Win an iPad Mini!

ipad_mini

Sign up for a FREE Admin account for chance to win an iPad Mini!

(June 29th – July 12th)

ISTE_ATL

 

Going to ISTE? Stop by and we can sign up for you!

(Ed Tech Start-Up Pavilion booth #1826)

Good luck!

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

Avoid Summer Learning Frustrations with Balanced Assignments

I am excited to have a small handful of kids who have been using ScootPad since the school year ended. I have a weekly standing assignment for both reading and math for anytime a student happens to log in. But I want to make it more individualized for my students who are taking time from their summer to be on ScootPad. I’d like to power-punch the learning by making sure I am supporting the areas that will most benefit them.

math_reading_assignment

To do this, I am looking at their reports to identify both a strength and a weakness. If I give them practices with only their weaknesses, I might frustrate or discourage them. So to keep things balanced, I am creating practice assignments that are a blend of both their areas of strength and weakness. I believe like this will allow them to be successful while also being challenged to look at topics that are more difficult for them.

For example, “Terri” has done some work on ScootPad since school ended. While looking at her report for math, I can see she struggles with money multiplication, elapsed time, and a few others. However, she is rocking in the standard ‘comparing number using place value and lines and angles,’ among others. Thus, I am selecting 5 topics that will challenge her, and 5 I already know she is successful in (see image below).

Finding the balance between challenge and success

Finding the balance between challenge and success

What are some ways you seek a balance between challenge and success?

Cheers!
Dr. Michelle Anthony

 

Come See Us at the ISTE Conference in Atlanta (June 29th & 30th)

ScootPad will be at the ISTE Conference this year in Atlanta, Georgia! Look for us at the Ed Tech Start-Up Pavilion booth #1826 June 29th and 30th! Please stop by and say hello to the ScootPad team!

   ISTE_ATL   ISTE 2013 conference at the San Angelo Convention Center.

 

About the ISTE Conference

This year’s conference will be held at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta. Teachers and educators will have the opportunity to network with other educators and companies. ISTE also offers a multitude of professional development opportunities that will help strengthen skills to support digital age learning!

iPad Raffle: Sign Up for a FREE Admin Account for a chance to win an iPad

Make sure you stop by our booth to enter our drawing for a chance to win an iPad Mini!

Not able to attend? Simply have your principal/admin sign up for a FREE admin account by July 1st to be entered!
Sign up here: https://www.scootpad.com/static/school

ipad_mini

For more information about ISTE 2014: https://www.isteconference.org/2014/glance/

To register for ISTE 2014: https://www.isteconference.org/2014/attend/

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

Problem Solving in All Forms

ScootPad is a platform for reading and math learning; however, it hosts a number of other possibilities. One benefit that I stumbled upon quite recently was by accident.  I was helping my students connect socially on ScootPad, to help foster engagement before summer vacation. One aspect of this was to encourage them to send each other shoutouts. At first they were frustrated that they couldn’t type whatever they wanted. They were also dismayed at the limited number of text options available. They immediately came to me to “fix” the problem.

I explained to them that I could not change the program and these were the limitations they were going to have to work with. I was interested to watch their problem solving at work. Some simply complained and gave up. They sat sullen, having no idea what to do with the time allotted, feeling as if  they could not accomplish their objective. Some remained that way for the rest of the time. Some, still dismayed, asked if they could do a practice instead of connect with friends. While not my original intent, this seemed an appropriate solution for them, so I said yes.

Other students, however, were not deterred. They, too were frustrated at the limitations, but they chose a different route of coping. Instead of giving up, they got creative. They began putting together simple sentences, sent them along, and used them as a launching off point. For example, when Francis sent Adam a “super job” shoutout, it initiated an in person conversation about what each was doing well on in ScootPad.

Instead of me telling them they were doing a great job, they were telling one another!

Problem Solving can come in all forms.

Problem Solving can come in all forms.

What hidden ways have you discovered to foster student connections on ScootPad?

Cheers!
Dr. Anthony

Thank You Riverside Elementary!

The ScootPad team was overjoyed to receive these beautiful, well written thank you letters from Mindy Shaw’s 5th Grade Classroom!

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Mrs. Shaw is a 5th grade teacher at Riverside Elementary in Chattaroy, Washington. She is also an active member of our Teacher Advisory Board and has been using ScootPad with her classroom over the past year. We are so happy to see ScootPad is making such a big difference in her students’ learning!

We would like to share some of the kind and encouraging words with you:

“This program improved my skills both in math, and in reading.”

“When I move up a unit, it’s a challenge at first, but then I understand the concepts.”

“I thought I could never get better at math, but you guys helped me by letting us use ScootPad.”

“Thank you for helping me be a better math and reading student.”

“I have become a great learner from your program.”

“I have fun and learn at the same time.”

“Thank you guys for letting me challenge myself in the math and reading”

“You have made me feel special for going to the next level”

We want to give a final big “Thank You!” to Mrs. Shaw’s classroom! You and other students like you are the inspiration behind everything we do!

We hope ScootPad has made an impact on your classroom, too! We would love for you to share your experience with us on our “Love ScootPad” page: https://www.scootpad.com/love

Or you can write to us:

ScootPad Corporation
1551 McCarthy Blvd, Suite 114
Milpitas, CA 95035

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

The Social Side of ScootPad

As the end of school approaches, I continue to set up experiences to engage my kids’ learning activities and to help launch them into summer motivated to continue learning.  This is a tricky proposition with my students, as most of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds where Science Camp is not likely on the agenda. But my students are eager and are often looking for opportunities to connect with learning. One way I am doing this is by helping them make social connections on ScootPad.

Being the GT teacher, I work with students in various classes across the grades, and not all the students are in the group across the year. Thus, many of my students are not physically in the room together at the same time, even though a number know one another or are friends. So to help make connections and get some conversations going, I invited them to extend their circle of friends on ScootPad.

Hearing how students select their friends gives me valuable social information.

Hearing how students select their friends gives me valuable social information.

Kids had a blast doing this, and it was equally useful for me. I got to listen to how they decided who to be friends with, and why. As a teacher, especially of GT students, it’s important for me to understand the connections my students are making to one another and how I might help foster that in class.

Are there ways you have discovered emotional understanding through ScootPad?

Cheers!
Dr Anthony

Are You Psyched for Summer?

Like most schools, we are in wind down mode, getting ready to finish off the year. It’s also a time of reflection and planning, as we look ahead to planning for next fall (“Already?” you may ask…yep, already). Knowing the year is coming to a close, I know how important it is for my students to continue to work towards their learning goals, even as May turns to June. One issue is that, as much as teachers are beginning to close out the year, so are students. They know summer is coming and their investment in their learning processes is beginning to reflect that.

Knowing the shift that is happening, I decided to re-ignite interest by making a ScootPad fun day. I invited the kids to spend the first part of the class altering their “how I feel today” icons, choosing new avatars, adding some friends, sending a few shoutouts, etc. They sparked up immediately! While the hum in the room started out completely social, I noticed as the time went on it shifted.

coin_exchange_friends

Making it fun re-engages the learning!

Making things fun re-engages the learning!

“Which practice number are you on?”

“I’m on practice 3, but it’s for unit 7, what about you?”
“Ms. Anthony, if I’m doing unit 8, how many more until I get to the C unit Rodrigo is doing?”

Game on.

I will admit, I had an ulterior motive in doing this. Of course I wanted to spark some increased interest in continuing to learn through the remaining days of the school year. However, I wanted more. I know the statistics: most kids lose up to 2 months of learning over the summer. While the Summer Slide is not good for any child, children from low income homes are more at risk for even higher levels of loss.

Knowing this, my ultimate goal is to prime at least some of my students to continue using ScootPad over the summer. I plan to keep my class set up so that my students can access the learning throughout June, July, and August. As I have told them, I don’t want their brains turning to marshmallows over the summer, and what better way than by continuing to keep their learning active with our class ScootPad account?

What ways have you tried to keep your students learning over the summer?

Cheers!
Dr Michelle Anthony

 

Top 10 Reasons to Enroll in ScootPad Summer Program

summer ScootPad’s interactive Summer Program starts in a few days! Enroll your child now to take advantage of all the great benefits our Summer Program has to offer!

 

1) Prevent the “Summer Slide” 
With our specially designed summer curriculum, students will retain the previous year’s material by reviewing the past year’s core concepts.

2) Prepare Students for next grade level
Students will get a head start on the coming school year by working with new concepts from the next year’s grade level.

3) Understand Common Core Standards
Students will gain valuable experience with the Common Core Standards to help prepare them for the transition most schools will be making next school year.

4) Convenient and Self-Paced
Students will only be expected to devote around 5 hours/week to ScootPad which means they can work a little every day, or once a week.

5) Assessment Driven Insights
Monthly assessments will be given so parents can gain real-time insight into how their kids are performing all summer long!

6) Fully Managed by ScootPad
 ScootPad will carry the weight of responsibility of engaging your child this summer, so you can choose to be involved as much as you like.

7) Fun Learning Experience
While learning, kids will have access to over 250 avatars, will be able to add unlimited friends, send unlimited shoutout messages and play learning games.

8) Weekly Updates
Parents will receive weekly updates so they can easily monitor student activity and proficiency to identify improvement needs and you can even assign additional practices.

9) Motivation Tools
Kids will be motivated to learn this summer with the Summer Leaderboard where they can compare their results with other students in their grade level and work to be in the top ranking.

10) Prizes & Awards
All students will receive a ScootPad Summer Certificate, but students will also have the chance to earn 1-year free of our Silver Plan ($38 value), or a ScootPad T-Shirt if they are ranked at the top of their grade level in Reading/ELA or Math.

To learn more and enroll, please visit our Summer Page at: https://scootpad.com/summer.

If you have any questions or need help enrolling call us toll free  1-888-666-3106 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm PST) or send an email to Summer@ScootPad.com.

Cheers,
ScootPad Team

Using the Class Leaderboard at Home

I use ScootPad with a number of hats on.  I am a GT Teacher of an urban, linguistically diverse elementary school where many of my students are learning to speak and read English while also learning to think and reason in their new language. But I also use ScootPad as a mom at home with my own kids. l love the versatility of the program! I can use it to focus on areas of weakness, or to help my children excel at their strength.

Leaderboard_Pic

One way I use ScootPad at home is using the leaderboard as both a motivator and a touchstone. As a parent, we often feel like what we say goes in one ear and out the other. But instead of needing to emphasize the importance of this or the benefit of that, the leaderboard does it for me! My son can see how many questions other kids are doing and getting right. He can place (and pace!) himself among his peers. As a parent, I can tell if he’s spending about as much time as the group in general on ScootPad, just to get a sense of where he falls. The motivation comes from him, instead of what may be perceived as pressure coming from me. All without me having to say a word!

For other posts in the “Ways to Use the Class Leaderboard” series, see:

Encouraging Healthy Competition with the Class Leaderboard

Using the Leaderboard to Help Students Own Learning

Motivating Learning with the Class Leaderboard

Cheers!
Dr. Michelle Anthony

Enhance Learning by Making Concepts Visual

Our second graders, like most around the nation, are building their framework of understanding around place value. Each day they have math class, where we use the Everyday Math program. They do Math Boxes and homework sheets. And if you ask them if they understand place value, they will tell you they do. Until they need to actually use it in a new context. That’s when some of  the tools on ScootPad can make all the difference!

The other day, we had a ScootPad station set up. While working with another group, I happened to look over and see my student Astera typing on Latisha’s, computer.

“What’s up?” I asked her.

“Oh, Latisha asked me to do the problem for her. She doesn’t know how.” After a brief conversation with both girls about the importance of only doing your own work, I sat with Latisha. She stared blankly at the problem.

“I have no idea what to do,” she mumbled quietly.

Applying place value skills is not as simple as it looks.

Applying place value skills is not as simple as it looks.

“Let’s just start at the beginning.” So we walked through what the problem was asking (see image, above). Many of my students are second language learners, so reading and understanding the question is actually another layer of learning for them. The number of steps was also throwing her off.

Color can really help pull out the concepts!

Color can really help pull out the concepts!

To help her visualize the problem, I used the scratchpad to draw out each place value in its own color. This visual set up really helped things click for her! While sometimes the scratchpad is cumbersome on our Chromebooks, having access to color tools literally at our fingertips can really simplify learning! After only 1 more example, she was ready to tackle it on her own, and do it for herself!

Cheers!
Dr. Anthony

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