Using Your Teacher Supplement and Other Materials

Each of our publications has corresponding teacher materials designed for it, including a teacher supplement. Starting in the 2018-2019 School Year, Studies Weekly will include teacher materials on all orders of 10 or more student publications. The teacher supplement includes assessments, lesson plans, answer keys, etc.

The teacher supplement is also available online at www.studiesweekly.com/online. You will find many other amazing teacher materials online including; lesson plans, standards correlations, worksheets, primary source documents, teaching ideas, virtual field trips, and more.

Accessing The Teacher Supplement Online

  • In the blue menu bar select the Reading tab  
  • Select your publication icon from the list available
  • You may also select the week you are working on. This provides more Resources to you than if you were simply on the publication.
  • Scroll down past all weeks to the Resources tab found at the bottom
  • Find the quarter you are interested in viewing
  • You may choose to View the file online or download it to your computer
  • PLEASE NOTE: All password protected PDFs will be encrypted with your login email address as the password.

What You’ll Find Inside

Within the teacher supplement, each week is laced with detailed descriptions, explanations and references in regards to the lesson. It provides a list of vocabulary words and theme words for the class to know. In addition, it suggests alternate literature and websites to browse for further information and resources. It even offers a summary of what students have learned prior and what they were taught the previous year.

The teacher supplement then lists the week’s objectives and provides guided questions for each section within the week. In some cases, teacher supplements can be overwhelming but we try to make it easy and straightforward. Our whole goal is to make sure teachers are spending less time planning and more time teaching.

Go ahead and login to view the teacher materials for yourself! Let us know what you think in the comments below. For further tips and resources, view here.

 

Getting Started with Studies Weekly

So you’ve received your Studies Weekly blue box and you’re thinking, “Now what?” Receiving a whole new curriculum can be intimidating and nerve-racking at first. Learning how to use this new material may be the cherry on top of your stressful back-to-school prep, but no need to fear! We are here to make your life easier when it comes to getting started with Studies Weekly.

So first things first, let’s open the box.

After opening the box, inside you will find three things. First, is the instructions page. This page will go over how to collate your publications so that they are separated by weeks. Next, you will find the teacher resources. These will either come in one larger supplement or four separate ones. Finally, you’ll find the student editions. Each student edition comes compiled in four quarterly bundles consisting of enough weekly units to last the entire school year.

Now we come to one of the hardest parts about Studies Weekly, sorting out the publications.

Collating the publications may seem like a pain but trust us it’s worth it in the end. You can have your students sort the publications, or have some upper-class students to help you sort them into the individual weeks.

To begin, remove the first quarter of each student edition. Next, separate each week and put them into piles (each week has a different color to help you stay organized). After each week is complete, gather each pile and use either an alligator clip or large paper clip to keep the pile together. Then, place the weeks back into the blue box until your ready to start using them. Once the first quarter is done, repeat the same process for the next three quarters.

We print our publications in four quarterly bundles to help save money and ultimately keep costs low for our customers. Here’s a great explanation why:

Now you’re set for the whole year! To start setting up your Online Account, register or login to Studies Weekly online.

 

How to Leverage Technology in the Classroom

My daughter, a first grader, keeps asking me for a phone. “So many kids have them!” and I wonder, “For what?” but I know the answer: for everything. Technology is everywhere. It’s in classrooms, churches, the bus, the dinner table. Everywhere. And rather than resisting it, there are some key things that teachers, in particular, can do to leverage the growing trend for electronic classrooms to work in their favor. Here are a few of those things you might consider:

1. Have a Clear Electronics Policy in Place

No matter how much you care about your students, as a teacher, you know realistically that if given free reign of a tablet or laptop, any kid from the age of 5 to 18 (and beyond!) is going to return the device at the end of the day with the thing loaded with a variety of farm heroes, exploding candies, pictures of doe-eyed kids with flower crowns…and not to date myself even further, but I have no idea what kids are playing these days. Whatever it is, without some clear boundaries in place, it’s not going to be what you’re teaching them.

So first things first, when you come to embrace technology in your classroom, lay out a clear electronics policy. What are the consequences of excessive or inappropriate technology use? What tools are okay to use and which are strict no-nos? If you hear technology knocking at your classroom door, it might be time to get together with your school or district IT professional and determine what constitutes “acceptable use” in your school.

2. Create Natural Consequences for Misuse

With any luck, your students are growing up in environments where they understand that every action has a natural consequence. According to Edutopia, “a disruption should always be a bigger headache to the student than to you as a teacher.” When our 6-year-old is acting out like 6-year-olds often do, my husband will sometimes say, “You better stop that or you won’t go to the park tomorrow!” This is frustrating because the consequence of her action is more of a headache to me than it is to her. No park tomorrow means “hang out with mom and push every button you know she has.” Kids need consequences that are relevant to them without putting a burden on someone else.

In a classroom setting, if a student is using technology for something other than schoolwork, the consequence might be that the device is taken away. If they use tablets to take notes, then the natural consequence of misusing it is that they have to use pen and paper. If students are using devices to create presentations, they have the option of completing the project at home or again, pulling out the stone-age tools of pen and paper and creating a rough draft that way.

3. Use Your Powers for Good

With recent hurricanes ravaging the south, and the strongest earthquake in Mexico in a century shaking up and destroying homes south of the border, there is no shortage of terrible things happening. People all over the country and all over the world need help, and no student is too small or too young to make a significant impact. Consider using technology to teach your students the value of humanitarian aid. No matter the subject you teach, there are things your students can do to leverage technology to help people around the world.

To cite a few examples, FirstGiving, Pledgie, and GoFundMe exists for purposes just like this. DonorsChoose is another one that is specifically for classrooms if you have a project that needs funding or just to raise awareness or bring support to fellow educators. Students can use these tools to create awareness of what is going on in the world, or they can use them to facilitate projects of their own.

4. Make Classroom Content Shareable

There are several examples of classrooms across the country that are doing this perfectly. Teachers are now posting documents such as syllabi online for parents to review. Some schools even offer parent accounts so parents can track their child’s progress. Even students are able to collaborate using cloud-based software to work on and complete projects together.

Students are going to need to be able to navigate software programs and share ideas as they go through school and beyond, and as they grow in their professions. Whether this looks like a classroom website that all students can post homework assignments or class notes, or a Facebook page where students can bounce ideas off each other, we have seen firsthand the significant results of educators creating and promoting shareable tech.

 

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.

 

PledgeCents Makes Classroom Fundraising Easy

We have talked to many of our teachers at various education events we attend, such as the NCSS 2017 event in November and the upcoming Empower18 conference in March. A common thread we hear from many teachers is that affording the classroom materials necessary for effective teaching is difficult.

On average, teachers spend $600 out of their own pockets towards their classrooms every year. Educators across the country are spending approximately $1.6 billion dollars of their own money on school supplies! There are many classroom fundraising tools out there. However, we have talked to several teachers who aren’t sure where to go or how to start.

We’d Like to Help with Classroom Fundraising

At Studies Weekly, we’d like to see teachers keep more of their money and find alternative ways of classroom fundraising. And fundraisers can only go so far. In fact, many schools have fundraisers and other schoolwide events to raise money for their classrooms and students. While this might help some, teachers shouldn’t have to be completely dependent on their school administrators for funding.

Free Studies Weekly Programs

This is one of the many reasons why we have free learning opportunities for teachers, such as the virtual Veterans Day Assembly we did on Veterans Day.

About PledgeCents

classroom fundraising is easy with pledgecents and studies weekly partnership What many do not know is that we have also partnered with a company called PledgeCents to help teachers raise money for their classrooms. So far, donors have made over $1.5 million dollars in donations to educators and education-related projects via PledgeCents. PledgeCents has partnered with Teach For AmericaKIPP Public Charter Schools, in addition to being a 100Kin10 partner, aimed at training and retaining qualified STEM teachers.

Official Partnership

In July 2017, PledgeCents and Studies Weekly officially entered a partnership to give teachers easier access to increased classroom fundraising opportunities. Although we know many teachers use the platform to fundraise for Studies Weekly subscriptions, you can use it for anything. If you’re not sure whether Studies Weekly is for you, order your free sample here. In the meantime, you can easily get started with PledgeCents. Just click here and fill out your information, share your story, and start spreading the word.

 

Studies Weekly Wishes You Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays from the Studies Weekly family! As we wrap up 2017 and go into the new year, we wanted to give a shout out to the great teachers who make our work possible. None of us could do this without you, and we are so grateful. We have had a great year and are looking forward to the great things that await in 2018.

After some feedback from some of our valued customers, we have decided to update this blog each month with a look at the month ahead and a summary of the months behind. To that end, here is our recap for the fourth quarter of 2017 and a few highlights.

Nice to Meet You!

The Studies Weekly team at the NCSS2017 conference.

Over the past couple of months, we have gotten to know a lot more of the educators who are using our products. We loved getting to know many of you better at the NCSS 2017 conference we attended.

Also, a great big “thank you!” to all who were able to attend the Veterans Day Video Assembly with your classes and interact with us on social media. Just a note, you can view this and related videos here. We are looking forward to keeping in touch with more of you going forward.

Studies Weekly on the Road

We had some of our representatives travel to California to meet with current and prospective customers. Any time we get to go out and interact with you is a good time for us. If you are interested in meeting one of our representatives face to face, let us know! We are fortunate to be able to have some visits already scheduled with districts in the following states in January:

  • January 3-5, 2018: Alabama 
  • January 8-12, 2018: California and Kansas
  • January 16-19, 2018: Ohio and Indiana
  • January 22-26, 2018: California
  • January 23-26, 2018: California

Representative Demos and Presentations

In addition to these dates, we will also be in Orange County, California at the Instructional Materials Adoption Fair. We also have representatives presenting at the Santa Barbara County Education Office History/Social Science Publishers on January 30 and 31, and look forward to meeting many of you there!

Meeting an Award-Winning Teacher

Cathlina Marston, a teacher in Glendora, California, has been using Studies Weekly publications in her classroom for 15 years. She’s been teaching for 30 years and we’re happy to be a great resource for her. Marston won the California Outstanding Social Studies Elementary Teacher of the Year Award, and we got to go meet and talk with her. She showed us how she’s using Studies Weekly in her classes and what she loves about it. If you missed that video, make sure to watch it now:

Official Statewide Adoptions

We celebrated official adoptions in California and in Florida towards the end of this year,  which we are extremely excited about. We are now on the approved vendor lists in these two sunny states. This affords us even more opportunities to get to know many more of you dedicated teachers.

Meet Our President and CEO

I was happy this past month to be able to talk and have a Diet Coke or two with our president and CEO, Ed Rickers. Ed is tirelessly dedicated to his work in education and to your students. You can read about that conversation and get to know Ed a little better here.

Ed has an unmatched passion for education and student engagement. It is of course an honor for all of us here at Studies Weekly to know and work with him.

Let Us Hear from You

If you have any questions or feedback for us, please let us know. We truly enjoy getting to know our teachers, and look forward to learning from and about you. Keep tagging us in your social media posts so we can see what you’re doing! And as always, feel free to reach out to us anytime!

Increase Parent Involvement with Our Parent Accounts

increase parent involvement with parent accounts at studies weekly First off, it was so great to see so many of you at NCSS 2017 this year! We also got to engage with a lot of you during our virtual Veterans Day Assembly event. It is always a great pleasure for us to talk to you and find out more about what you’re looking for in your classrooms. These conversations help us build and develop useful tools like the Parent Accounts we’re going over in today’s blog. This tool will increase parent involvement when used properly.

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 the most difficult hurdles in your teaching.

After several years of experience with our online tool, and after feedback from some of our favorite 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 6 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. We Created It for Teachers Like You!

Colby Cook, User Experience Designer at Studies Weekly, implemented the Parent Accounts feature towards the end of August 2017. We had received some feedback from teachers who wanted to increase their level of engagement with their students’ parents. The result was a dynamic Parents Account portal.

2. You Might Already Have It!

Parent Accounts are available to all of our customers as part of your existing Studies Weekly subscriptions. Many educators are unaware that the online component is built in as part of their print subscription. If you are a subscriber to our print publications, you already have access to these tools, and you might as well use them!

3. You Can Talk to Parents with It

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. Parents Can See What Kids Are Doing

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.

5. It Keeps Student Information 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. No one has access to your child’s information but you and their parents.

As the teacher, you send invitations to parents’ verified email addresses to register for a Parent Account. Parents will enter a unique code for their child. The two-step verification ensures that no student data is transferred outside the teacher-parent relationship.

6. It Increases Parent Involvement

The best way 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.

If your school is already using Studies Weekly printed publications, setting up Parent Accounts for your classroom is free and easy. Give us a call or schedule a complimentary webinar for step-by-step instructions for adding parents to your student accounts.

If you are a parent of a child who uses Studies Weekly at school, talk to your child’s teacher about logging into your new Parent Account today!