Teaching the Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement is a significant part of American History. What began in the late 1940’s and ended in the late 1960’s, had a profound impact on social justice and legal rights of African Americans.

Standing for Freedom Curriculum Package

Here at Studies Weekly, we strive to tell the real stories of history through primary source materials and multiple perspectives. In our new civil rights curriculum package, we incorporate the accounts of multiple civil rights activists. Join the Freedom Rides with Hank Thomas, sit at the lunch counters with Joan Trumpauer and cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Joanne Blackmon Bland.

The Standing for Freedom Curriculum Package includes: 

Standing for Freedom (30 copies + 1 teacher edition) – This magazine format guide is 30 pages of the people and events that helped change American History.

 

She Stood for Freedom (1 copy of each book) – The Amelia Bloomer Award-nominated books about the life of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and her journey through the Civil Rights Movement.

 

An Ordinary Hero (1 copy) – The education version of the award-winning documentary about the life of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and the Civil Rights Movement.

 

The Uncomfortable Truth (1 copy) – The education version of the Emmy-winning documentary about the history of institutional racism in America. It provides a solid understanding and unique perspective on American History (suitable for teachers and students middle school age and up).

 

History Matters Poster (1 copy) – The engaging mugshot that has come to symbolize the Freedom Rides and called one of the most famous in American History and is a great conversation starter for the classroom.

 

Interactive Map and Timeline – Expand the experience even further with exclusive interviews and artifacts found only on our map and timeline. Don’t just read about the Civil Rights Movement see where it took place and how the events are connected.

Whether you are teaching the Civil Rights Movement, need content for Women’s History Month, want your students to understand about civic engagement and civic responsibility or are looking for a unique way to teach anti-bullying, the Standing for Freedom curriculum package is the perfect addition to your classroom.

American Indian or Native American?

There is much debate and strong feelings within our nation that are connected to how to identify various groups. At Studies Weekly, we are working diligently to create and nurture an inclusive environment.

Using the Term ‘American Indian’

To ensure that we write about indigenous people using language that will not be considered offensive, we consulted several sources. First, we conferred with the two tribal members on our Diversity Board. They informed us that they like to be referred to as ‘American Indians.’ The Grammarist states that term ‘American Indian’ is more appropriate and claims that the expression, ‘Native American,’ has fallen out of popularity. In the Native Times and Native Sun News, tribal journalists state that the term ‘Native American’ was thrust upon them by a white activist and does not reflect their desires. Whenever possible, they like to be identified by tribe. For generalized references, they prefer to be called ‘American Indian.’

Russell Means, a Lakota activist and a founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM), stated, “At an international conference of Indians from the Americas held in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations in 1977, we unanimously decided we would go under the term, ‘American Indian.’ We were enslaved as American Indians, we were colonized as American Indians and we will gain our freedom as American Indians.”

A More Prestigious Status

Part of our rationale is also to be in alignment with the federal government of the United States of America. To be officially recognized by the federal government, the tribe has to have a political relationship with the U.S. government. When a tribe has that legal status, then they are known as an American Indian tribe with the power to self-govern as a separate nation. If the tribe is not federally recognized, then they are only known as Native American. In summation, all American tribal members can be called Native Americans, but it is a higher and more prestigious status to be called an American Indian.

For more information about our curriculum, visit our website.

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.

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.

 

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.