley Elementary asked if there was a report that she could run rather than going class-by-class to find the students.

I figured if she would benefit from my answer, everyone else would as well.

Putting the answer here is the quickest way to get information to the largest number of teachers and administrators. It also puts the information in a place where it will always be available and searchable.

If you received this post in your email (because you put your email address in the sign-up on the blog), great! You never have to worry about missing anything.

What colleagues do you have who are missing out on these posts? Encourage them to go to the blog one time and put their name in the email signup.

First PMA Ends Friday

The Progress Monitoring Assessment period ends Friday. For many classes, you have completed PMA quite a while ago. Your students are benefitting from the Stride Adaptive Engine and you are able to use Quiz Builder.

If your class has not completed PMA, please schedule time to finish this week.

The next Progress Monitoring Assessment begins November 7th. It's always best to tackle PMA on the front end of the window,

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Progressing Through PMA

The first Progress Monitoring Assessment ends October 14.

You have the ability to run a report on PMA for both the school and the classroom level.

Running the PMA Report at the School Level:
  1. Use the school administrative login to access Stride Academy.
  2. Click the "Reports" tab.
  3. Click the blue "Generate Real-Time Reports" button.
  4. Click "View Reports."
  5. From the list of reports which appears, click "School PMA Report."
  6. The defaults on the next screen should be OK as is.
  7. Click the red "Apply" button.

You will notice that the graph is the first page of almost two-dozen pages of data. You can click through those graphs and tables to see data for each class and data for each grade level.

My recommendation would be to share with any given teacher the data for that teacher's class and the average for the grade level as a whole. That way, each teacher gets an idea where he or stands in relationship to the rest of the pack without ranking teachers. Richard Defoor addresses this point in his PLC seminars.

Running the PMA Report at the Classroom Level:
  1. Use your KCC code and password to access Stride Academy.
  2. Click the "Reports" tab.
  3. Click the blue "Generate Real-Time Reports" button.
  4. Click "View Reports."
  5. From the list of reports which appears, click "Class PMA Report."
  6. The defaults on the next screen should be OK as is.
  7. Click the red "Apply" button.
The resulting graph will look much the same as the school graph displayed above. Clicking through the remaining pages will reveal data on each student.

Monday, October 3, 2016

October is National Principal's Month

This video was created by a student at New Milford High School when she learned that her principal, Eric Sheniger, was leaving his position as principal. A high school noted for its accomplishments with technology, this "gift" to her exiting principal illustrates how technology can be used as a tool to foster creativity, communicate with passion, and invoke emotion in others.

The creator of this video as writes in the notes which accompany it on YouTube,:

"AKA how my high school principal inspired the leader hiding inside a frightened freshman girl You'll be sorely missed, sir; I couldn't thank you enough for everything you've done for me."

There is perhaps no better time than October, National Principal's Month, to share this moving video.