Mathematics Tip - Levels 1 to 4

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Here are some topics of concern that may arise as you are working with students in Level 1 through Level 4.

What should I do when a student writes a number backwards?

This is a common mistake that young students make. When a young student learns numbers for the first time, the student captures and remembers the number as a shape or an image, such as a circle or a triangle. When students write numbers while thinking about the shape, they tend to write them backwards. This tendency naturally disappears for most students as they continue to practice writing numbers. Use the Key & Note, or reassign booklets 1-01 through 1-04, to continue to practice correct stroke order.

 Why are students counting objects for such a long time?

The purpose of ‘Practicing Numbers’ in Levels 1 and 2 is not just counting numbers accurately. Through the concept of ‘Practicing Numbers’ students will understand the concept of complements. Complements are pairs of numbers that add up to a particular sum, most often 5 or 10. By understanding complements, students will more easily learn the concepts of carrying and borrowing in Levels 10 and 11.  

 How can I help a student that having trouble with two-digit numbers?

Young learners sometimes write two-digit numbers in reverse. For example, they write 03 for 30 and 02 for 20. In this case, it is advisable to practice writing multiples of 10 such as 10, 20, 30, 40, and so on to help students accurately understand the number writing pattern. Furthermore, it is valuable to complete number recitation practices. Reciting numbers is the most effective way for young students to learn the number sequence. There are 3 ways of reciting numbers: 1) in increasing order, 2) in decreasing order, and 3) taking turns. Reciting numbers helps the students learn number sequences in a fun way and they will be able to progress smoothly through booklets 3-01 through 3-04.

 How can I consult with parents who insist that ‘Adding 1’ is too easy for their child?

‘Adding 1’ often looks easy to parents. It’s not difficult to find the answers as long as the child has learned to read and write numbers in sequence. However, ‘Adding 1’ is the stage where the mathematical symbol called ‘plus’ appears for the first time and the visualized concept changes into an abstract concept. Explain the importance of adding 1 as the completion of the number sequence as well as the basis of adding larger numbers.

 What do I do if a student is using fingers or drawing marks for addition?

Young learners try to find visual aids to do addition and counting on their fingers or drawing marks are two of the most used methods. However, these methods can cause students difficulties when they learn addition with larger addends. There are more places to make mistakes and it can take students a long time to complete exercises if they continue to use visual aids. Introduce ‘Adding 1’ through next-number exercises. This process will eliminate the need for the use of fingers or other dependencies. Once the student masters ‘Adding 1, 2, and 3’, it will be easy to advance to adding with large addends.

Please refer to the ELU for more guidance on successfully instructing and consulting for students that are in Level 1 through Level 4 in Eye Level Math.

 

Reference: Key & Instructors. January-April 2019.

 

 

 

 

English Instruction Article - Summer Reading Resources

Reading during the summer can be a vital component for students to continue to build their fluency and develop deeper comprehension skills. It helps students build their vocabulary skills which can ultimately lead to increased vocabulary usage in their writing and speaking. There are many resources within the Eye Level English curriculum and program that can assist with students building their vocabulary and fluency throughout the summer.

            Eye Level Resource Book Throughout the summer there are multiple resources that can be utilized for students to continuously read and increase their comprehension skills. Some of these sections include My Reading Journal, Phonics Reader Activity Sheets and the Graphic Organizers. Additionally, students can also use the Recommended Reading List to determine on-level books to read throughout the summer.

            My Reading Journal. My Reading Journal is a reading log that allows students to keep track of the books they read. This can be a great incentive in the center as students can complete the full log and turn it in for a prize. Along with the log, students can also complete several types of reading journals that have been created to help develop students writing, comprehension and enjoyment of reading. Students can also utilize these journals to complete their required summer reading assignments for school.

Phonics Reader Activity Sheets. Students who are enrolled in the English program, from Levels C-F, benefit from the decodable Phonics Readers and the corresponding Phonics Reader Activity Sheets. This could be utilized in class or at home for homework. This can also help with the students writing abilities as they advance in the higher levels and develop their comprehension skills.

Graphic Organizers. The graphic organizers provided can be utilized to assist students as a pre-writing activity prior to writing their first draft. If students are completing additional writing on books they are reading throughout the summer, they will have the consistency of the graphic organizers to compile their information. These can be printed out and used with the different genres of writing.

Recommended Reading List. The Recommended Reading List provides a comprehensive list of both classic and contemporary children’s book, each categorized by the most appropriate grade level. All books that are considered read-aloud, appropriate for Level Pre-A to Level C, are listed in alphabetical order. All books that are means to be read together with the student, or independently, are listed by readability level.

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For additional information on usage of the Resource Book, you can find the Resource Book Guide along with the other components of the Resource Book, on the ORL under “English Reference Materials”. You can find the Resource Book by going to the following link:

 http://training.eyelevelnytc.com/mod/folder/view.php?id=1530

 



Mathematics Tip - SAR

  In Eye Level Math, we do not focus on accuracy of the entire BTM booklet, but instead we focus on SAR. SAR stands for Study Achievement Rate, which is the number of perfect pages in the main section of the BTM booklets. The main section consists of pages 3-7 and 9-13. These pages are the practice pages of the booklet concept. Through Key & Manager, the SAR is automatically found. The SAR requirement can be found on the cover of each booklet, but a summary of the SAR requirements for the entire math program can be found on the ORL, under Math resources. There are two versions, one in color, as shown below, and one in black and white.

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Why is SAR important? The other pages of the math booklet are not practice pages of the concept itself, therefore we should not consider those mistakes when deciding if the booklet should be repeated or not. Page 2 is a review page of the previous booklet, Page 8 is a fun activity, Page 14 is word problems, Page 15 is usually a challenging puzzle, and Page 16 is an assessment. If there are five mistakes on five different main section pages, the SAR would be 50%. This shows that there is a knowledge gap that needs to be addressed. If there are five mistakes on one practice page, the SAR would be a 90%. This happens more often because the student did not read the directions or skipped a question. It is important to examine the mistakes when deciding if a booklet should be repeated. Now through Key & Manager, a Record Sheet is produced. This will help you see clearly where the student is making mistakes and decide if repetition is needed.

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English Instruction Article - Spelling Strategies

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     “To learn to read and spell using phonics, children have to learn the relationship between letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes), and then remember the exact letter patterns and sequences that represent various speech sounds.” [1] Teaching phonics allows students to understand the relationships between letters and sounds. These letters are sounds that represent patterns for spoken words. Spelling is important for both reading and writing.

Students beginning learning the concept of spelling words as early as Level C, when they begin to blend together consonant-vowel-consonant or CVCs. Through Levels D – F, they continue to blend longer words together, focusing on digraphs, diphthongs, blends and vowel teams. Students are not only developing their reading through spelling, but they are building their vocabulary to include in their writing abilities. Spelling isn’t just about memorizing the words, but more about why words are spelled the way they are. Students should think about the different patterns and sounds that each letter and word make. Below are some spelling strategies to help students within those levels between C and F, who may be struggling with piecing words together.

1. High Frequency Words/Sight Words. Sight words or high frequency words are words that students are unable to sound out. They are words like the and one. Students should be able to identify these words by sight without trying to decode the word by sounding out each letter. Many of these words are the basics that make up full sentences. If children continue to build their sight word usage, they are able to increase their fluency by relying less on sounding out.

2. Start with Phonetics. In the beginning, when students are at a younger age, allow the students to spell phonetically, which is spelling by what they hear. Allow them to sound out the word and write down the letters in which they hear as they say the word. If the spelling is correct that is a great start. If the student spells the word incorrectly, guide them to the correct spelling and explain why it may be spelt differently. Also, identify whether or not the student is sounding out the letter correctly. That could be a factor in why they may be spelling the word incorrectly.

3. Identify Spelling Patterns. A common theme is to identify words with the same spelling pattern which enables students to sound out words at a quicker pace as well as decode words if needed. Throughout the phonics lessons students will learn different spelling patterns. Besides the booklets themselves, it is important for students to use the learned words within their writing booklets. Have students use up to five phonics words within their writing for the week to give them more practice.

4. Learn Spelling Rules. There are certain situations where it is important to remember that there are rules when spelling. Some of these rules include doubling consonants, silent -e, y as a long I and I before E. When students are able to remember these rules, it can increase their ability to spell words correctly. It is important for them to remember that not all words are spelled how they sound.

References:

[1] Vaughn, S., & Thompson, S. (2004). Phonics and Word Study. In Research-based methods of reading instruction, grades K-3 (pp. 30-48). Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

English Instruction Article - Tips for Reluctant Readers

           For some student’s, reading can be a struggle. Some students have difficulties with the process itself and for others, it just isn’t something they enjoy doing. Here are a few tips on how to help those reluctant readers. 

1. Connect with the student’s interests. Students are more likely to pick a book in which they are interested in. Examples include specific types of genres or informational texts in which they are familiar with. Choosing something that is new may also spark interest.

2. Use technology to your advantage. With student’s engrossed in technology today, show them how they can download books on a mobile device to enjoy. It can be a simple picture book or a full length chapter book.

3.  Show students how reading can affect other subjects such as reading a math problem, conducting a science experiment by adding ingredients together or following directions on a map to find buried treasure.

4. Reading everyday can help boost a student’s confidence when they are reading. Shared reading allows the parent and child to not only read together but discuss the book and its contents. You can either take turns reading pages or read silently together, stopping occasionally to discuss.

5. Introduce the student to a book series. Explain that reading a series of books can be like watching a series of a TV show. Some texts have been transformed into movies which the students can compare the book to the movie.

Examples of popular children’s books that can also be viewed as a movie:

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Mathematics Tip - Teaching Tools Games

One of the more under-utilized teaching tools is Numerical Figures. In the Eye Level program, Numerical Figures are used in BTM booklets in Levels 1-4. However, Numerical Figures can also be used for games in the higher levels as well. Using games in the classroom is a fun way to engage students and to break up the class session. On the ORL, there is a guide that explains some games that can be used with the student and what tools you will need. Below is an example of one the games. To find the other games be sure to visit the ORL.

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Mathematics Tip - Test with Key & Manager

Another way to use Key & Manager in the classroom is during a Level Test. Students that are in lower grades should take their Level Test at the instructor desk. The instructor can grade the Level Test at the same time the students are completing the paper test. Students in upper levels will need a longer time to complete the test and therefore can complete the test at their SDL Desk. Students can complete CTM tests at their desk as well since time is not factor in achieving mastery. First, find the student that is taking the Level Test. Under the Schedule, you will only see the students that are currently in class. Click on the three yellow dots next to the student’s name to see the different options. Click on Level Test.

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Select the Level Test subject and booklet that is being administered. Be sure to choose the correct booklet and examine closely whether you are choosing BTM or CTM. We will examine a BTM test first. If you are watching the student complete the test, you can use the timer that is provided. Like the DT, if a student makes a mistake you can check the box. If the student skips a question, swipe to the left and the question will turn pink. At the end of the test, click the blue arrow to see the results.

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At the end of the test, there is a result page. In this example the student passed the test because she achieved 88% accuracy and completed the test within the time limit. The student can advance to level 6.

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Below is an example of CTM. There is no timer because time is not a factor in CTM mastery. This student got many questions wrong at the end of test. The note explains that the student should repeat the booklets related to the missed concepts. Once the necessary repetitions are completed, the student will retake the Level Test.

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The Level Test should only be given as a confirmation of mastery. An instructor should be confident a student is going to pass the test before the Level Test is assigned. If there are any other questions, please reach out to your Field Consultant.

English Instructional Tip - Comprehension

Eye Level’s English program not only focuses on in-depth comprehension passages within their curriculum booklets but provides students with additional reinforcement in their online learning portal. Our blended learning approach provides students will multiple avenues of learning for the different students learning abilities. Within the early levels of the program, students are introduced to the essential comprehension strategies such as sequence of events, cause and effects, and main idea and details. Moving through the middle levels, students work through various comprehension strategies while in the learning-to-read phase. As they begin the reading-to-learn phase, they complete practice pages in order to master in- depth comprehension strategies.

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Eye Level English Online has many overall benefits. It helps assist with lower level students who may need additional assistance throughout the class time or at home as well as breaks up the class session. It is especially helpful for ESL/EFL/ELL students. Once students are trained on how to use the online programs, it is a great resource to promote SDL. The Review Booklets are an exact replica of the paper booklets, helping with proper assessment throughout the levels. It now provides additional comprehension practice when needed. It can be utilized both in the classroom and at home. Through their online study room, students are able to practice the learned comprehension strategies that have been covered through their previous levels as well as current level. Additionally, they are able to utilize the audio portion, listen to the Phonics and Alphabet Readers and practice the phonics and vocabulary words learned throughout the booklets. Many students within the centers utilize the online English component to complete their target pages independently. Below is an example of the levels and additional comprehension that students can complete in their online study room. These sections do not have to be assigned to them as they are able to review and complete on their own. It is a great resource for students to use for reinforcement or parents who are looking for additional comprehension practice.

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Mathematics Tip - Math Word Problems Booklet

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Recently, there are new Try This 2 Word Problem Booklets were launched available only on the ORL. We hope that everyone has had a chance to start to use them in their centers. Just because there are new Word Problem Booklets, this does not mean you should stop using the previous Word Problem Booklets that are available from Distribution. Both set of Word Problem Booklets have benefits to the students in your center.

There are 40 Word Problem Booklets available through Distribution. These booklets should match the student’s CTM level. These booklets are available for Levels 5-15. These booklets were specifically designed to incorporate multi-step word problems to better reflect the needs of the U.S. market. The first booklet of each level has explicit instructions so the students can complete the booklets in a self-directed manner. The purpose of these booklets is to help students apply what they have previously learned. Some of the questions can be challenging; this gives students exposure to how the current skill can relate to advanced concepts.

For levels 5-9 there are two booklets per level. The first Word Problem booklet should be given after booklet number 24 is mastered. The second Word Problem booklet should be given after booklet number 30 is mastered. There is a curriculum chart available on the ORL to record the booklet information. On the first line, you should write the date the booklet is completed and the score that was received. On the last line, circle the question number that was marked incorrect.

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For levels 10-15 there are four booklets per level and an assessment. The booklets are given out after mastery of booklet numbers 21, 24, 27, and 30. The assessment is given out once the four booklets have been completed. On the first line, record the date and score of the booklet. On the third line, circle the questions that were marked incorrect on the booklet. On the fourth line, circle the questions that were marked incorrect on the assessment. On the side, write the date and score of the assessment.

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We hope that everyone is able is use both sets of Word Problem with the students in your center.

English Instructional Tip - The Alphabet

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Level A & Level B: Learning to write the alphabet is a major component in building foundational skills for writing as well as reading. Levels A & B focus on the learning of writing the letters of the alphabet as well as the sounds the letters make.

Key Teaching Tips:

  1. Use your EL resources. Students can connect learning the alphabet letters to the Eye Level flash cards or the Pronunciation Chart.

  2. The English Online component is a great resource for students to listen to the different sounds of the letters as well as identify letters when asked. The online component also enables students to practice the different pages of their reading booklets.

  3. Show the students how they can connect their letters to different actions or sounds.

  4. Use a small white board and dry erase marker to have students practice their letter writing.

  5. The same thing can be done with a small chalkboard and chalk. This allows for more options besides paper and pencil.

  6. Have students find things around the room that begin with certain letters. The students can also walk around the center to look for letters at the end of the class session. They can either draw it on paper or even try to spell it with help from the instructor.

  7. Create a set of tactile letters. This can include sand paper, fuzzy material, cotton balls glued on paper or even letter magnets. Have students trace the letters with their fingers. Scrabble pieces are a great resource as well.

  8. Have students look through magazines or books with large print to identify letters they are working with. You can even use the covers of booklets.

Mathematics Tip- Try This 2 Word Problem Booklets

There are new Word Problem booklets that just launched on January 25th, 2019. These new word problems closely match the Try This 2 questions that already appear on page 14. The booklets are designed to go along with levels 5 through 23. Since the word problems are more closely aligned with the word problems students are used to seeing, children will be more likely to be successful.

Nothing is happening to the current colored math word problem booklets for levels 5 through 15 that you can order from Distribution. If you need help implementing the old word problem booklets please use these resources from the ORL: http://training.eyelevelnytc.com/mod/folder/view.php?id=1448.

There are many ways you can use the new Try This 2 Word Problem booklets. Firstly, the word problems can be assigned concurrently with the booklets. Since there are only 4 additional word problems per booklet, it is not that much more that students would have to complete. Secondly, the booklets can be completed with the old word problem booklets. The word problem booklets that are ordered from distribution should be assigned as the student completes the corresponding CTM booklets as explained in the word problem curriculum chart. During this week, maybe only one BTM booklet is assigned the student can really focus on his or her problem-solving skills. Thirdly, a parent may be looking for extra word problems when the state test is approaching. These word problems would be great to utilize at this point. You can print out word problems from various levels so students can see a review of all the work that was done throughout the year. I would not give the student any work that is above their Eye Level level.

Another good to use these word problem booklets is as a review for the level test. For example, let’s say a student is finishing level 5. He is only assigned one BTM booklet, 5-18, because you do not want to go to level 6 before he passes the level test. At this point, the student could get all the word problems for  level 5 so that he is reviewing current work and will be well prepared for the test next week. A different student is finishing level 12. Last week she received 12-17 and 12-18. You may want to grade those booklets before the level test since those are key elements. While you are grading those booklets, the student can work on the word problem booklets so she is continuing to practice her multiplication skills. The booklets can very versatile whether you print them out, or simply write the questions in Key & Note.

I hope you can find good use for the new Try This 2 word problems in your center. The answer key and booklets are only available for download on the ORL. It is located in Math Resources section, or use this direct link that is provided: http://training.eyelevelnytc.com/mod/folder/view.php?id=2042.

English Instructional Tip – Comprehension Strategies & Paragraphs

Within the Eye Level program, Level G and above discuss different kinds of paragraphs specifically in relation to comprehension. Students will learn descriptive, contrasting and how-to paragraphs. They will also be able to determine what makes these paragraphs different from one another. First and foremost, allow the students to understand what each kind of paragraph is. A descriptive paragraph uses adjectives to describe a certain topic. A contrasting paragraph shows how things differ. Discuss the concept of contrast and difference. This means that there are two subjects being talked about in the paragraph. How-to paragraphs are a procedure with sequence using words like first, second, then and last. The following information will give you information of how to direct students in identifying each paragraph as well as writing one.

Descriptive Paragraphs In order to write and identify a descriptive paragraph, students need to first understand what an adjective is. Descriptive writing uses adjectives to develop the main topic. When reading a descriptive paragraph, have the students underline or circle the words that are describing the main topic. When writing a descriptive paragraph, have students first write adjectives that describe their topic. They can use a spider web graphic organizer to come up with different words. Once the students can describe their topics, have them begin to form sentences using their ideas.

    Some students also need to orally tell their thoughts before they can get them on paper. If they are struggling writers, have the student talk to the instructor and verbally discuss their topic. The instructor can take a few minutes and jot down what the student says. The following graphic organizer can help students compose a descriptive paragraph as well as determine if a paragraph is descriptive.

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Contrasting Paragraphs Contrasting paragraphs are used to tell how two things are different. Examples could be two different animals, such as a dog and a cat, or two different sports, such as soccer and football. Students need to first understand information that is alike and information that is different. Contrasting paragraphs have two subjects that are being discussed. Students can benefit from using a T-Chart in order to break down the paragraph to determine whether it is a contrasting paragraph or not. Use two different highlighters to highlight the different topics within the text and its details. See the example below of a T-Chart breaking down the differences of amphibians and reptiles.

How-To Paragraphs A how-to paragraph tells the reader how to make or do something. The steps that are used are in order. Examples of these types of paragraphs could be writing about how to make a cake, how to do laundry or how to build a birdhouse. When reading a paragraph have students underline the different steps within the procedure. Before beginning to write, students need to determine what it is they want to write about and write the steps in number order. These paragraphs can also use sequence words such as first, second, then, and last. See the example below describing how to make hand turkeys.

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Some paragraphs will have more steps like in the example on how to do laundry.

Allow students to use highlighters as they are reading to identify which type of paragraph they are reading as well as how to answer any questions that may follow. This will help them identify answers as they reading as opposed to constantly referring back to the questions and reading simultaneously.

Mathematics Tip- Upper Level Support (Webinar Announcement)

Some of the topics for Upper Level Math can be quite difficult! Students in Levels 24-32 will generally only have two booklets per week: one BTM and one CTM. Of course, you know your students best! A motivated student may be able to complete 2 BTM booklets as well as 1 CTM booklet.

The booklets in the Upper Levels have 20 pages, 17 of them are included in the SAR (Study Achievement Rate). Students should be getting an SAR of 70%, which is 12/17. If students do not achieve 70% mastery, then they should redo the booklet topic. Repetition in Upper Levels is done like Critical Think Booklets, only when necessary. In the example below, the student started Level 28 in October. His SAR for booklets 3, 4, and 9 were lower than 70%. His SAR was above 70% for the rest. In November, he must repeat booklets 1-4 and 9&10 because those are the topics that had low SAR. He does not have to repeat booklets 5-8 like a student would in the lower levels. The SCT (Standard Completion Time) is not found in Upper Levels.

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On the ORL, there are a lot of resources to help with the Upper Level material. Check them out in the Math Reference Material section. There are more detailed answer booklets to help the instructor determine how the answer was discovered. The most useful information is the Pocket Guide. The Pocket Guide will give ideas for Key & Note and will define all necessary terms. Feel free to provide the Pocket Guide to instructors and students that require it. Provide one level at a time as to not overwhelm the instructor and student.

Although Upper Level Math may seem daunting at first, it isn’t that bad! Follow these three easy steps for success: hire a math instructor who can pass the assessment test, make sure the instructor reviews the material prior to the class session, and utilize the Pocket Guide and Key & Note during the class session. If you have any other questions, there is a webinar on January 25, 2019 at 1:30pm EST. Set time aside to join this meeting and look for the recording to follow on the ORL!

English Instructional Tip – English Class Flow with Online English

Eye Level’s English program contains multiple components that call for smooth transitions during the student’s class session. Maintaining a smooth classroom flow is integral to uphold Eye Level’s Self-Directed Learning (SDL) approach and to ensure that each student receives a quality learning experience. The basic class flow consists of the following components:

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These five components are a critical part to the learning process of the student:

1.     Student check-in

2.     Return of homework

3.     1-1 coaching

4.     Independent study

5.     Wrap-up

Over the past few months and through the upcoming months, centers will be gin introducing the Online English component during class and at home. The class flow within the English classroom will utilize the online component during the Independent Study section. Student can complete their target pages as well as reinforce learned concepts from the booklets. They can listen to Alphabet and Phonics Readers as well as record themselves during the fluency section and play it back. Additionally, students can practice the different comprehension strategies they learn in their corresponding booklets. The class flow ultimately remains the same, with the online component being infused during the student’s self-directed learning.

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 Once introduced to the online component and how-to login to the system, students can begin to navigate their way through the different sections. They can utilize the audio to listen to the target pages, outside of 1-on-1 coaching, and they can view and listen to the readers that provides the visuals, page by page. For some centers, with larger subject number in the English program, it may take some time for those centers to get adjusted to incorporating the online component in the center. Older students tend to have an easier time logging in themselves and navigating through.

Allow students time to complete the additional comprehension that is provided online. Students can listen to comprehension passages and answering corresponding questions. Many students who are ESL/EFL learners benefit from hearing the passages allowed as well as words that they may have difficulties with. All students can also benefit from reviewing all the learned material online to reinforce the concepts that they will see in later levels. The online component is a great way to make learning interactive and fun.

Franchisee Spotlight - Eye Level of Walnut Creek

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This month’s Key & News shares the story behind how getting involve in local community has enabled this top engineer/franchisee multiply her subject numbers in two years. 

Priya, a computer science and engineering graduate from University of Madras in Tamil Nadu, India, is a highly passionate and skilled professional with many years of experience in customer service and people management. Despite being deeply involve in both her professional career and personal vocation as a proud mother of 2 amazing children, Priya had past opportunities to volunteer in teaching English while based in Korea, and teaching Tamil language weekly while in her hometown in Pleasanton, CA.   In 2014, she was hooked and convinced to follow her second passion, and that is to engage in children’s learning.

Since then, Priya visited multiple educational franchises and was particularly attracted by the good mix of English and Critical Thinking program offered by Eye Level. When presented the opportunity to purchase an existing center back in September of 2015, with some validation and research, Priya decided to take the plunge.  In February 2016, Priya became the new owner of Eye Level of Walnut Creek, not fully realizing that the center’s location, it’s lack of visibility, as well as the city’s demographic landscape was going to be a challenge. 

The first year was tough for Priya.  Naturally, as the second owner, she lost several students who were loyal to the previous owner.  With much determination, she did not hesitate to seek assistance from the previous owner, and counsel from fellow franchisees.   Daily, weekly, Priya went through self-evaluation to make sure her actions were still aligned with her vision to establish a stronger brand awareness in the community of Walnut Creek. 

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To connect with the community, one of the most time and cost-effective marketing method, she came to realize, was through sponsoring Eye Level booth in book fairs.  Most of the attendees at these events are parents who are looking for great books for their very young kids. The very young kids who eventually joined Eye Level through these book fairs tend to achieve great success with the Eye Level program, and eventually referred more parents to join.  This was not to mention that they tended to stay with the program for a longer period of time.  With this correlation, Priya started placing more careful emphasis in thoughtfully promoting younger age groups of 3-4 years of age through the use of Key & Note to learn reading, writing and forming basic sentences in 5 months! She then presented “kinder ready certificates” for such students who, in turn, achieved great momentum and success with Eye Level. 

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 After getting over the learning curve, Priya has since went through great lengths to thoroughly train her staff and tenaciously track student’s effort and progress.  Today, with more experience and confidence, she found her groove.  In book fairs, not only does Priya share the Eye Level curriculum, she also shares actual Key & Note exercises that displays the great progress her students have made while learning at Eye Level.  She believes that real value attracts parents more than any discounts that she can offer.  She also came to a conclusion that with her burning passion for understanding how children learn combined with persistent hard work, the center will thrive no matter where the center is located.

While Eye Level, as a brand, was a tool that had the potential to impact children’s lives, it really took some soul-searching and deep understanding of purpose for Priya to bring out the best version of herself, in order to bring out the best in her students.

 

   

Mathematics Tip- The New Math DT

The new Math Diagnostic Tests (DTs) are shipping this month! It has been a long wait, and now the time has arrived to start utilizing them in the center. You have heard about the math DTs before but are you ready to start using them?

Step 1: Choose the right test. As always, it is important the students are taking the right test. Students should take the DT that they will confident taking. Show the test to the student before beginning to see if it is information that they are familiar with. In general, in June through December students should take the test of the grade that they finished. If it is January through May, students should start with the current grade DT. Students should not make any mistakes on the first page. If this is the case, they will need to take a DT of the grade lower.

Step 2: Begin test. Parents should not be in the room for the DT. During testing time, parents can review the enrollment paperwork and program orientation material. The person administering the test needs to have the appropriate information pulled up on their tablet. First find the student you are looking for. Most likely this will mean filtering by leads or simply type the name of the student you want to find. When you find that student click the three yellow dots.

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Start the DT by clicking on the word DT, choosing the subject and the test that you want. When the student is ready to begin, remember to start the timer.

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Step 3: Taking the test. As the student is taking the test, it will be graded immediately. Check the box of any problem that is incorrect. Swipe right, or click the number, to skip the question. When time is up, click on the number of the last problem and choose the option, “End here and skip all the following.” The remaining questions will turn pink and you can move to the next section. Remember to start the timer for each section. The timer is only there is a guide for the Word Problems and the CTM questions as well as the entire middle school test. The students can take more time if needed.

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Step 4: Finishing the test. When the student is done with all three sections, check any observations that were made. When you submit the observations, the results will pop up. Be sure to save the number of booklets the student will complete each week before moving to the next section. You must type a comment to save the report. You can view the report on the mobile device (you must allow pop up ads) or on a desktop (the most recent test will be at the top of the list).

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Step 5: Parent Consultation. Show the parents the DT result report. This will have great talking points. It will talk about the speed and accuracy, give the starting point, mention upcoming topics, and the projected progress for two years at Eye Level. These are all things that parents want to hear about.

*Special Case*. The paper Kindergarten test is actually four separate tests as you can tell when using Key and Manager. We cannot run the K3 because we do not offer Play Math. The suggestion is to run the K4 for preschoolers and in the beginning of Kindergarten, run the K5 for students in kindergarten, and the K6 for when the student finishes Kindergarten and the beginning of first grade. Look for the colored circles on the side of the pages to know which page to administer for each test.

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So, are you ready? The excitement is buzzing about using the new Math Diagnostic Tests (DTs) and utilizing Key and Manager in the process. If you have any questions, feel to contact the math specialist Jennifer Magrogan at Jennifer.magrogan@myeyelevel.com.

English Instructional Tip – Comprehension Strategies

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Reading comprehension can be easily defined as understanding what is being read. While the definition seems to be simple, the process is no such thing. “Reading comprehension is an intentional, active, interactive process that occurs before, during and after a person reads a particular piece of writing.” (1)  Within the Eye Level program, Levels C through I and 5 through 8, students are challenged with the opportunity to deepen their comprehension skills. The following comprehension strategies can be utilized with their Key & Note as well as directly in their booklets.  

Make Predictions Before the student begins to read, ask them to look at the pictures and title of the text. Ask them what they think is going to happen or who the story is going to be about. While reading, they can revise the predictions or make new ones. Making predictions about a text could activate prior knowledge that will positively affect a student’s comprehension.

Underlining & Highlighting While answering comprehension questions, students should go back in the text and underline or highlight the answers. The students can also use this strategy to express words that were difficult for them to understand. Older students can use their Key & Note to write down those words and find them in the dictionary. After writing down the definition have them take another step forward by using it in a sentence.

Generate & Ask Questions Asking questions can help students clarify information and deepen their understanding of a text. Students must be taught how to ask themselves questions about what is happening within a reading. While reading, stop occasionally and have the student reflect and ask a question aloud relating to the text.

Discuss the Text Structure Students can comprehend a text when they understand the text structure. Some examples include descriptive writing, sequencing, compare and contrast, and cause and effect. During instruction time, discuss with the student the type of structure the story is. This will also help the student determine the main idea of the story.

Make Connections When reading a passage, students can connect to the reading in order to retain the information. When students connect reading to their own lives, they have a better change being able to recall the information in the future as well as make it more personal and memorable.

Visualize Not all students learn through audible range. With the different learning styles and abilities, many students benefit from visualizing what is taking place within a passage or story. Talk with the student about picturing what they read in their head or taking the time at home to draw different pieces of the reading.

Summarize the Story Once the student has read through a passage, have them summarize the main idea and details within the reading. Summarizing allows the students retell the story in their own words as well as discriminate between the main idea and details of the text. This also allows them to talk about the text and provide clarification of understanding.

1. What is Reading Comprehension? (2012). Retrieved from http://www.k12reader.com/what-is-reading-comprehension/

Franchisee Spotlight - Eye Level of Lake Zurich

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Rouaida Alceikh, the owner and center director of Eye Level Lake Zurich has been a part of the Midwest Eye Level family since 2011.  Since then, her center has flourished and is now a part of Eye Level Performance Society.  Rouaida believes that customer retention and satisfaction has been key to the success of her center.  She gave retention the highest priority and it boosted her business. 

Through her experience, Rouaida believes in these four important components for retention: 

1.     Quality - Discussing the goal of parents.  Starting from the initial consultation, asking what the parents’ goals are and what they are looking for, then zooming in on what the parents want to achieve and focusing on their goals.  Some parents focus on their child being gifted and 2+ years ahead. If that is their goal, she has a meeting including the students and explains to them the steps required to get to that goal.  Some parents come with the focus of fixing their child’s inability to work independently at home.  For this goal, she created a quiet study area in the center to allow students to come and do their work.  It is very important to keep the students and parents happy.  Rouaida finds that open communication between parents, staff and students help create this quality.

2.     Creativity - Many families come in with different goals and expectations.  It has required a lot of creativity to produce this quality, but once they are satisfied they stay long term.  Like with many centers, staffing was always a struggle.  Rouaida decided to promote volunteering opportunities at the local High Schools.  Now she has several high school students receiving volunteering credit hours for grading at the center.  Many students look up to the older students and graders who come to the center.  One unique aspect of Eye Level Lake Zurich is that Rouaida offers a completion incentive.  The completion incentive allows students who finish the EL program to help at the center.  This has created many student-to-grader transitions that the students look forward to.  Finding jobs for kids is hard for parents as well, so this allows for a great solution and a great way to motivate the students to finish and be involved.

3.     Flexibility – Roulaida does permit flexibility with scheduling to accommodate her customers.  There is always something coming up, but she will continuously allow for makeup sessions and rescheduling.  She would rather have the child come into the center than taking booklets home.  Many times, this requires coming in herself on Saturdays to be the instructor.  This way the students will always go over key concepts with an instructor, and parents are satisfied. 

4.     Money – It is important to show the parents that she is not after money.  From the initial consultation, Rouaida makes it transparent that the money in relationship with parents comes last.  She does have short, and long-term payment contracts, but emphasizes communication and flexibility.  She doesn’t want her customers to come into the center unhappy and with the mindset of finishing their term and contract.  This eliminates negativity in her center and ultimately generates loyal and long-term customers. 

            As an ELPS member, Rouaida makes it a priority to do all the communication with the parents.  She knows each family that attends her center and all the students’ names and subjects.  With 13+ staff at her center students still nominate Rouaida as their favorite instructor and are excited when she gets to fill in as the instructor.  Rouaida has been able to empower the students through goal setting and support.  Eye Level of Lake Zurich has had several students start in 2011 and finish the math and English program.  Some of them are still at the center, no longer as Eye Level students, but as graders and teacher aids.  Through her years of hard work, she has formed great relationships with her customers and word that she does an excellent job overflows her center and community.   Focusing on knowing her customers has really benefited her customer retention and satisfaction.  We are thrilled to see Eye Level Lake Zurich’s reputation grow.

English Instructional Tip – Launch of Eye Level Online English

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Over the next few months Eye Level will be launching the online English component that will parallel with the booklets of the lower levels of the English Program, Level A to Level I. It provides a strengthened focus on phonics development, fluency practice, and targeted grammar exercises that help students develop comprehension and improve their internet-based writing abilities. Additionally, academic vocabulary words are learned through the vocabulary online activities. Students will also be able to practice learned comprehension in previous levels for reinforcement.

There are many benefits that come with the Online English program. Some of these benefits include helping the lower level students with readability as well as breaking up the class session. It reinforces the higher levels in terms of comprehension and it is also a great component for students of ESL & ELL. It promotes Self-Directed Learning once the students are properly trained to login and use the system. As the students move through the program they can also complete the Review Booklets both online and offline. The Review Booklets are a direct replica of the paper book. The online component can be used both in class and at home. As students are completing the booklets at home, they can utilize the online component if they need assistance in terms of understanding directions or listening to the comprehension.

The different components within the online system also provide benefits for center usage. The audio section helps with more accurate responses during the class sessions. Students are read the directions and complete the booklet in its entirety, both in class and at home, making grading easier specifically if booklets are previously turned in incomplete. Students tend to have deeper understanding of vocabulary concepts and online interaction creates more interest from the students. 1-on-1 coaching also becomes more effective with limited careless mistakes and struggling concepts are reinforced online either at home or in the center.

Center management is also the forefront of the Online English Program. Students are more focused and less distracted by others around them as well as being less dependent on the instructor. Although it takes a little time for the students to get adjusted to utilizing the computer or tablet, they benefit from becoming more independent. With many of the activities within the booklets being similar, they can hear what is expected and understand that in the booklets in the weeks and months to follow. Explicit instruction boxes are also read word for word if students need additional explanation.

The online English program will fully Launch in January of 2019. Below you will find the launch plan and some of the important dates to keep in mind. All centers should plan on attending one of the online training webinars to understand expectations, usage, implementation and overall information session.

  • Online Training Webinar

    • Monday, November 12, 2019 @ 10 am & 1 pm (EST)

    • Monday, November 19, 2019 @ 10 am & 1 pm (EST)

  • December 2018: Planning Marketing for Grand Launch

  • January 2019: Full launch to all centers

Mathematics Tip: Utilizing Key and Manager in the Math Session

The new Key & Manager has officially launched! There are many aspects of Key & Manager that are new that you can utilize in your center, so it will run more effectively. For more information, click the links to directly access the user guides on the topics that are discussed.

When coaching with a student, it is no longer necessary to have all the answer booklets taking up valuable space on the desk. All that the instructor will need to have is a tablet. Each of your instructors needs to be added as an instructor on K&M2 have his or her own user account to utilize all the great features that K&M2 has to offer.

When your instructor logs in and views the schedule, he or she will see the time the classes for the day. If the instructor clicks the plus sign, he or she will see the students that are coming for that time.

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During coaching the instructor will click on the three yellow dots. From here there are many options that are available to the instructor that you as the Center Director need to assign. It is important that the instructor at least has access to Progress, Booklet, and Level Test. In the Progress tab, the instructor can see what booklets should be given to the student. The instructor can easily change this if the booklets do not match or different booklets need to be given.

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During math one-on-one coaching time, the instructor should record the SCT for a booklet during class by choosing the Booklet option. After the booklet the student is working on has been selected, there will be the option to time page 2 or page 11 and 12. The SCT should be found using the page 2 option from now on. Start the timer and mark the questions which the student answered incorrectly. Afterwards, it is easy to scroll through the electronic booklet to find the target pages that should be graded. After the target pages are graded, the instructor will skip to page 16 to save the learning progress. The grader will access that booklet next week to finish inputting any errors that the student made during homework.

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During a math Level Test, the student should sit at the instructor desk. The instructor will grade the test at the same time the student is taking the test. Remember to check the box of any questions that the student answers incorrectly. Once the test is completed, the results will automatically generate. If a student does poorly in one section, he should redo those booklets before progressing to the next level. 

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There are a lot of changes that come about because of the updated Key & Manager. These changes will be for the better and I hope you are able to implement them in your center. Try just doing one thing at a time and it won’t seem so overwhelming!