Thursday, September 22, 2016

Principal Spotlight: You're 1:1... Now What?

You’re in the process of implementing a 1:1 device initiative. What should you consider to achieve maximum effectiveness in the classroom?

After year one, the comment heard most from teachers is a desire for more training. How to best use this technology in the classroom is a common question. That support can make the difference between devices being used every day and only being pulled out for the most rudimentary tasks. 

What kind of professional development is needed for successful adoption?

Teacher training, high-quality digital content, and security are all important factors addressed in our latest whitepaper, You’re 1:1… Now What?

Already using Classworks with your technology but want to do more? Classworks Digital Learning Grant is now accepting teacher applications:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Real-time Chat, ACT Aspire, and More Math Coming Soon!

We're excited that you're excited for Classworks new back-to-school enhancements! But wait, there's more coming in November!

Classworks Live Chat
To enhance your Classworks experience, we're launching Classworks Live Chat. Online chat gives you fast and convenient answers from product experts.

ACT Aspire Integration
In November, Classworks will fully integrate ACT Aspire’s Interim and Summative assessment results to deliver Individualized Learning Paths (ILPs) for students based on that data.

Full Standards Coverage with Applied Mathematics
Brand new Applied Mathematics activities will be available to ensure full standards coverage!

Ongoing online trainings, blog posts, customer support, and your implementation manager are available for help. Check out the online trainings we've done so far! 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Now Accepting Digital Learning Grant Applications!

Apply now for Classworks Digital Learning Grant! For a second year, Classworks is awarding three teachers $2,500 each to use for classroom technology. 

Tell us how you are using Classworks Integrated Reading and Applied Math in the classroom today, and what kind of innovation you have planned with the grant. Whether it's a blended learning initiative or expanding the ability to group students to work on digital math activities–share your plans with us! 

The application window is open now through December 16. To be eligible to apply for the grant, you must be a current Classworks user. Apply for the grant, see previous winning entries and application and award rules at

To receive the latest information on the Digital Learning Grant and other contests, follow us on social media. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Use Data and Digital Instruction to Differentiate

Use the Renaissance STAR 360 Instructional Planning Report paired with Classworks Applied Math to effectively group students.

The instructional report sorts students based on their assessment scores, allowing teachers to easily group students in the classroom. Classworks differentiated activities offer a perfect mechanism to effectively match groups of students with the right instructional content.

Each activity consists of three problems addressing the same grade-level standard at varying levels of difficulty, as well as a critique and precision activity.

You might use the report this way:

Group 1: Students with the highest scaled score range
  • Assign the Expanding level activity
  • Expanding problem is always open-ended
  • Students are prompted to solve the problem and explain their thought process using a variety of methods (text, drawing, audio recording)
Group 2: Students with mid-range scaled scores
  • Assign the Meeting level activity
  • Meeting problem is multiple choice
  • Students have access to digital tools to explain their thinking
Group 3: Students with the lowest scaled score range
  • Assign the Progressing level activity
  • Progressing problem is multiple choice
  • Includes “friendlier” numbers and more visual support
The Investigative problem would be appropriate for independent work for the highest range group, partner work for the mid-range group, and small-group teacher-directed for the lowest range group.

How are the problems differentiated?
  • Magnitude of numbers
  • Visual supports provided
  • Number of steps required to solve
  • Level of mathematical thinking that is expected
Here’s a sample plan!

See it in action: Meeting | Investigative 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Classworks Interviews State Superintendent of the Year

Classworks recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Freddie Williamson, Superintendent of Hoke County Schools and 2016 North Carolina Superintendent of the Year. Under Dr. Williamson’s leadership (2006 - present) Hoke County Schools has received several awards including the North Carolina Innovator in Digital Learning award and dropout rates in the district have decreased by 65%.

Congratulations on North Carolina State Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Williamson!
How long has Hoke been using Classworks?

We first purchased Classworks in 2007 close to the beginning of my Superintendency at Hoke. The district was not performing well. Classworks’ individualized instructional plan for each student was something we needed to close the achievement gap. We used Classworks for remediation for about seven years. At that time we used the Scantron assessment and then Classworks generated targeted instruction using that data.

You stopped using Classworks in 2013, why?
The state landscape for education has been undergoing quite a shift here in North Carolina. We had state resources being recommended, the change in standards and assessments, and the focus on reading by grade three. We decided to step back from all the programs we were using as we evaluated how to best serve our students and teachers.

Classworks is excited to partner with Hoke again! 

What made you take another look at Classworks for your district?
Thank you, we share your enthusiasm! There were a few things that stood out to us. First, using Classworks to help students catch up was working. We still have that need here in Hoke and Classworks was a great help to us in closing the achievement gap. The second thing we liked was that Classworks partners with the assessment we use today districtwide, Renaissance Learning’s STAR. Individualizing learning with our current assessment is a huge benefit. The third, and possibly most interesting reason is the new classroom resources you have developed since we last implemented.

Why are the classroom resources so important?
Our teachers have been asking for rigorous reading resources to support lesson planning. More importantly they needed resources to support differentiation in a student-centered math classroom. When they saw the new math activities they were hooked! Our teachers are so excited about these new aspects of the program.

So you made the decision to reactivate Classworks?
(Laughs) Well, I was certainly excited about what Classworks could do for us. But, our instructional resource decisions are made as a team. Buy-in from our principals and teachers was key if we were going to reactivate our partnership with Classworks. Sometimes it’s harder to change an existing perception than it is to look at something new. I invited principals, instructional coaches, and lead teachers to review all of the updates and changes to confirm this fit with our instructional vision as a team. The team was completely on board about re-adopting Classworks ASAP.

What differentiates Classworks from other programs?
Classworks has evolved tremendously since the first time we implemented it. We are reinvigorated by your focus on classroom resources to support teachers combined with new partnerships that enhance the individualized learning. In addition, our district is focused on integrating technology into classroom learning. Our teachers can use Classworks on all the devices we have. We are a Google district so I was pleased to hear Classworks works with Google Classroom. It’s just one more example of how you continue to improve to meet districts’ needs.

Thank you for your confidence in Classworks. We are excited to be working with your team again and look forward to supporting your continued success.
You’re welcome. Classworks is a wonderful instructional resource and we’re happy to be working together again.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Content is Key: Transform with Technology

"Devices are useless without the right education content. What are the goals we want to reach with our students?"
–Scott Sterling, You're 1:1... Now What?

Regardless of the devices available in your school, it's the quality of the content and how you use it that makes the technology transformative.

Trip Elementary successfully weaves technology into classroom learning. The key: Incorporating standards-based digital reading and math activities into their lesson plans. 

Are you a principal or administrator with a new 1:1 device initiative? Download our new white paper, You're 1:1... Now What? Ensure you've considered all the aspects of a successful 1:1. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Remarkable Growth for Kershaw County Middle Schools

Customer Spotlight

How often have you heard, “my elementary schools are doing great, but my middle schools are struggling or stagnant?” Continuing the trajectory of growth in middle school is a challenge, but not impossible. How did one South Carolina school district do it?

A Partnership for Success 
In 2014, Kershaw County Schools chose Classworks as a districtwide resource to support teachers with closing achievement gaps. The district administers the NWEA MAP assessment three times a year to measure growth and determine which students need intervention. Using MAP assessment results, Classworks delivers custom reading and math lessons matched to students’ specific needs. Kershaw teachers are able to start interventions much earlier in the year, with tremendous results!
“The district prioritized implementing research-based tools to provide insight into where students are struggling and where they excel,” says, Dr. Alisa Taylor, executive director for K12 instruction, Kershaw County Schools. “NWEA’s MAP assessment paired with Classworks Individualized Instruction provides both the data and a plan for each student’s success.”
The Proof is in the Data
Middle schools (grades 6 - 8) in the district exceeded NWEA’s Mean Growth Norms by 7.6 points in reading. Classworks users in the district with 70%+ mastery saw the most growth, 13 points higher than Mean Growth Norms in reading and 3 points higher in math. See the 6th and 7th grade results.

“I use the data from NWEA MAP and prescribed instruction from Classworks to help my students strengthen needed math skills. Working with their classroom math teacher, we use the data to implement tutoring and pullout groups. My kids are getting the time and extra help to master skills and their confidence levels are through the roof!”

Sharon Pharis, math interventionist, Leslie M. Stover Middle School

Ready to individualize learning with Classworks? Attend our 15-minute online training, Data-Driven Decisions for Individualized Learning, on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. See our training schedule.