State Standards are Covered with Studies Weekly

At Studies Weekly, we often tout the phrase that our product is created “by teachers, for teachers.” Specifically, this means that our staff consists of veteran teachers who know what is important to you as a teacher. This includes strict compliance with state standards.

Process Ensures Standards Compliance

Each of our publications goes through a rigorous process to ensure compliance with the unique standards for your state. Recent statewide adoptions in recent months by California and Florida have proven that our publications can stand up to rigorous standards to teach your students social studies and the English Language Arts concurrently.

State Standards for Social Studies and ELA

In many schools across the country, social studies is, unfortunately, becoming a dying subject. On the other hand, English Language Arts (ELA) is still alive and well. Studies Weekly materials include many ELA standards. We designed them this way to ensure a robust and well-rounded ELA and social studies education for your students. Studies Weekly is a social studies curriculum that we designed to be taught during the literacy block.

Start Your Free Trial

Click here to start your free trial of Studies Weekly online products to see how we stack up to your state standards. You can also order a free sample of our print versions here.

 

Parent Accounts: Getting the Most Out of Studies Weekly

increase parent involvement with parent accounts at studies weekly As a teacher, you know that parent involvement is one of the key indicators in the value of your students’ education. You also know firsthand that your students’ parents can either be your greatest allies or present difficult hurdles into your teaching.

After several years of experience with our online tool, and after feedback from some of our valued educators, we added the awesome Parent Accounts feature. The ability to create Parent Accounts is one of the greatest tools that we have available to you and your students’ parents. This tool allows parents to closely monitor how their kids are doing and how they’re using Studies Weekly online resources.

Here are some of the important things you should know about Parent Accounts. These factors will help you increase parent involvement in your classroom, and give everyone a better education experience.

1. Setting up Parent Accounts is easy.

First, login to your Teacher Account at Studies Weekly. As a reminder, you can register by clicking here and filling out your information. If you have a subscription to the Studies Weekly print publication, then your online account access is included for free.

Once you have logged in, click on the CLASSES tab at the top of the page. Click on the class name on the lefthand side. Your roster will look similar to this:

From there, click on the Manage Parents tab to add, delete, or change parent information.

To add a parent to your student, click on the + Add Parent button on the right.

Enter the parent’s name and email address, then click the Send Invite button. The parent will get an email similar to the message below. Once they click the link, their Parent Account will be active.

2. Parents can login from anywhere.

Studies Weekly Online is web-based software, which means that parents can access their Parent Accounts from anywhere they have internet access. Our software is designed to be used across both mobile and desktop, so whether at home or on-the-go, parents can easily access their child’s information.

3. It includes a built-in messaging feature.

One of the trickiest parts of teaching is trying to ensure that information conveyed to students makes it home. With Parent Accounts, you add parents to your students’ accounts and communicate with the entire class or with specific parents. You can send weekly reminders to your students’ parents about tests coming up, reading assignments, and more.

4. It increases parent involvement.

One of the best ways to increase parent involvement is to get students and their parents talking about school and online activities. Encourage parents and students to use and talk about the online Parent Accounts. We designed this tool to promote dialogue, increase parent involvement, and provide a more robust student experience.

5. It is completely transparent.

Parent Accounts give parents the option to see what their students are doing within the Studies Weekly tool. With the Parents Account portal, parents can track their child’s account to see how they did on assessments, rewards accumulation, and view notes and highlights in their reading.

6. Student information is private and safe.

We live in a digital age and sensitive information is shot across the internet every second. Therefore, the privacy and security of our data and certainly our children’s data is paramount. Rest assured that with the Parents Accounts, your students’ information is private.Our two-step verification built into our parent registration process ensures that no student data is transferred outside the teacher-parent relationship. No one has access to your child’s information but you and their parents.

If you’re looking for a robust curriculum that complies with state standards, is engaging for your kids, and also increases parent involvement, order your free 30-day trial of Studies Weekly online and request your free sample today.

Increase Critical Thinking with Studies Weekly

Critical thinking is more than just being able to think clearly about a topic or a problem. It is a crucial life skill that every student must learn.

Many of our students will not learn this essential skill at home, so it becomes extraordinarily important to increase critical thinking at school. (In the meantime, you can get parents more engaged with our Parent Accounts.)

Teachers have actually been using Studies Weekly to incorporate critical thinking skills in their classrooms for decades. Here are some ideas that we’ve come across.

1. Start by Asking a Question

The easiest way to increase critical thinking in your students is to begin your lesson with an open-ended question. The question should require some research and problem solving.

One thing we encourage teachers to do is have students read an article out of their Studies Weekly and discuss it as a class. What are the similarities between the people in the article and your students? What might your students do differently for alternative outcome?

2. Have Students Collaborate

Collaboration is not only an essential skill for critical thinking, but it will serve your students well to learn now how to cooperate with peers. As students gather around their Studies Weekly and discuss a problem, they are able to come to conclusions and process information by learning from their peers.

3. Hold a Mock Debate

Holding a debate is a great way to increase critical thinking about both sides of an issue. Take an issue from your Studies Weekly publications for the week and have students discuss each side. Ask a question and have students take turns debating their stance.

If students are up for it (older kids might be “too cool” at this point so gauge what will work best for your class!), you could even have them role play both sides. Seeing it from another perspective can be a great way to get students thinking analytically and creatively about a problem or issue.

4. Increase Critical Thinking Through Information Fluency

Information fluency is a key ingredient in critical thinking. This involves knowing how to use the information you gather to determine what is useful and appropriate, and what is not. When you ask your question at the beginning of the lesson, pull out some phrases from the Studies Weekly text and write them on the board. Have students decide based on the question which pieces of information are useful and which are not.

5. Teach Open-Ended Problem-Solving

Assign a student or a group of students a problem. Perhaps they have to build a tower or hat out of unrelated out of unrelated, very different ingredients. The goal of the project is to get students learning how to problem solve. There will be a lot of trial and error and discovery, as students are forced to try different things to accomplish the goal.

Critical thinking is an essential skill for your students to have a successful adult life. For more of our classroom ideas and to download some free lesson plans, subscribe to our newsletter. Or you can sign up for a free trial of Studies Weekly.

Getting the Most Out of Your Studies Weekly Account

Did you know your Studies Weekly print publications already have a subscription to our online tool? We are always surprised to find out when teachers who have been using Studies Weekly print materials for years are not also taking advantage of the online side of their products!

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or even a student, Studies Weekly’s online format is user-friendly and thoughtfully designed. Here are some of the different functionalities available to you through Studies Weekly online for your respective role.

Teachers

Registering and logging in is easy. If you have a Studies Weekly print publication in your classroom, then your online account already exists; you just have to go in and register to “activate” it. You can find instructions on registering in this article.

Here are some of the key features of your online account:

1. Give assessments

Each week, we provide assessments that correlate with the article. This can be accessed by clicking on the Reading tab and selecting the publication you’re using. You will then have the option to activate and edit the test, as shown:

When the test is activated, your students will be able to go in and take it. While testing, their responses will autosave every time a student types into a field or selects an answer.

2. Read along with students

We provide an auto-reader that will read aloud when you click the play icon. Each word is highlighted when read so that students can follow along with ease.

Not only does it help with student comprehension but it also comes in handy when your voice needs a break. We have a wide range of accents and characters to keep students entertained and engaged with the topic being discussed.

3. Get a picture of student progress

Studies Weekly online includes a robust reporting structure. Select your class from the right-hand side of your screen, to view your list of students. Just click on the Reports link in the top right corner to access the reports for your class:

Alternatively, you can access all of your reports for all of your classes by clicking on the Reports tab at the top of any page once you have logged into your Studies Weekly online teacher account:

For your reports, you have two tabs at the top: 1) SLI (Student Learning Index) Report; and 2) Utilization Report. You have the option to export student report data to Excel in CSV format or view in a browser by selecting Search. Either view of the report will give you a clear picture of what your students are working on and how they’re progressing.

4. Measure Students’ Engagement

With the new online student reporting tools within our Gradebook, you can see all of the students’ activities in each of your classes on one screen. This tool will give you a snapshot of which of your students are participating heavily and which ones might need a little more encouragement.

With this tool, you can also see which test questions students might be struggling with, and which answers they might have just skipped over.

5. Share Student Progress with Parents

Parents love to know how their child is doing in class. With the new online student reporting tools, you can export student data to Excel and share with parents individually. For a student who is struggling, seeing a snapshot of their engagement may be just what their parents need.

Furthermore, you can increase parent involvement with our Parent Accounts. This tool allows parents to closely monitor how their kids are doing and how they’re using Studies Weekly’s online resources.

6. Take advantage of professional development opportunities.

Once you have logged in to your teacher account on Studies Weekly, you’ll have instant access to all of our professional development articles and videos. The Professional Development Training link is front and center for your convenience. Start logging those hours!

The Professional Development Training link has moved to the top for easier accessibility.
The Professional Development Training link has moved to the top for easier accessibility.

Within the professional development tab, clicking on the module itself will launch right in your browser. Alternatively, we have provided a download link in the bottom right corner of each module so you can download and view later.

The Teacher Professional Development on Demand page has gotten a whole new look.
The Professional Development on Demand page has gotten a whole new look.

We make it easy to filter your results so you only see the type of media that you want to see. Under “Show only these types” at the top of the site, clicking these options will eliminate that option from your filter. Click on the other two options to narrow down your filter to the one you want.

You can perform a search using the search box on the upper lefthand side. Note that the search box in the upper right will search the entire Studies Weekly site. The one on the left will search Professional Development files only.

Students

Most classrooms in the U.S. are connected to the internet today. The internet can be a significant online learning tool in your classroom, but because different students learn at different speeds and in different ways, tools that teach using a variety of methods are extremely important.

To facilitate the best online learning, Studies Weekly designed and created Student Accounts. Student Accounts allow students to work through our online materials at their pace in the way that they understand it best. Here are a few key features of our Student Accounts that will keep students more engaged and improve their learning.

1. Bilingual Content

Students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) make up a large population of our nation’s schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Spanish is the primary language spoken at home for 3.7 million students or about 7.6 percent of students in grades K-12 in the United States. The percentage of ELL students in certain states such as California is as high as 25 percent.

With this in mind, and to serve our Spanish immersion classrooms that use Studies Weekly, our online reading sections and assessments are available in Spanish.

To view the Spanish language versions of the publications, click “Reading” at the top of the page and collapse the tab labeled “Leveled Readers.”

2. Highlighting

Students are able to highlight passages of text. Teachers make this tool even more valuable when they incorporate highlighting into their lessons.

For instance, you can have students highlight the verbs as they see them in their reading, or highlight all of the proper nouns they see throughout the copy. This fulfills many of the ELA standards while teaching students essential social studies concepts.

3. Assessments

To administer assessments to your students, just go into your Teacher Account and activate the test for the section you are working on. The reading sections prepare students for the questions at the end of the unit.

One of the benefits of the assessments is that they utilize a variety of question types: drag and drop, fill in the blank, true or false, multiple choice, etc. We have closely assessed the standards to make sure that both our digital and print materials adhere closely to the standards for each state.

4. Rewards

Parents and teachers know that the best way to motivate children is through rewarding positive behavior. As students complete their reading or listening to the text, they earn virtual coin rewards. Students will also have to search the site to earn some of the rewards. (Don’t worry, we give pretty good clues!)

Students can redeem their rewards for items for a virtual pet.

Many of the reading sections also include games. Students can play developmentally appropriate games such as MisSpilled, a game that helps students identify misspelled and correctly spelled words. There are also crossword puzzles that incorporate ideas and vocabulary from the reading.

5. Online Learning Progress Tracking

As a kid, few things are quite as frustrating as not being able to track progress. (Ever been on a road trip with a 6-year-old? Do the words “Are we there yet?” set off any alarms?)  With our online tool, students can track their own progress. Students will get through the material and retain more of it when they can see their progress nearing the finish line.

6. Audio & Visual Features

The content in our online component is identical to the print publications you receive in your classroom each week. With the online tool, however, the content has sound and visual components as well. We also have thousands of videos, and most likely, at least one that correlates with each topic.

We understand you often need to cater to your students’ unique personalities and learning styles. That’s why we’ve included these options to help you.

To start setting up your Student Accounts, register or login to Studies Weekly online.

 

See Our Primary Source Media Online!

As a teacher, one of the most difficult things about your responsibility to students is teaching them real-world, real-time applications of events in history.

Elementary school students now were not even born when historically significant events such as the September 11 attacks occurred, but most of you can probably remember where you were and what you were doing on that fateful day.

So what is primary source media and how can you use these valuable tools we offer in your classroom? 

Primary Source Media Explained

Primary source media is used to teach students about events that occurred before and during their lifetime. With primary source, students as young as kindergarten can learn concepts and glean meaning from events that would otherwise be out of sight, and therefore out of mind. There are many different categories of primary source media, including but not limited to the following:

  • Personal correspondence and diaries
  • Works of art and literature
  • Speeches and oral histories
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Photographs and posters

One major advantage when using Studies Weekly is that we provide all of these different types of primary source media via our online tools as well as our award-winning 100% consumable print materials.

See It to Believe It

After logging into your teacher account at Studies Weekly, you have access to images of diary pages and letters from notable figures in history. Some of these figures include Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Joan Mulholland — one of the key figures in the Freedom Rides — and many more.

The only culture that our students and our kids will know about and understand is what is passed down to them from the generations before. This is what makes primary source so crucial to students now. In our weekly publications as well as our online tools, we talk about and share news images, works of art and literature.

It’s Like You’re There

Some of the greatest tools that we have in our online library are the audio and video recordings. Never been to Europe? Take a virtual field trip through Amsterdam, Germany or Paris.

Our video team is led by an award-winning director who produced our Veterans Day assembly video, and they create videos on virtually every imaginable topic. We’ve conducted interviews with many notable figures in history.

Endless Classroom Tools and Resources

We have many photographs and posters available for teachers to use in their classrooms.  Your students can analyze primary sources through observation, reflection, and questioning. Those primary sources also help to give your students an powerful understanding of the past.

Perhaps the best part about our primary source tools is that they are already included in your print subscription.

We have many teachers who have been using our publications for several years, including award-winning California teacher, Cathy Marston.  But many of our teachers are still unaware of these online tools.

If you use Studies Weekly in your classroom, but do not use the online teacher account yet, you can do so at studiesweekly.com/online.

February 2018 Wrap-up and Look Ahead

It’s been a great month here at Studies Weekly. With our amazing social studies materials hot off the presses, we are getting ready to ship these out to teachers all over the country. We couldn’t do what we do without all of you, and we are deeply appreciative. We wanted to start off this month with a recap of what’s been going on as well as give you a look ahead of what we’ll be up to this spring.

Changes to Our Website

To start off, we enjoyed some fun victories this month. The Teacher Accounts side of our website underwent some changes that rolled out on February 2. As a Studies Weekly subscriber to our print social studies materials, you already have access to our online component as well. If you are using Studies Weekly online (and you should!), you probably noticed the following updates:

  1. Autosave Function on Assessments (reviewed here);
  2. Student Gradebook and More Comprehensive Reports (reviewed here); and
  3. Teacher Professional Development Usability Updates (discussed here).

Award-Winning Social Studies Materials

We are proud to officially be an award-winning publication now!
We are proud to officially be an award-winning publication now!

Another major victory we’ve been celebrating involves an award we received from Textbook and Academic Authors Association Studies Weekly social studies materials were named 2018’s Most Promising Textbook and we are thrilled about it. Read up about the award on our recent blog post, or in case you missed it, you can download the TAA press release announcement here.

Assembly with Harriet Tubman

Some of our staff was able to visit a couple of classrooms that are using Studies Weekly successfully. We were able to watch a unique presentation by Harriet Tubman herself, and got it all on video. Click here to see the exclusive video on our YouTube channel.

Regional Manager Visits

Some of our regional managers were able to attend publishers fairs in February as well. These were great opportunities for us to get out and talk to some of our customers. We really enjoyed getting to know some of you and featuring some of our products. If you are interested in meeting with one of our regional managers when they’re in your area, please check out our calendar by clicking here.

Upcoming Education Conference

One of our teachers won an Echo Dot at NCSS 2017 and some of our social studies materials to boot - you could be a lucky winner in Boston!
One of our teachers won an Echo Dot at NCSS 2017 – you could be a lucky winner this year in Boston!

Coming up this month, we will be attending ASCD Empower18 in Boston, MA. If you’ll be there too, we would love to meet you. Stop by our booth and say hi when you have the time. We had a blast at last year’s NCSS 2017 Conference, Just like last time, we will again be giving away a lot of swag and some great prizes. Stop by and try your luck at winning a tablet, Studies Weekly swag, and more! We will also have samples of our award-winning social studies materials, so check them out.

Order a Sample or Free Trial

In the meantime, you don’t have to attend a conference to have access to our awesome publication, free newsletters and lesson plans, and thousands of original, exclusive videos. Start your free 30 Day Trial or stop by our online shop for a free sample of Studies Weekly!

 

 

 

Our Award-Winning Classroom Resources

Most Promising New Textbook Award Winner - Studies Weekly brings award-winning classroom resources to your classes!For over 30 years, Studies Weekly has been working hard to create and produce valuable classroom products for teachers like you to use in your classrooms. We are now beyond excited to announce that we will now be bringing you award-winning classroom resources.

Most Promising New Textbook Award

Mississippi Studies Weekly has been awarded a 2018 Most Promising New Textbook Award by the Textbook and Academic Authors Association (TAA). We are thrilled to add “award-winning” to our curriculum vitae so to speak.

The winners were announced on Thursday, February 22, 2018 on the TAA Blog, Abstract, and on TAA’s social media pages. You can also download a copy of TAA’s press release on the awards.

Ceremony and Reception

The TAA Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held in June in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We’ll be getting our black tie attire ready for the event. Thank you, TAA, for this amazing honor and opportunity. We are especially grateful to teachers and students in Mississippi and nationwide for their hard work. You are largely what has made Studies Weekly a huge success. We could never have done it without your support.

Mississippi Studies Weekly is an innovative, age-appropriate publication that brings history and social science to life for its audience in a way traditional textbooks may not be able to do. It is a very well-designed, visually appealing and interesting weekly learning tool for 4th graders in the Magnolia State.

Official Adoptions

Towards the end of 2017, Studies Weekly was officially adopted in Florida and California, which is where award-winning teacher Cathy Marston uses and loves Studies Weekly. We are now in one-third of classrooms nationwide, and this recent award is icing on the cake.

Find Out More

To find out more about Studies Weekly and our newly award-winning classroom resources, visit our online shop. We have resources and curriculum specific to your state that aligns with state standards. Not ready to buy yet? Order a 30-day free trial and see why our publications are in one-third of elementary school classrooms in the United States!

This is what award-winning classroom resources look like!

Teacher Professional Development Made Easier

We have mentioned some notable changes to our online tools over the last couple of weeks. We wanted to make online student reporting easier, have functions that made testing students simpler, and revamped our teacher professional development site for better usability. The following elements on our site were updated and went live February 1st:

  • Autosave Function on Assessments (reviewed here)
  • Student Gradebook and More Comprehensive Reports (reviewed here)
  • Teacher Professional Development Usability Updates

If you have logged in to your teacher account on Studies Weekly lately, you might have noticed some small changes to our Professional Development page. Hopefully with these changes, it will be much easier for you to complete your professional development hours.

Here is a brief summary of the changes.

Teacher Professional Development Link Moved

The teacher Professional Development Training link is now front and center for your convenience. You can’t miss it! Start logging those hours! 🙂

The Professional Development Training link has moved to the top for easier accessibility.
The Professional Development Training link has moved to the top for easier accessibility.

Download or View Modules

You’ll notice a few changes to the modules on the PD Training page. First, if you click on the module itself, it will launch right in your browser. Alternatively, we have provided a download link in the bottom right corner of each module to download and view later.

The Teacher Professional Development on Demand page has gotten a whole new look.
The Professional Development on Demand page has gotten a whole new look.

Filter by Type

Filter your results under “Show only these types” at the top of the site. Clicking on one of these options will eliminate that option from your filter. Click on the other two options to narrow down your filter to the one you want.

Searching

You can perform a search using the search box on the upper lefthand side. Note that the search box in the upper right will search the entire Studies Weekly site. The one on the left will search Professional Development files only.

If you have any questions or need help setting up your account, contact us on our site or reach out on social media (Facebook or Instagram). We’re always here to help.

Improved Student Gradebook and Online Student Reporting

As we mentioned last week, we have made some notable changes to how our online tools function. We made online student reporting easier, added functions that made testing students simpler, and redesigned our professional development site for better usability. As of February 1, 2018, the following elements on our site were updated:

  • Autosave Function on Assessments (click link for our recent blog on this)
  • Student Gradebook and More Comprehensive Reports
  • Professional Development Usability Updates

As a teacher, you know how important accurate reporting is. You also know how important it is for your students’ parents to be able to see how their kids are doing. With our new and improved student gradebook and reporting tools, you can do the following:

  • See a clearer picture of student progress.
  • Measure the engagement of your students with our online tools.
  • Share your students’ progress with their parents.
  • See student engagement with online tools skyrocket!

Clearer Picture of Student Progress

When you select your class on the right hand side of your screen, you will see your list of students like usual. Just click on the Reports link in the top right corner to access the reports for your class:

Alternatively, you can access all of your reports for all of your classes by clicking on the Reports tab at the top of any page once you have logged into your Studies Weekly online teacher account:

For your reports, you have two tabs at the top: 1) SLI (Student Learning Index) Report; and 2) Utilization Report. You have the option to export student report data to Excel in CSV format or view in browser by selecting Search. Either view of the report will give you a clear picture of what your students are working on and how they’re progressing.

Measure Your Students’ Engagement

With the new online student reporting tools we have available,  you can see all of the students’ activities in each of your classes on one screen . This tool will give you a snapshot of which of your students are participating heavily and which ones might need a little more encouragement.

With this tool, teachers also have the ability to view from their own computer screens which test questions their students might be struggling with, and which answers they might have just skipped over.

Share Student Progress with Parents

One of the great joys of teaching is meeting parents. With the new online student reporting tools, you can export student data to Excel and share with parents individually. For a student who is struggling, seeing a snapshot of student engagement may be just what their parents need.

Online Student Reporting for More Engagement

These updates were rolled out and improved on over years of dedicated teaching experience. Many of our staff are former educators who have put a lot of thought and significant input into these tools. We do this to make sure they are useful teacher tools and valuable parent tools as well.

As students engage with our online tool, their engagement and interest in learning will increase. Our hope is that the online gradebook and online student reporting features will make teaching easier. We hope to see you online soon!

Autosave Function for Online K-6 Testing Available

At Studies Weekly, we get a lot of feedback from you, our valued customers. The other day, one of our teachers reached out on Facebook to ask whether the autosave function would be available soon for online K-6 testing. We want that teacher to know — like we want all of you to know — that we’ve been listening.

As a direct result of your feedback, we have begun to roll out a few notable changes that might interest you. By February 1, 2018, we will have updated the following elements on our site:

  • Autosave Function on Assessments
  • Student Gradebook and More Comprehensive Reports
  • Professional Development Usability Updates

Over the next few weeks, we will have more video tutorials available to help you navigate these changes. In the meantime, we will be providing a brief explanation here on our blog. For this week, we’ll briefly go over the new autosave function on assessments when going through our online K-6 testing.

Autosave Function

For students, the assessment screen will look the same. All of your students should be familiar with logging in to their student accounts by now. However, if you have not set up student accounts, visit this blog for a brief rundown of what to expect and some short instructions for getting it setup for your class.

You know the value of this update if you’ve had students taking an assessment when the power or internet goes out. Now, the system will autosave assessments upon event. In other words, the system will autosave responses every time a student types text in a field or selects an answer.

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Please note that we will have the Autosave feature available with the next update on February 1, 2018.

As always, if you have any questions or feature requests, know that we’re listening. We want to hear from you. Go ahead and leave us a comment below, reach out on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), or give us a call at (866) 311-8734.