New K-2 Leveled Readers

The K-2 New Leveled Readers are a great addition to any classroom and are perfect for guided reading sessions. Teachers can choose books that are approaching, on or above grade level for each student. Each level has a different subject to avoid comparison with their neighbor.

Accessing the Leveled Readers

To print these booklets for your students, simply log into your online account. In the blue menu bar select the “Reading” tab. Select the publication and week number. Scroll down, past the article, past the lesson plans, past the worksheets until you get to NEW Leveled Readers.

From here, download the book of your choice. Once downloaded, choose a print option.

For A Mac:

  • In printer settings go to the preview tab and choose layout.
  • Make sure the two-sided box is checked.
  • Under Two-Sided choose Short-Edge binding
  • Click print

For A PC:

  • Choose the Layout tab
  • Choose Print on Both Sides
  • In the drop-down choose Flip on Short Edge
  • Click print

The pages will print in the proper order. Simply take the page from the printer, fold it in half with the cover on the outside, staple the folded edge and your booklet is ready.

Leveled Reader Characteristics and Structure

Since our leveled readers are mainly for beginners, our layout uses large text and clear spaces between words. Each page only has about two or three simple sentences per page and we incorporate illustrations to help the reader gain understanding as they read. The content is typically on a subject that is familiar to the student and has a simple plot.

As your students begin to advance, each level increases in complexity. Start using our new leveled readers for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments. For more ELA ideas you can read our article on blending social studies with ELA.

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.

 

Top 5 Science Experiments with Discovery Dan

Coming up with science experiments for the whole class can be a challenge at times. We have a whole collection of fun science experiments that are easy and help explain the science behind it all. Students are able to conduct these experiments with the help of science extraordinaire, Discovery Dan. Here is a list of our top five experiments:

1. Solar Oven

Did someone say pizza? In this episode, Discovery Dan teaches us that we can use the power of the sun to make our own solar oven out of a pizza box!

2. Let’s Build a Rocket

You’ve probably heard it said sometime in your life: “It’s not rocket science.” Well, this time it is. Learn some basic rocket science and help Discovery Dan make a rocket in this episode of Project Time.

3. Invisible Ink

He looks like Discovery Dan, but he’s quite possibly a secret agent–at least for purposes of this video. Every secret agent needs special tools. Find out how to make your own invisible ink and secret messages in this episode.

4. Magic Coins 

There are many forces at work in the universe. Discovery Dan explains how gravity and inertia work according to Newton’s laws. We test it out for ourselves by experimenting with quarters.

5. Vacuum Packed

Have you ever wondered how vacuums work? In this episode, Discovery Dan investigates pressure zones to figure out how his vacuum works.

For more experiments with Discovery Dan, check out our YouTube playlist, Studies Weekly for Kids, or visit our Project Time page. We promise your students will love when it’s time for science.

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.

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.

 

How to Utilize Our Game-based Learning Activities

There are two main methods used in educational games: gamification and game-based learning. Gamification consists of using game design elements in the classroom in order to engage students. For example, a teacher drawing hearts on the board for classroom management. Game-based learning is a strategy that utilizes games to produce specific learning outcomes. An example would be “The Oregon Trail.”

On Studies Weekly Online, we offer four game-based learning activities. Two of the games can be found on the left-hand side within each week’s reading.

First, you will find a crossword puzzle. In this tool, students read clues and type the correct answer into the puzzle.

Second, is a game called Misspilled. In this game, students sort their incorrectly spelled or correctly spelled vocabulary words into corresponding “laboratory vials.”

The last two games are in the form of a self-contained avatar character — one being Revere the Rat and his virtual habitat, the other being your own Studies Weekly Explorer and their treehouse. Students can earn coins and gems by answering questions correctly within the publication. These coins are then used to purchase accessories for their virtual avatar and their home.

The coins act as a monetary incentive and help motivate students’ interest. To answer the questions correctly, the student has to understand the reading. This, in turn, increases student comprehension.

Teachers

As a teacher, you may see how many coins your students are earning.

  • Log in to your online account
  • Go to studiesweekly.com/online
  • Enter username (email address)
  • Enter password
  • Click Login

  • Select the Classes tab
  • Click on Reports
  • Look beneath the Gems icon

Students

Students can access their avatar and see their progress the following way:

  • Log in to your online account
  • Go to studiesweekly.com/online
  • Enter username (email address)
  • Enter password
  • Click Login

  • In the upper right-hand corner click on the student profile picture
  • Choose either “My Rev Rat” or “Explorers”

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers, for more information on how to utilize different features within your online account, read this article.

 

Accessing Your Online Video Library

Here at Studies Weekly, we believe in engaging students by telling the stories of history. One way we are able to do this is through video. We have thousands of wonderful videos that you and your students will enjoy. They come with your subscription, so just log in to get started.

  • Log in to your online account

Videos Within The Articles

First things first: when accessing your publication online, each article is connected to numerous videos and bonus sources related to the topic at hand.

To find these videos, just click on the “Watch Video” or “Bonus Sources” button. It’s so easy to find the perfect video for your lesson when they are all in one place!

Almost every article within the week has a video attached to it. So, there is no shortage of videos within your account.

Searching for Videos

In addition to the videos in the publications, you can access any video in our collection by using the search bar. This comes in handy when you decide to teach a lesson that isn’t on the schedule for the week.

For example, if you decide to teach a lesson on the effects of 9/11:

  • Go to the Search area of the blue menu bar and type in 9/11
  • In the left-hand menu, click on Videos
  • To start exploring simply click on the video of your choice
  • Click play

Not only do we have videos on social studies but we have science videos as well! Our most popular science series is Project Time with Discovery Dan. In each episode, the audience follows Discovery Dan and his wacky experiments.

 

Studies Weekly Science VideosFrom primary source interviews to virtual field trips and more, we offer exclusive videos on just about anything you can think of regarding social studies or science.

So sit back, relax and prepare enjoy teaching and learning with your students!

Interview with Chief Product Officer: Kim Mogilevsky

Our Chief Product Officer, Kim Mogilevsky, has been with Studies Weekly for eight years. She currently leads the Research & Development team to develop evidence-based curriculum materials. Before joining our team, she earned her National Board Certification in 2002 and worked as a teacher for the Palm Beach County School District in Florida for 15 years. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction and is a doctoral candidate for the same specialty.

Kim presents to the State Department of Education offices, school districts, state, national and international conventions and conferences all over America and the Caribbean. She’s a huge asset to our team, so we decided to sit down with her and discuss why she believes Studies Weekly is one of the best social studies curriculums out there.

The Interview

Q: Tell me about Studies Weekly and the program.

A: Our first goal is to always acknowledge the teacher as a professional. I like to say that our lesson plans are lesson plan suggestions. Because if you have 25 different kids in your classroom, you have 25 different learning styles, reading levels, and behaviors to deal with. When I came to Studies Weekly eight years ago, high socio-economic schools were buying it because they could afford another supplement and weren’t seeing it as another textbook or core content. In my case, the gifted students at my Title I school were using it, but regular education and exceptional education students were excluded. 

I began shifting the internal and external perceptions of who should use our publications. As a team, we decided this was for every student and took the necessary steps to make that possible. That does not mean that we water down, it means that we show teachers research-based strategies on how they can teach it to make it accessible for all of their students. The rigor of the product has increased since I’ve come on board. We’ve leveled all of our questions and activities using William Dagget’s Rigor and Relevance Framework, which instead of one continuum of, ‘This is an easy question, this is a hard question.’ It’s multi-dimensional.

Q: If you were going to tell a fellow teacher about Studies Weekly, what would you say?

A: I would say this is something you could use as a multi-tasker all day long. You can teach the majority of your ELA standards through social studies content. It covers all of your informational text standards, all of your writing, listening, viewing, and speaking standards. The content crosses over into science and engineering as well, because that’s a part of social studies. Our goal as a curriculum producer is to ensure that every single article, activity, project, and lesson plan covers some kind of standard and everything has value.

Studies Weekly also gives you a ton of resources. We provide you with so many primary sources, so whenever I see a primary source photo, I’m like, ‘Whoo! Free lesson!’ You can take that one image and teach a 20-minute lesson. Another one of the great things about our product is that it’s in a newspaper format. Every kid has their own copy. It’s consumable. They can write on it, highlight it, cut it up. It is a whole lot easier to send home than a textbook. Parents, pediatricians, and everyone else has noticed that textbooks are killing our kids’ backs, but this isn’t one of them.

Q: What makes this comparable to textbooks? Not comparing apples to apples, but moving ahead to what makes this the future?

A: Number one: There is a lot of information to get through in your textbooks. Typically they make one textbook, and then they slap a picture of the state on the cover. So there is a lot of information in there that is not needed for that particular state’s teacher. I always say the same book they sell in Florida, they sell in Texas and slap a picture of Texas on the front. They “Tex-ify” it, and there you go, it’s the same thing! Our publications are state-specific, and we’ve cut out all of the extraneous information that isn’t needed.

When I was a teacher, my first year, I took home the Teachers Edition. It’s usually spiral bound, it’s huge, and I cried. There was so much information, and so many lesson suggestions, I didn’t know what to do. We’re not wasting your time, our Teachers Edition is straight to the point.

Number two: Kids really like our format. We used to have this tagline: “If students had a choice between a textbook or Studies Weekly, 100% of the time, kids are going to choose Studies Weekly.” It doesn’t look scary, it’s not intimidating. And best of all, it’s developed by educators for educators!

For more information about Studies Weekly, click here.