New Professional Development on Demand and Online Walkthrough

We have made several additions and improvements to our online Professional Development page. From online walkthroughs, worksheets, classroom strategies and more, we’ve added all new content to help teachers use Studies Weekly to its full capacity. A lot of what we teach in our in-person training will be readily available online.

Accessing PD on Demand

Once logged into your account, click the “PD Training” tab to access the PD library.

From here, you’ll see multiple series of videos and reference guides that direct teachers on how to get started and set up their online accounts. Our Chief Product Officer, Kim Molgilevsky, even shares classroom strategies that can add structure and substance to your lessons.

1. Getting Started

This series guides you through what to do when you first receive your Studies Weekly box. It explains what you’ll receive and how to sort your publications. It also gives you instructions on how to register online. Read  this article for more information on getting started.

2. Online Walkthrough

Our Online Walkthrough Series provides detailed instructions on how to set up your class and utilize your online account. This video is part of our Online Walkthrough Series where we walk you through all of our additional resources on Studies Weekly Online.

3. Classroom Strategies

In the Classroom Strategies Series, we list activities and samples that are perfect to boost student comprehension skills. For example, we have a compare and contrast pop-up, a display tray activity, Cornell Note-Taking and more.

In addition to these three series, we provide worksheets that coincide with what is being taught. For example, here is the Display Tray Worksheet:

At Studies Weekly, we are constantly looking to help our customers utilize our curriculum and provide them with the resources they need to teach their students more effectively. Our goal is to make using Studies Weekly easy, allowing teachers to plan less and teach more. For full access to our PD library, go to studiesweekly.com/online/pdod.

Schools and Districts can also request in-person training(s) by contacting our customer service team at 1-866-311-8734 or by emailing support@studiesweekly.com. For more information about our in-person training, read about our training options.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

Award Winning Social Studies Teacher Uses Studies Weekly

Award winning social studies teacher Cathy Marston talks about what she likes about Studies Weekly publications.
Award winning social studies teacher Cathy Marston talks about what she likes about Studies Weekly publications.

Cathlina Marston is a fourth grade teacher in Glendora, California. A veteran teacher of 30 years, Marston has been using Studies Weekly in her classroom for the last 15 years. In 2016, Marston won the California Elementary Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award!

Highlight Video

We are so proud to have educational trailblazers like Cathlina Marston as part of the Studies Weekly family. Be sure to watch the short video at the bottom of this post that showcases Cathy and what she and some of her students say about our publications.

Award Nomination Requirements

Nominees for this award must be able to demonstrate exceptional abilities in seven specific categories. Among other things, these categories include effective development and creative use of instructional materials. We know from seeing her in action that she has used Studies Weekly specifically in this way. You can see examples of this in the video below as well.

Marston has also excelled at utilizing innovative and verified effective instructional strategies and techniques, another nomination criterion. In order to be nominated, teachers must also foster a spirit of inquiry with their students, a value that we at Studies Weekly appreciate and know that Marston has done well over her decades of experience.

Helping California Teachers

Studies Weekly makes it easier for teachers throughout the country to do both of these things. With the recent adoption of our publications in the State of California, we are excited to continue providing teachers with greater opportunities to make education more engaging for students.

 

Veterans Day Video: An Exclusive Virtual Assembly

veterans day videoTeaching students about Veterans Day is no easy task. Even some of the most seasoned teachers struggle with teaching kids heavy topics such as war. Our goal at Studies Weekly is to make teaching these key topics a positive experience for educators and students. This is why we have partnered with Canines with a Cause to create an exclusive Veterans Day video assembly. This event will highlight the importance of Veterans Day in a format that appeals to all audiences.

Veterans Day Video Exclusive

Veterans Day can be a difficult topic to teach elementary-age students. For 30 years, Studies Weekly has been providing classrooms nationwide with free lesson plans, interactive online learning experiences, and helpful videos.

In addition to these tools, we have created a virtual Veterans Day video assembly to honor our nation’s veterans. On November 10, 2017, this exclusive virtual video assembly put together by award-winning director Loki Mulholland will be available for you at our Veterans Day website.

Working and training service dogs has proven to be very beneficial to veterans. The bond created by the training process can lessen stress and help veterans deal with the invisible scars of war. Dogs provide confidence, love and comfort to transform lives.

— Canines with a Cause

About Our Partner

Canines with a Cause LOGOWe have partnered with Canines with a Cause to put together this video for your students. Among other things, this virtual assembly will address several questions including What do dogs have to do with veterans?

Canines with a Cause answers this question and others every day. They provide veterans and rescued dogs opportunities to work together and support each other. See their website for more information on their fostering, emotional support, and training programs.

Many Veterans won’t talk or share their experiences… They fear the judgement, rejection, and even the lack of empathy to what they are going through. But a dog…is better than any medication that can be prescribed.

Dustin Gladwell, Charlie Mike

 

Visit Studies Weekly Online for additional information on this Veterans Day video assembly. Here you will find free Veterans Day lesson plans and can view the exclusive trailer and a countdown for the virtual assembly. Come see us later in November at NCSS 2017.