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.

 

Online Learning Improves with Student Accounts

Optimizing online learning in your classroom can be a hefty task. If you are already using the Studies Weekly online tool,  you have probably used or are encouraging your students’ parents to use our Parent Accounts.

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% 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%.

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, 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 can redeem their rewards for items for a virtual pet. Students will have to search across the site to earn some of the rewards (don’t worry, we give pretty good clues!).

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. As students read along with the online content, the words are highlighted and read aloud via an audio reader.

Optimizing your students’ online learning requires that you present the information in a variety of ways to cater to your students’ unique personalities and learning styles. To start setting up your Student Accounts, register or login to Studies Weekly online.