California Charter School Hopes to Accelerate Students' Understanding of Grammar

California Charter School Hopes to Accelerate Students' Understanding of Grammar

This school is looking for a grammar tool that will meet students at their level, helping them build basic skills and reinforce their understanding of mechanics, usage, and syntax.

State: California Number of Students: 260
School Type: Charter School Free and Reduced Lunch: 15.4%
Grade Level: 9-10 English Language Learners: 2.7%

School Context

This new school of about 550 students strives to make students innovation-ready by helping them develop skills that are critical to success in the 21st Century. They focus on collaboration, creativity, self management, and communication. Students at this school develop these skills by building deep content knowledge and learning important problem-solving skills. The two principles that guide their educational model are extreme personalization and putting knowledge in action.

State of Technology

After analyzing student performance, the English department determined that it has had difficulty implementing a strong grammar curriculum due to their highly personalized school model. Students have a lot of independence and choice over what they learn, but as a result, the teachers feel that that they need support in delivering grammar content in order to build skills.

Currently, the teachers create grammar exercises on their own or they download exercises from the internet. Often these are poor quality, aren't individualized, and don't encourage students to grow at their own pace. They feel that this is not the best way or most efficient use of teacher prep time. They seek a solution that is a bit faster, more robust, intuitive, and engaging.

Tech Needs & Requirements

In their ideal solution, the English department is looking for a progressive Grammar solution that satisfies as many of the following features as possible.

The tool ideally is modularized so that students can clearly see what they are working on and their progress toward acquiring the desired skill-set. They would prefer that the tool is adaptive so that students move at a sequence chosen for them that is intuitive and moves them through skill levels appropriate to their learning and for the areas that they need. They would like something with a really straightforward design so that students understand clearly what they are supposed to be doing. Along the same lines, they would like the tool to have helper text or explanations so that students have the option of learning from their mistakes.

Because the department prefers an adaptive tool, the tool must have formative assessments built into the tool. They would like to see a variety of question types like multiple choice, fill in the blank etc. However, they would like to tool to score the formative assessments as much as possible.

The more grammatical concepts included the better but the tool must include the basics such as basic punctuation, tense agreement, prepositions, pronouns, sentence combining, phrases and clauses, verbs. It would be nice to have more complex writing tasks like evaluating sentence types, such as thesis statements. Additionally, student choice would be great, but the teachers will need to be able to assign the content as well.

Data is very important to this department. Since students will be working largely independently on the tool, they want to be able to monitor progress and time on task in order to inform instruction or intervention strategies for their students. They would like the tool to have data built around individual students than the class as a whole.

If students have choice, that is great. However, it is more important that students are able to enjoy the tasks that they have been assigned and can feel independent on the tool, leading them to quick success.

The teacher will largely be tasked with integrating the tool into the larger context of instruction. They will also be the data analysts for the tool, using the data to inform instruction and interventions.

The tool must provide data that is exportable to CSV and provide progress monitoring and strand-level data. The tool must have formative assessments included. The tool must have assignable tasks and a wide variety of concepts. The tool must be able to engage students to work on without the aid of a teacher. The school provides Chromebooks. The tool must provide progress monitoring. The tool should provide time on task, which is only a nice to have. The tool must integrate with BUZZ learning management system.

*Content From 2016

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