Curriculum Connections N e sh a mi n y S ch o o l D i s t r i c t Volume 2, Issue 2 Winter 2012 Inside thisCu rr icu lu m, A s s es s m ent & Ins t ru ct io n issue:F r o m t h e D e s k o f D r. G e e t a H e b l e Art K-12 2The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 reau- ment and teaching practice. Assess- Business 2thorized the Elementary and Secondary Edu- ments have the power to be transforma- Education 6-12cation Act enacted in 1965 and instituted the tive when teachers use them as an inte- Family & Consumer 3Pennsylvania System of School Assessment gral part of the instructional cycle and Science 6-12(PSSA) as an external accountability meas- then examine the test data to adjust Health, PE & Wellness 3ure. Its purpose is to ensure that all students, their instruction to meet student needs.in every district in the state, are being in- Standardized tests, such as the (PSSA) Language Arts K-5 4structed in the eligible content identified in for grades 3-8 and grade 11 in reading, Language Arts 6-12 4Pennsylvania Academic Core Content Stan- writing, mathematics and science, aredards. The percentage of students who need not easily embedded in the instructional ELL K-12 5to demonstrate proficiency on the PSSA has sequence because they are administeredincreased steadily since the tests were first by an external entity, the Pennsylvania Library Science K-12 5administered over a decade ago. This year Department of Education. However, Math K-5 6the targets for the number of students who since the curricula in grades K-12 in allmust be proficient are 78% for math and 81% subjects, including reading, math and Math 6-12 6for reading. Writing and science are not used science, are aligned to the state stan- Music K-12 7to calculate Adequate Yearly Progress. dards, preparation for the PSSA is in- tentionally integrated into lessons Professional 7Success in the world beyond school is deter- throughout the year. Developmentmined not only by proficiency on the PSSA Science K-12but by many learning experiences that help To perform at advanced and proficient 8students to meet future college and career levels, students need to learn test- Social 8challenges. Although it is one data point in taking strategies in addition to master- Studies K-12student achievement, public opinion of a ing content and skills. They also need to Technology 9school district is based on PSSA results. build stamina for sustained effort to Education 6-12Therefore, it is necessary for students to take apply their knowledge. To that end, the World 9the tests seriously and truly demonstrate District has supported classroom in- Languages 9-12their knowledge. Proficiency on the grade 11 struction with resources for teachersPSSA is a graduation requirement according and opportunities for every student to Instructional 10 Technologyto the Pennsylvania School Code (Chapter 4). be successful.Douglas Reeves, a leading educator and re-searcher, says that the fundamental purposeof assessment is to improve student achieve-
Page 2 Curriculum Connections Art Leaves No Child Behind at Neshaminy “Art is an irreplaceable cross-curricular themes, and prior knowledge, as way of understanding skills and information well as read and follow and expressing the which coincides with and written directions which world,” says Dana Gioia supports the PSSA math include sequential reading the National Endowment and reading anchors. skills. for the Arts Chairman. These assessment anchors Gioia continues, “Art de- have been embedded into Mathematic skills also exist lights, instructs, consoles. the Neshaminy art cur- within art. These PSSA It educates our emo- riculum in areas where standardized testing strate- tions.” In the face of they were considered a gies include but are not state and federal stan- limited to several of the natural fit and in doing so dards and standardized have made this knowledgefollowing actions: applying testing, many art advo- standard measurement, available and accessible to cates like Dana Gioia teachers at all levels. application and use of an- have been endorsing the gles, and the application “Art is an arts. Such advocates ar- Art may include but is not and use ratios. gue that art contributes limited to strategies forirreplaceable to measurable gains in learning and in No Child developing the skills Throughout Neshaminy needed for PSSA stan- School District, art teachers way of Left Behind boosting aca- dardized testing within the in elementary, middle and field of Language Arts. A high school are using ourunderstanding demic scores in literacy and mathematics. number of these activities spiraled curriculum along require students to iden- with assorted procedures,and expressing Art education continually tify main ideas, to make techniques and strategies to the world,” creates and interacts with connections between new meet the needs of standard- ia the PSSA Success: It’s Our “Business” says Dana Gio The preparation of our The focus on writing as- fiction type, we are sup- students to be successful signments varies. The porting a major area on the PSSA tests is our writing may be to cap- tested on the PSSA. business. Although the ture an idea, give a cor- Preparation for achiev- major instruction of skills rect response, edit what ing in mathematics fo- to earn a score of profi- is written or provide a cuses on the number and cient or above rests with final document. When operations standard. the Mathematics and students are asked to Practical applications of English Departments, the read, there is a focus on math are present in al- learning activities in the word recognition skills, most all BCIT class- Business, Computer and vocabulary development, rooms. Aside from basic Information Technology inferences and conclu- arithmetic, word prob- (BCIT) classes in the dis- sions, interpretation, lems dominate our cur- trict provide support to comprehension and the riculum. Mental math, the students and to the ability to read critically. estimating, applying the PSSA initiative. Reading Not all reading assign- order of operations, ap- and writing assignments ments are in the text- plying formulas, creating in the BCIT classrooms book. Other printed ma- excel spreadsheets, as provide a vast opportunity terials are used and se- well as designing and for building PSSA test lected to encourage interpreting graphs and skills. Our staff uses the reading while providing charts are all math skills John Collins approach for a source of new learning. supporting PSSA prepa- writing activities and the Since reading in our ration. KWL scaffold for reading. classes is of the non-
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 2 Page 3“F.C.S.: We’re not home-ec anymore.”Family and Consumer Sci- fiction readings that mir- interpretive, and criti-ence (F.C.S.) education is ror the PSSA. Writing cal sciences to help stu-an interdisciplinary field prompts follow that re- dents identify, under-by nature and is often con- quire students to read for stand, and solve thesidered the heart of cur- information, identify the continuing concerns ofriculum. The skills and main ideas, make connec- individuals and society.concepts taught in math, tions between new and To address these con-reading, writing, science, prior knowledge, and cerns, students are re-and social studies are inte- make predictions and in- quired to use inquiryg r a t e d , e n - ferences. and discovery, hypothe-riched, and applied to size, experiment, andpractical real-life experi- Mathematics is a continual draw conclusions. Top-ences in the F.C.S. class- focus in the F.C.S. class- ics including nutrition room. Basic operations, Researching vitamin requirementsroom. For this reason, and food science, our for brochure project.F.C.S. plays an active role fractions, proportions, plant and animal foodin developing the profi- percentages, measuring, supply, human anat-ciencies needed for the weights, and metric con- omy and physiology,P.S.S.A. and complements version are logically incor- and green living areoverall instruction at porated into a variety of studied in the F.C.S.Neshaminy at both the authentic hands-on activi- classroom.middle and high school ties and innovative col-levels. laborative projects in both For more specific infor- the kitchen and classroom. mation about the waysIn order to support Lan- Family and Consumerguage Arts, F.C.S. students The F.C.S. curriculum in- S c i e n c e supportsare provided with non- tegrates knowledge and Neshaminy’s PSSA ef- processes from empirical, forts go to FCS and the PSSA.Health and PE meets the PSSAIn departments across math skills/mapping BUT, as schools acrossNeshaminy the question skills/body spelling/flash the country are de-asked is what do we do to cards/written class work. creasing PE due tosupport our students in budget concerns andpreparing for their PSSA’s. We don’t stop there; our pressure to improveThe pressure put on dis- middle and high schools academic test scorestricts by the state to meet a are busy with target heart studies show thatcertain level is daunting rates/distance and direc- physical activity stimu-and we all knew it was tion/technology initia- lates the brain, thustime to make sure we did tives/metabolic rate/ increasing test scores.what we could to help. elevation and terrain/ The following link tellsThe Health and Physical short s t o r i e s / e s s a y s the story of a school inEducation Department graded to the PA writing Illinois where the kids rubric/problem solving. School. PE and Academic Im-jumped headlong into this who struggle in math provementinitiative. The Health and PE depart- and reading go to PE ment could go on and on as first period, to stimu- As the studies continue to comeStopping by PE in our ele- out saying that physically activementary schools you may we see how important it is late their brain. for our students to have "Exercise, good fitness- and fit children tend to havesee word walls/new vo- better academic achievement,cabulary/open ended as- success during standard- based exercise, makes ized tests. our brain more ready to we will continue to support all ofsessments/challenge sce- learn," says John Ratey our students physically and aca-narios/pedometers & of the Harvard Medical demically.
Page 4 Curriculum Connections Getting a Win on the Pennsylvania System of School Language Arts Assessment (PSSA) in 6-12 Elementary Reading Research shows that the best prepara- In response to the challenge of state- tion for PSSA Reading is to have a mandated testing, teachers of Lan- high-quality reading program that en- guage Arts have further refined their courages daily independent reading at curriculum over the past three years school and at home. Students who to ensure that its content and skills read from a wide selection of genres have a solid basis in PA State Stan- develop a confidence with reading and dards. To prepare our students for absorb a deep level of vocabulary that success in the Reading and Writing supports their comprehension. components of the PSSA, we have de- veloped an array of materials offering Since the start of this school year, students a balance of support and op- teachers and students have been in- portunity for growth. Curriculum volved literacy activities designed to maps of English courses, grades 6-12, explicitly teach students to think like are available for parents’ perusal as we readers. Students are introduced to work together to strengthen the liter- many different types of texts such as acy skills of the students in our school fiction, non-fiction, poetry and authen- district. tic literature. Students are able to use seven effective, research-based habits With this foundation in place, we peri- and strategies to move towards inde- odically assess our students to deter- pendence in reading. mine both their strengths and areas that need further remediation. In ad- These seven habits follow: dition to common assessments devel- ∗ Great readers see themselves as oped by the District, Language Arts readers teachers also have access to Class- room Diagnostic Tools, an on-line re- ∗ Great readers make sense of text source offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). Stu- ∗ Great readers use what they know dents may take up to five assessments in Reading and Writing each year, ∗ Great readers understand how providing them and their teachers stories work with immediate feedback. This infor- ∗ Great readers read to learn mation can help teachers to tailor classroom instruction to best meet the ∗ Great readers monitor and organ- needs of their students. ize ideas and information In addition to resources provided by ∗ Great readers think critically PDE on its website, Neshaminy has about what they read invested in a literature program that balances nonfiction with the classics PSSA testing provides an opportunity of fiction, all aligned to PA State Stan- for students to take all they have dards. In classrooms the students learned throughout the school year and share common texts and work with apply it this assessment. All students their teachers to progress as thinkers, are encouraged to shine by demon- writers, and readers, the ultimate goal strating their personal best. of the English Department.
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 2 Page 5 ELL (English Language Learners) The Teacher’s Guide: lack familiarity with the ∗ Accompany oral direc- Getting Ready for the PSSA test format. Author tions with written di- PSSA: Successful Strate- Jim Cummings states that rections gies for English Lan- one way for ELLs to be- ∗ Highlight key words or guage Learners states come familiar with multi- phrases and use high- that one of the most im- ple choice tests is to cre- lighters for visual cues portant ways to prepare ate their own multiple your ELLs for the PSSAs choice tests in groups and ∗ Allow students to is to teach the Pennsyl- then share them. mark responses in test vania Academic Stan- booklets (Answers dards year-round. Re- The following are some must then be trans- of the accommodations ferred.) search has shown that ELLs who have good that are permitted by the It is important to re- study habits and have Pennsylvania Department member that the PSSA done some practice tests of Education: is an indicator of what are more likely to be suc- ∗ Use the student’s native ELLs have been ex- cessful on the PSSAs. language for instructions posed to, and not nec- essarily an individual When helping ELLs pre- ∗ Simplify the language of measure of their knowl- pare for testing, it is most directions and quietly edge. Bear in mind that helpful to model the repeat instructions to the ELL is required to strategy being taught. ELLs participate in the PSSA Having a visual image of before gaining mastery the strategy, followed by ∗ Have the student dem- of the English Lan- onstrate understanding practice, is beneficial to of directions guage. the ELL. ELLs may also Library Science ∗ PSSA reading scores linked di-Do school libraries and Library Media rectly to school library staffing, through which the li-Specialists (LMS) help to improve PSSA information technology, and inte- brary media programtest scores? According to the extensive grating information literacybody of research, a clear link exists be- ∗ reaches beyond itstween school library media programs How School Librarians Help Kids own walls to classrooms,that are staffed by an LMS and student Achieve Standards. Denver: Library labs, and officesacademic achievement. Specifically, the Research Service, 2000. Test scoresschool library does have impact on increase as library media spe- These are just two of thePSSA scores. Keith Curry Lance and cialists spend more time in key many research studies thatothers reported so in their findings in establish the link between activities:Measuring Up to Standards: The Im- the presence of adequatepact of School Library Programs & In- ∗ planning cooperatively with teach- school library staffing andformation Literacy in Pennsylvania ers higher academic achieve-Schools. ment ∗ identifying materials for teachers∗ Presence of adequate school li- Other factors such as pupil brary staffing linked to higher ∗ teaching information literacy skills expenditures, teacher-pupil PSSA (Pennsylvania System of to students ratio, community condi- School Assessment) reading scores tions, poverty, and low adult ∗ providing in-service training to∗ PSSA reading scores increase as teachers educational attainment do school library staffing increases not account for these find- ∗ managing a computer network ings.
Page 6 Curriculum Connections Math K-5 Elementary math students in grades 3-5 that common errors are worked on have a variety of PSSA practice activities throughout the year. that are used in the months leading up to the test. ∗ Our “First in Math” program has a section called “Know and Show” ∗ Our curriculum maps were created which gives students practice in to guide teachers to cover all eligible multiple choice questions similar to content prior to the PSSA’s. those on the PSSA’s. Its game for- mat and the promise of stickers ∗ Schools have either Coach or Buckle entice students to play. Down books that give students the opportunity to practice the eligible ∗ The state provides recently re- content and become familiar with leased questions, another resource the test format. that teachers use to help students practice both test-taking skills and ∗ For the ten weeks prior to the test, content knowledge. students who can most benefit are given the option of attending small ∗ Our many creative teachers have group tutoring sessions before used effective homemade re- school once a week. The tutors use sources, such as “Jeopardy” and Progress Coach books, which have a “Are You Smarter Than a 5th lower readability level than the Grader” games to review content Coach books used in the classrooms. prior to the tests. ∗ Our students take a diagnostic test We aim for our students to be well pre- called 4-Sight in October and Janu- pared and relaxed once test-taking ary. Results of those tests help time rolls around. teachers plan their instruction so M a t h P r e p f o r G r a d e s 6 - 11 In preparation for the PSSA’s this year, For grades six, seven, eight and eleven, we analyzed data from last year’s test practice PSSA tests were sent to teach- that our eleventh graders took. From ers so they could review with their stu- that, we determined the probability of dents the questions that have appeared students scoring advanced or proficient on past PSSA tests. Also teachers were by course taken. We then targeted the sent countdown-to-testing documents courses that were most in need of inter- for general math, pre-Algebra, Algebra vention and scheduled those classes to 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 that they take the CDT’s in high school mathe- can use to review for standardized matics. The CDT is a diagnostic test tests. This is in addition to the mathe- that helps identify areas in which a stu- matics probes used in grades six to dent may need help. Also, at the high eleven, which can monitor a student’s school the fifteen days prior to the test progress in the five content areas of were set aside to focus on the material mathematics: numbers and operations, that would be covered on the PSSA’s in measurement, geometry, algebraic con- mathematics. cepts and data analysis.
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 2 Page 7 Playing a musical instrument significantly enhances theMusic K-12 brainstem’s sensitivity to speech sounds. This relates to encoding skills involved with music and language. Ex-perience with music at a young age can “fine-tune” the brain’s auditory system. – froma study supported by Northwestern University, which appeared in April 2007 NatureNeuroscience. The process of language development through “decoding” is paralleledin music reading. Students are learning an entirely new notational system and areapplying the concepts of directional reading, spatial relationships and aural process-ing to the reading and performing of music. They are discriminating between thewritten notation of music and their aural perception of the performance.Music synthesizes many math concepts through the use of an alternate system for rep-resenting values, proportions, and numbers. Students must use their knowledge ofproportions, estimation and values in the performance of music. For instance, whenstudents read a short notational passage, they need to decipher the length of time anote is played, the pitch to generate on their voice or instrument and possibly the writ-ten text to sing for that note. A song is then created through continuing this process atsplit second intervals. Students are using spatial, visual and cognitive domains to singa “simple” song such as “Frere Jacques”. Music is a room of high level thinking andassociation for students to apply the concepts which are evaluated via the PSSA.“The arts are not just affective and expressive. They are also deeply cognitive. Theydevelop the tools of thinking itself: careful observation of the world, mental represen-tation of what is observed or imagined, abstraction from complexity, pattern recogni-tion and development, symbolic and metaphoric representation, and qualitative judg-ment. We use these same thinking tools in science, philosophy, math and history. Theadvantage of the arts is that they link cognitive growth to social and emotional devel-opment. Students care more deeply about what they study, they see the links betweensubjects and their lives, their thinking capacities grow, they work more diligently, andthey learn from each other.” -- Nick Rabkin, Executive Director of the Center for ArtsPolicy, “The Art of Education Success”, Washington Post, January 8, 2005, pg. A19Professional Development Researchers Mortimer and Sammons re-ported in 1987 that that teaching had 6 to 10 times as much impact on achievement asall other factors combined. With this in mind, professional development inNeshaminy is focused on improving student achievement by enhancing instruction.Research has identified many instructional strategies that increase student learning.This research from a spectrum of authors has been incorporated into our workshopsfor new teachers and established staff. Essentially the focus is on designing instruc-tion that centers on student learning.The Pennsylvania Department of Education supports classroom teachers with re-sources to support instruction. This link: http://www.pdesas.org/Instruction/Index/connects to instructional strategies documents and videos that are proven to increasestudent achievement. The Bucks County IU provides workshops for county teacherswith nationally recognized speakers. Carol Tomlinson, the guru on differentiated in-struction, is scheduled to speak this April and Neshaminy teachers will be in atten-dance. The IU also provides webinars so teachers can participate in professional Bucks County IU presentslearning from their homes. Carol Tomlinson speaking onAs teachers utilize research-based strategies focused on improving student achieve-ment, Neshaminy students benefit. In recent years, a major focus has been placed on Defensible Differentiationusing Before, During, and After (BDAs) reading strategies to improve comprehension.These strategies are used in classrooms across all content areas. Neshaminy has April 26, 2012joined with Penn Literacy to provide graduate level courses on campus to give teach-ers greater access to new instructional activities. It is the goal of the C & I Departmentto provide access to research-based practices to all teachers to increase studentachievement not only on the PSSA, but on all standardized testing.
Page 8 Curriculum Connections Science Over the past four years, Neshaminy’s in the inquiry science program. In addi- science program has been re-positioning tion, this year, teachers will be provided itself to improve student achievement in with PSSA preparation warm-ups to be science as measured on the PSSA in Sci- given at the beginning of class the ence. month prior to the administration of the exams. These short (5- to 10-minute) At the elementary level four exercises will allow teachers an opportu- years ago, inquiry-based science nity to review science process and con- kits were adopted for use in kin- tent skills accumulated throughout a dergarten through fifth grade. These kits student’s academic career. focus on the overall theme of reasoning and analysis. Additionally, each kit tar- With the shift at the high school gets one of the three fields of science level from the PSSA Science (physical, biological, and earth space sci- exams to Keystone Biology ence.) Student achievement levels of 88- exam, the focus has been on 90% proficiency and/or advanced on the evaluating our current biology curricu- PSSA science exams at the elementary lum and piloting the Biology Compre- level over the past four years have veri- hensive Diagnostic Test to measure fied the effectiveness of this program. growth towards student readiness to pass these new exams. In addition, At the middle school level, the teachers in eleventh grade will also be same inquiry-based kit program reviewing the accumulated process and was adopted in sixth grade. Stu- content skills acquired by the students dents now in eighth grade will throughout their academic career prior have had at least two years of experience to the PSSA test. Social Studies Social studies is an integral part of pre- critical reading skills. Historical analy- paring for the PSSA writing and PSSA sis and interpretation abilities are fos- reading. Although it is not a targeted tered during the social studies classes test area, social studies classes and and enables the student to: skills better enable our students to suc- ceed. Of the four areas in social studies, ∗ Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas history stands in the front when one considers preparedness for the reading ∗ Consider perspectives of others and writing PSSA. “After English, his- tory is the subject that should involve ∗ Analyze cause and effect relationships the most reading and writing.” (Brodie, Laura. http://www.psychologytoday.com/ ∗ Draw comparisons between different blog/love-in-time-homeschooling/201005/ time periods and different cultures standardized-testing-what-happens-history-0 ) ∗ Evaluate competing historical interpre- tations through documentation and Neshaminy social studies teachers are proof. well versed in many reading and literacy strategies and employ them often in the Recently, a review of PSSA writing classrooms. Whether it is by text, pri- prompts by members of the Neshaminy mary document, data table, chart or Curriculum Department showed that graph, students are challenged to read many of the prompts were dependant and interpret information and present on a student’s ability to compare and the new information in a clear and con- contrast across times and cultures. cise manner. This background information is gained through the social studies. Thus, social The study of history develops specific studies not only supports our state test-
Vo l u m e 2 , I s s u e 2 Page 9Te c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o nThe Technology and Engi- cation department tries fiction readings into theneering Education Depart- to model a truly inte- courses. Students do notment serves as an oppor- grated STEM curricu- frequently get the oppor-tunity for the real world lum. In this curricular tunity to experience tech-application of much of the philosophy science, nical readings, but thePSSA assessable content. technology, engineering, Technology and Engi-The most obvious test tie and math coincide in a neering Education envi-in occurs in the Science seamless fashion just as ronment is the perfectPSSA. The State Standards it does in the real world. setting for this.are identified for Science, In such an environment,Technology, and Engi- The Technology and En- students are expected toneering. While a majority gineering Education De- utilize mathematic prin-of the test focuses on the cipals found in theirpartment will continue toScience strand, assess- coursework. Teachers focus on providing thement anchors for the test try to align the mathreal world application ofcan be found across all science and math con- skills needed or used inthree content areas. There cepts. As students get the a project with what theare questions that serve to students are doing inopportunity to apply theirquantify a students knowledge, their depth of their class as an effort toknowledge in technology knowledge will grow and reinforce the learning.and the designed world. should provide positive Finally, Technology and results on their testing.Additionally, the Technol- Engineering Educationogy and Engineering Edu- classes implement non-Wo r l d L a n g u a g e sDo we want our stu- cantly”(Armstrong & The early levels of lan-dents to have an ed- Rogers 1997; Saunders guage study show sen-vantage when taking 1998; Masciantonio tence structure, talkstandardized test? If 1977; Rafferty 1986; about word derivationthat is truly our goal, all Andrade 1989; Kret- and ask students to relatestudents should have the schmer & Kretschmer concepts and roots toopportunity to study an- 1989). English. As studentsother language because it continue their studies,expands their cultural The study of another more reading and writingawareness and improves language should not be strategies are employed,cognitive function. As limited to a college re- such as citing evidencecited in NEA research quirement, but should from text, making infer-from December, 2007, be mandated to graduate ences and comparing and“Strong evidence shows all-around, academically contrasting. Languagethat time spent on foreign motivated world citi- students read both fictionlanguage study strongly zens. Students who and non-fiction storiesreinforces the core subject study another language, and are asked to identifyareas of reading, English especially one with a main ideas, paraphrase Spanish class @ NHSlanguage literacy, social Latin root, have a posi- and summarize events.studies and math. Foreign tive advantage when They are also exposed tolanguage learners consis- reading and writing world geography, cul-tently outperform control English. Every World tures and events. Study-groups in core subject ar- Language class works ing a world language is aeas on standardized tests, with vocabulary, writing positive impetus to a suc-often signif i- and reading skills and cessful academic career. grammatical structures.
The Curriculum, Assessment & Instruction Team Director of C, A & I—Dr. Geeta Heble Art—Cheryl Soltis Math, Elementary—Shelley Rosen Business—Gerry Abramson Math, Secondary—Mike Thompson EAP/Data Overseer—Mary Beth Tecce Music & Summer Fine Arts— Nicole DinkinsFamily & Consumer Science— Kelly Macauley Professional Development—Sue WeberHealth & PE, Wellness, Summer Adventure— Science—Brian Suter Jan King Social Studies—Dave Heaney Instructional Technology—Dan Winter Technology Education—Josh ElliotLanguage Arts & Reading, Elementary—Dory World Languages—Nancy Kerr Fitzgerald, Terri Magerr, Mary Beth Tecce Administrative Support— Susan Freedman, Language Arts, Secondary—Mary O’Pella Kathy Giambelluca, Lily Lewandowski Library Science—Sue Flanly Providing extra learning experiences Dreambox at home can help students achieve http://www.dreambox.com/TECHNOLOGY TIPS success. In using educational websites Practice makes Perfect…or at least A fun math-learning environment and software, parents can help rein- helps! that individualizes the curriculum force learning and help prepare a for each student as the program child for taking the PSSA’s. assesses the student’s skills during Educational websites and apps fall engaging math activities. into several categories. There are drill Khan Academy and practice, tutorial, simulation, http://www.khanacademy.org/ problem solving, and utility type pro- grams and websites. We have gath- Khan Academy is a non-profit ered several different websites and video channel with over 2,500 vid- apps that can be used to help foster eos covering topics ranging from academic achievement. These useful high school math and science to websites and apps are only a small banking and venture capital. Khan sample of what is available online and Academy is also available on iOS in the App store. devices. Quia http://www.quia.com/shared/ Story Kit http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ A Games and quizzes website created storykit/id329374595?mt=8 Nes ha mi n y by educators on almost any topic. Stu- Story Kit allows you to create your S c h o o l D i s t r i c t dent’s can play an educational game of own stories, complete with pic- battleship on science terms or quiz tures. Add text boxes, images and their knowledge of social studies con- sound clips. Record sounds for cepts in rags to riches. your stories, and add, reorder or Curriculum, Assessment & Instruction 2001 Old Lincoln Highway Quizlet delete your pages. Add pictures by Langhorne, PA 19047 http://quizlet.com/ drawing on the screen, taking a pic- ture of something, or drawing Phone: 215-809-6550 Quizlet is a flash cards and study something on paper and taking a Fax: 215-809-6004 games website with over 10 million picture of it! There are lots of great E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org free sets of flashcards covering every creative options here to allow stu- possible subject. Students can play dents to create stories right on educational games, memorize vocabu- their iPod Touch. lary and study online. With the use of “Flashcards” on an iOS device, flash- cards can be uploaded from Quizlet.