Blog

The Wowzers Blog

Thoughts, best practices, and helpful tips based on the educational experiences and passion of the Wowzers Team

The Educator's Guide to the "Blended Learning Lesson Plan"

by: Andrew Howard on Jul 9, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Screen_Shot_2013-12-30_at_1.52.33_PMTeaching via a mix of educational technology and in-person instruction -- a blended learning model -- can help you enhance engagement and progress within the classroom. However, instituting “blended learning” simply for the sake of adding technology to the classroom does your students (and you) a disservice.

Just like any other lesson construct, clear and concise learning goals are an important key to progress and achievement, especially when new elements (such as educational technology) are brought into the classroom.

With these set goals in mind, lesson planning remains vitally important in the blended learning setting. But, what does a Blended Learning Lesson Plan look like? 

Read below the break to learn about important elements of a blended learning lesson plan and to view a sample math lesson plan.

Read More

Topics: Blended Learning

Inside a Classroom Implementing RTI

by: Andrew Howard on Jun 22, 2015 6:40:00 PM

Teacher in RTI (Response to Intervention) classroomThis school year is over, and like all good students, here at Wowzers we're trying to learn from good teachers.

We've been doing interviews with teachers about how their methods of teaching are changing. 

Today's interview is with Sam Hess, an elementary school teacher from San Diego, CA. In less than a minute and a half Sam explains how he uses technology in his classroom to implement an effective RTI model. 

Read More

Topics: RTI

4 Response to Intervention (RTI) Strategies for the Math Classroom

by: Andrew Howard on Jun 22, 2015 1:15:00 PM

Response to Intervention (RTI): If you've been in the classroom within the last ten years, there is a large chance that you've heard of (and utilized) this reinforcement and recovery measure.

rti_math_activitiesAfter first learning about RTI models, many educators (and myself) asked, "Is this just another complicated, drawn-out mandate by bureaucrats that never set foot in a classroom?"

However, after taking a closer look at the basis behind Response to Intervention models, you can quickly see the merit of a three tiered classroom system. RTI is based on valid research completed on teacher-proven methods for instructing and assessing all students (across the entire learning spectrum).

Read below to the break to learn about four quick strategies and activities you can use in your math classroom to optimize the "teacher-proven methods" of your RTI model to meet the unique learning needs of each and every student.

Read More

Topics: RTI

Where Can I Find Smarter Balanced Practice Tests and Sample Items?

by: Andrew Howard on Jun 20, 2015 1:25:00 PM

Smarter Balanced Assessment UpdateSo you've taken your first year of the Smarter Balanced online assessments and now you're looking for places for your students to get more practice.

Don't worry! Free Smarter Balanced examples, practice exams, and test samples exist and they are readily available. The best part is, you don't even need to scour the Internet to find them!

Read More

Topics: Common Core Assessments

4 Essential Points for Your School's Smarter Balanced Assessments Checklist

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 9, 2015 8:35:00 AM

This past semester, we’'ve noticed (via conversations with educators across the country) that many schools and curriculum departments seem to have a pretty solid understanding of how they plan to integrate the new standards into current curricula and lesson plans.

Wowzers Smarter Balanced Update imageHowever, the process of preparing the school, staff, and students for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consoritum (SBAC) Common Core-aligned tests seems to be lagging behind the efforts focused on standards integration. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that there is still not a ton of information out there about the new assessments.

Sample problems and blueprints are trickling in, but not at an ideal rate. That’'s why we wanted to put together a quick checklist to help those who are trying to catch their online assessment preparations up with their CCSS integration efforts.

Read below the break to see a checklist of general goals your school should strive for to be ready (from a technical standpoint) for the Smarter Balanced (SBAC) assessments by the 2014-2015 deadline.

Read More

Topics: Common Core Assessments

Free E-Book: Are Your Devices SBAC-Compliant?

by: Andrew Howard on Apr 7, 2015 12:49:00 PM

Can my student take the SBAC online assessment on this computer/tablet?

PARCC technology requirements informationThere's a lot of confusion about what devices students can use to take the SBAC assessment. That's why we created this E-Book: To help educators prepare for the SBAC Assessment.

This eBook details everything you need to know to make sure your school's devices are SBAC-Compatible, including

  • Information about tablets, screen size, and operating system;
  • Requirements, including keyboards and other accesiblity concerns.

Read More

Topics: Common Core Assessments