Thursday, January 19, 2017

Customer Spotlight: Determined Teachers, Quality Instruction = Success!

“Classworks has had an important role in closing
achievement gaps. Webb Elementary has been able to increase student achievement and ACT Aspire test scores over the past three years! ...Giving our teachers access to quality digital instruction has helped tremendously.” 

Carol Wells, Webb Elementary Instructional Coach

Webb Elementary (WES) achieved the most gains in their district during the 2014 - 2015 school year. A remarkable achievement for a school that was named an Alabama Focus School just one year prior! WES was also awarded the CLAS Banner School Award for growth in academic performance! The award recognizes schools with outstanding educational programs that demonstrate proven success. 

WES shares how the commitment of their educators paired with quality resources lead to success. 

The Plan
“First, all students are given a Classworks assessment to find areas of weakness. Then, we use Classworks instruction to strengthen the specific skills,” explains Carol Wells, Webb Elementary instructional coach.

All students at WES work on Classworks at least one class period each week. Students with skill deficits are given additional class time to work in Classworks. “The right students receiving the right amount and type of instruction is crucial. Classworks takes out the guesswork because it uses their individual data to give them exactly what they need.” 

The Result
Using this approach, Webb Elementary experienced tremendous outcomes including their recognition as a CLAS Banner School! 

Success! Spring 2015 Test Scores
All students with greater than three hours of time-on-task in Classworks improved their spring reading and math test scores!
  • Math
    • Math scores improved 36%! 
    • 56% of students scored on or above grade level in the spring compared to 20% in the fall.
  • Reading
    • Reading scores improved by 33%!
    • 58% of students scored on or above grade level in the spring compared to 25% in the fall. 
Success! ACT Aspire
“Once we saw the progress made on the spring assessment we were confident this would translate to the 2014 - 2015 ACT Aspire scores,” says Principal Marsha Shelley. “ We were happy to be right!”

Houston County School District and Webb Elementary experienced growth on their ACT Aspire scores when compared to the prior year, despite the fact that the state of Alabama fell flat.

“Classworks is woven into the fabric of our district now. We are able to successfully intervene for students in need of additional support and provide enrichment to those who master the necessary grade-level skills. It works!" Cas Haddock, District Assessment Coordinator, Houston County Schools
Read the full success story and find out how WES is now using grade-level reading and math instruction to keep the momentum going!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Congrats Digital Learning Grant Winners! 🎉🏅

And the 2016 Classworks Digital Learning Grant winners are...

Kasey Liner, Chastain Road Elementary,
Pickens County Schools, SC

"Classworks helps differentiate learning for each student and their individual needs. I love how Classworks can analyze strengths and weaknesses for each of my students. The program engages my students and they often complain when their sessions are over: “Just a few more minutes, Mrs. Liner?” Classworks helps me be an effective technology teacher that makes a difference! 

My goal is to have my classroom mimic the learning environment provided in flexible seating classrooms. I am excited about the possibility to increase student achievement with devices."

Robert Garcia, Crownover Middle School
Denton ISD, TX

"I have been using Classworks for over 5 years now, and each year it is my goal to improve and refine the use of it. Our students have demonstrated significant improvements through the use of Classworks.

I partner with our reading teachers once a week to create collaborative lessons used to co-
teach, and we use Classworks to reinforce these lessons. We divide up the Chromebooks from our school cart to review the Classworks lessons. We have the students demonstrate their knowledge through the quizzes and games. It has been a true team effort to coordinate and plan this endeavor.

Our goal is to make sure that our students have the ability to use Classworks at least once a week...with a Classworks outdoor technology learning space."

Hector Baeza, C.A. Donehoo Elementary
Gadsden City Schools, AL

"Our intervention team utilizes Renaissance STAR reports to pinpoint the math and reading needs of students identified for Tier III support. The team has Classworks reading and math lessons available for students. Utilizing these lessons our team has been able to successfully narrow the gaps in our students learning. We have had amazing results moving students out of Tier III.

STAR scaled scores have increased between .7 to .9 year's growth in one semester for each grade level. We recently had one student jump 200 points in reading. We have one computer lab and almost each grade level has an iPad cart that they share. We need additional classroom computers. Students have been asking for more computer time so they can get on Classworks and continue to improve their STAR performance!"

The Digital Learning Grant 
We launched the grant in 2015–$2,500 each to three teachers to purchase classroom technology–and we're thrilled about the overwhelming response! Thank you to all who submitted for sharing how you're using Classworks now and the innovation you have planned.

Be sure to follow us on social media to find out when the application window opens for the 2017 Digital Learning Grant!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Stay Warm and Catch Up With Our Top 5! ☕

Happy New Year! 

2017 is off to an exciting start! We're planning for our Winter Professional Development (sessions kick off January 24th), and reviewing your Digital Learning Grant applications! Winners will be announced here next week. Plus, we've got snow in our forecast (pretty exciting for us down south).

While you're staying warm and safe in the winter weather, take a look at our top 5 blog posts!

Ultimate Updates 2016 Top 5

5. Four Steps to Achieve Rigor in Your Lesson Plans
Practical ways to step up your lesson planning game. Rigor doesn't have to equal more work. It's about choosing the right tasks. 

4. Create An Optimal Learning Environment for Each Student! 
Group students, provide learning paths, and set goals to create a learning environment that meets all of your students' needs. 

3. Teach Paired Passages
A sample lesson plan and some pro tips to promote deep reading comprehension with digital paired passages. 

2. How Do You Know? Help Students Build Math Justifications
For students, using math language and putting understanding into words can be difficult. Help your students build justifications -- videos and a sample lesson plan are included. 

1. Content is Key: Transform with Technology
Devices are useless without the right educational content. Watch how one school successfully weaves technology into classroom learning using quality instruction. 

With 40 posts in 2016 alone, it was hard to choose! Need ideas on how to incentivize students, use math problem-solving activities with kindergarteners, or add a micro-credential to your teacher evaluation artifacts? Check out some of our other 2016 Ultimate Updates, and be sure to sign up! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

See You in 2017! Need to Reach Us? Here's How!

Thank you for an amazing 2016! 

The Classworks team will be enjoying time with family and friends beginning Monday, December 26. Our regular support schedule will resume on Tuesday, January 3.

Don't worry, if you need support you can still reach us! Plus, don't forget our Resource Center to find answers on your own (it's super easy, I promise).

Classworks Service and Support Holiday Schedule 
For service and support, email from Monday, December 26 through Tuesday, January 3.

Live chat will be available in Classworks starting at 8:00 a.m. EST, Tuesday, January 3rd.

We do not have any system maintenance scheduled over the holidays. Check the
Classworks Status Page ( to receive updates on service interruptions, scheduled or otherwise.

Where can I find Classworks help resources?

The Classworks Resource Center at includes a variety of training resources, videos, standards resources, and more. We continue to update resources on this page so feel free to bookmark it! 

Thank you for partnering with us to improve student learning! 
For me, 2016 was about creating the building blocks for an even better Classworks experience. 2017 will bring an exciting year full of new features and integrations to help you advance your teaching and achieve your instructional goals.

Happy Holidays, see you in 2017!

Jerry Henley, SVP of Technology and Development

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Happy Holidays from Classworks!

A special thank you to our customers for making 2016 an amazing year! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Create Individualized Learning Paths with ACT Aspire & Classworks!

Using ACT Aspire's Interim or Summative assessment? Transform students' assessment data into customized learning paths with Classworks! Students can immediately engage in lessons matched to their specific needs. 

See how it works! 

Want some help getting started? Contact our Customer Support Team

Reminder: The Classworks Digital Learning Grant application window closes next Friday. Apply now for $2,500 to use for classroom technology. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How Do You Know? Help Students Build Math Justifications

Part of building mathematical communications skills includes the ability to build justifications. Math practice standards call for students to not only figure out the problem, but communicate how they solved it, and why their answer is correct -- using evidence.

The challenges
Developing these skills is important, but it’s not always easy. Using math language and putting understanding into words can be difficult. And, it can be challenging as a teacher to let students stumble through their thinking instead of giving them the answer.

Classworks can help!
Use Classworks Applied Mathematics to support your math instruction. Applied Math activities allow for flexibility in the way students communicate their ideas.
  • Scaffold math communication skills using Applied Math digital tools. If students are still working on improving math writing skills, have them record their justification using the audio recording tool. They can transcribe their recording to improve their comfort level with writing. Drawing their justification is also an option.
  • Prepare using the Applied Math teacher resources included in each lesson. Review the sample student responses provided to set expectations for student justifications with each concept.
  • View students’ work in real-time and provide personalized feedback to help them move beyond the “how” to the “why” in their justifications.
Try it
Applied Math activities include lessons for K-8. Not sure how to get started? Here are a couple of videos to help: Differentiated Problem, Critique and Precision Problem. Or, use this 3rd grade lesson plan for guidance.

$2,500 for classroom technology

Give all of your students access to technology to work on building math justifications. Classworks Digital Learning Grant application is open! We are awarding three teachers $2,500 each for classroom technology. Expecting a complicated and rigorous grant application process? We wouldn't do that to you! Complete our simple online form to be considered for the grant. Apply now.

*Information from NCTM session presented by Nicora Placa