Friday, January 29, 2016

Memorizing Is Not the Goal or the Objective

We just delivered our first 2016 Winter Professional Development training in Macon! If you attended you probably noticed that our training has changed significantly. Why? Because how you are teaching math and reading has changed.

During the day-long Applied Mathematics training in Macon, an interesting conversation developed. 
While completing a problem-solving activity, almost every table came up with a different solving strategy for the same problem. What was also clear was that understanding how to critique different solving methods didn’t mean students needed to memorize all of them. There is concern that this is being misinterpreted. 

In a recent Washington Post article a math professor commented, “...I've observed that educators are trying to fit the standards into an old system of teaching math. We used to learn math by memorizing a "rule" and then repeating it to solve a series of similar problems. ...Under the guise of Common Core, rather than learning one rule, students are now memorizing and executing three or more different rules for the same set of problems.”

Looking for support to meet these instructional shifts in math? Our Winter Professional Development training sessions provide actionable ways to build conceptual understanding using Applied Mathematics. Collaborate with your colleagues about new instructional methods and leave with a completed lesson plan to implement in your classroom.

*Strauss, Valerie. "Are the Common Core Math Standards Being Misinterpreted?" The Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Do You Have Your Micro-Credential?

Digital Promise is a non-profit organization designed to spur innovation in education. One of their major initiatives is Educator Micro-Credentials -- a personalized way for you to gain recognition for the skills you master on a diverse range of teacher competencies.  

The Classworks Micro-Credential
We are proud to partner with Digital Promise to offer our first micro-credential: The Link Between Probing Questions and Student Learning. This competency-based learning credential focuses on using questions to build student critical thinking.

With Classworks Integrated Reading and Applied Mathematics, you already have rigorous instruction to build your lesson plans. We want to help you dig deeper with these resources while gaining recognition for mastering impactful classroom skills. Learn more.

How Does it Work?
Attending Classworks Winter Professional Development? You will learn everything you need to know to earn your micro-credential. This is in addition to becoming a Certified Classworks Trainer!

Can’t wait to get started? Apply now for the Digital Promise Micro-Credential. Your submission will be completed digitally. Once your submission has been reviewed and approved you will receive a digital badge to use as evidence of your professional learning.

Friday, January 15, 2016

And The Winners Are...

In 2015, we launched the first annual Classworks Digital Learning Grant – a $2,500 grant awarded to three teachers to purchase classroom technology.

Your submissions were outstanding! Thank you for sharing how you are using Classworks in your schools and the innovation you have planned with additional technology in your classrooms.

Each of the winners effectively described how Integrated Reading and/or Applied Mathematics by Classworks is incorporated into their classrooms today. Plus, they outlined what type of technology they will purchase and how they will use it to maximize their use of Classworks for everyday classroom learning.

The response was overwhelming. We had such a hard time choosing only three winners that we decided to award four honorable mentions in addition to the three winners.


Becky Bullard, LaSalle Elementary School, 
Creve Coeur School District 76, IL

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“I love having the opportunity to work with these LaSalle kids every day. Each day I work with approximately 50 different LaSalle students who struggle with reading in grades between kindergarten and 4th. Because they struggle with reading, as a result, they naturally do not like to read or practice reading. However, they love reading with Classworks! Classworks has been incredibly influential and has made a significant impact on their learning process. However, we do not have access to technology in our small group learning environment.” Read more.

Josselyn Draper, Three Mile Creek Elementary, 
Box Elder School District, UT

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“I currently use it as a whole group activity using the smartboard. I use the Integrated Reading to teach close reading and work on comprehension. I also use the passages in Integrated Reading as stimulus materials for writing prompts. We apply what we know about close reading and use the articles to do research for writing prompts I have created that go with the passage. We then write an essay based off the material in Integrated Reading and reference the material we used.” Read more.

Elizabeth Shores, Bearfield Primary School, 
Hertford County Public Schools, NC 

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“During my EOG review (April 2015), I reviewed tested reading comprehension standards by using the EOG LA in Classworks as a warm-up before the core instruction. As a grade level, we also assigned numerous Integrated Reading Leveled passages for students to complete for homework. These passages reiterated what we practiced during the school day. I strongly feel that this additional instructional resource made a great impact on my students' achievement levels on the ELA EOG test.” Read more.

Be sure to follow us on social media to find out when the application window opens for the 2016 Digital Learning Grant!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

99% Say Yes!

99% of customers surveyed after their Classworks training said they would recommend our professional development to others!

We're thrilled that you see the value and daily classroom application! You can deliver Classworks reading and math training even more successfully with our new Winter PD train-the-trainer certification sessions.

Become the Classworks Applied Math and Integrated Reading expert for your school or district! Complete the training and leave a Classworks Certified Trainer. 

These are day-long sessions, day one is dedicated to Integrated Reading and day two to Applied Mathematics. Attendees can register for one or both days.


In addition to the train-the-trainer sessions, we’re super excited to partner with Digital Promise to offer a brand new Micro-CredentialUsing Probing Questions to Help Students Explain their Thinking! This competency-based learning credential provides you with the opportunity to gain recognition for the skills you master that support deeper classroom learning.

The one-hour session will focus on the link between probing questions and student learning. Leave with actionable implementation strategies for using probing questions to increase learning gains.

For details on who should attend, locations, and registration go to

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year New Enhancements!

We’ve kicked off 2016 with an exciting new product enhancement!

Teachers, you can now see at-a-glance how your students are doing on a Classworks unit you
assigned through your Learning Management System. This eliminates the need to look at each student’s Classworks results one-by-one.

The new student response grid includes student name, date submitted, and their score on the assigned instruction.

Our commitment to developing to Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standards is what allows us to work seamlessly with your grade books, Learning Management Systems, and other education tools.

Here’s a look at highlights from 2015 -- all available in Classworks now!

New Classroom Instruction

  • Applied Mathematics by Classworks is available to all customers! Brand new, K-8 problem-solving activities built to College and Career Ready Standards to support rigorous lesson plans. 
Enhanced Mini-Lessons
  • Language support was added so students can hear the instructions in Spanish or English. 
  • Students can click the robot within the Mini-Lesson to get additional instruction for the lesson. 
  • Instructions for Learn, Apply, and Review can be read or played through headphones or speakers. 
Single Sign On/Interoperability
  • Microsoft 365 email users can sign on to Classworks using their Microsoft username and password. 
  • Classworks and Google Classroom: Assign instruction, grade, and provide feedback on Classworks assignments right in Google Classroom.
Partner Integrations
  • Classworks added integrations with Scantron Performance Series, Renaissance Star, Let’s Go Learn, and Texas STAAR Assessments to generate customized, data-driven assignments. 
We’ll keep you posted on all the latest product news here. Plus, follow us on your favorite social media channel for updates on our contests, webinars and trainings, and more.