English Instruction Article - Level Pre - A

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Eye Level English Level Pre-A focuses on fundamental skills that are important for students to develop within the early stages of learning. They will focus on fine motor skills and simple concepts such as colors, seasons and shapes. There are some key points to focus on when working with students in Level Pre-A.

1. Do not expect students to read. All directions and words should be read or provided with the audio components if students need additional support. Knowing the meanings of the different instruction icons will help students become more self-directed in the classroom.

2. Fine motor skills will vary greatly. We’re helping students develop fine motor skills and basic writing strokes since a child’s mastery of fine-motor skills will allow him/her greater independence.

3. Encourage students to sit as they complete their work. Some may want to stand here and there. If students are new, you may ask them to sit near you for a couple of weeks since they may need additional assistance learning the booklet structure and the class session flow. It may be difficult to keep a student’s undivided attention when they’re completely uninterested in what you want them to focus on, or they find the task too challenging. It is vital to enable them to feel as if the learning is fun and engaging.

4. Use an encouraging voice. The instructor’s tone of voice is a powerful instrument. It sets the tone and environment for the entire classroom in terms of engagement, behavior, and rapport with students. Vary your inflection and your volume to keep students engaged.

5. Ask questions to activate students’ schema. When introducing the objectives and the new words, ask questions to check their prior knowledge and also link students’ experience with what they’re currently learning. That will make the learning concepts more relevant for students.

6. Encourage parents to read or have students read more! They can choose books from their own interests or from the Recommended Reading List (RRL). Although Eye Level English provides students with an experience of different genres of text, extensive reading has an additional advantage for all learners. It generally increases their motivation and confidence and creates a more positive attitude towards reading and language learning. Finally, it enables them to become independent readers and more effective language users.

 

**Reference from Key & Instructors

Math Supplemental Worksheets - Overview

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            Eye Level is excited to announce the launch of the Math Supplemental Worksheets. These worksheets provide additional practice for problems that may or may not be explicitly taught in the Eye Level Math curriculum. Students can practice these worksheets in the center or at home, enhancing the learning experience of a student and the quality of Eye Level Education. The worksheets are mostly meant for reinforcement and review of topics, nevertheless they can also be used to introduce a topic through the guidance of an Instructor. The worksheets will allow some flexibility while working with the student. The student may be working on multiplication in the Eye Level booklets, but with the worksheets, the student can review other topics. Anything the student completes, should be corrected with the Answer Book and reviewed as soon as possible.

            Please be sure to read the Instructor Guide before using a set of worksheets. The Instructor Guides include many pieces of valuable information. Firstly, it will tell how many of each type of worksheet is provided in the set. The order that the worksheets are written is the recommended way that the worksheets should be provided to the student. Next, the Common Core State Standards that are covered are listed. The first number in the standard tells you the grade level (ex. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.NS.A.1 means this topic is covered in seventh grade). It is highly suggested that the worksheets are used with students in the mentioned levels and booklets; however, it is not mandatory. Lastly, if there is a supplemental tool, its usage will also be explained. Using the Instructor Guide will ensure that the worksheets are being given to appropriate students in sequential order.

            The sets of worksheets will be released on a rolling basis. New worksheets will be announced through the weekly communication. Worksheets that are available to use are on the ORL under Math Supplemental Worksheets. Check out what topics are available now!

Mathematics Tip - Levels 5 - 7

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Here are some topics of concern that may arise as you are working with students in Level 5 through Level 7.

How do the ‘Making Numbers’ exercises in Level 5 help our students?

‘Making Numbers’ helps students visualize the part/whole relationship and understand how numbers work together. Therefore, students can understand the basis of the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. The concept of ‘Making Numbers’ plays a big part in school math textbooks; therefore, it is a good idea to explain to parents in advance how these exercises help students for their future learning.

Should Instructors coach ‘Adding 4’ differently from ‘Adding 1 through 3’?

Yes, these topics should indeed be approached in a different manner. At this point, students should start memorizing addition facts. Some instructors ask students to find the number that is 4 more, by asking the student to count the next, then the next, then the next, and then the next number. With this approach instructors will find that it results in finger counting and relying on drawings. By using flashcards and EMO, students can practice adding and develop their mental calculation skills while building up their confidence all at the same time.

Why is it important to observe how students answer addition problems?

Without keen observation, instructors may not be able to grasp precisely each students’ mastery level since it’s hard to recognize finger counting, murmuring, drawing marks, and other habits which should be corrected right away. Consequently, instructors should observe students carefully during 1:1 coaching or feedback sessions and give the right coaching to help students proceed in their learning without these habits.

What should I do when a student is struggling with adding one-digit numbers to 10-19 in Level 7?

If a student is struggling a lot, the Instructor needs to find the root cause as opposed to simply repeating booklets. The student may not have all his facts memorized. One good way to check this is by using a verbal test. If it turns out that the intuition hasn’t been developed fully yet, it is recommended to reinforce the addition facts that students haven’t fully mastered through Key & Note or flashcards This also means that previous progress was not determined properly. Instructors and Center Directors should be aware that it could give students the feeling of frustration later when trying to rush through levels. Therefore, always keep in mind that offering the Level Test should be done very thoughtfully and after plenty of observation.

Please refer to the ELU for more guidance on successfully instructing for students that are in Level 5 through Level 7.

Reference: Key & Instructors. May-July 2019.

English Instruction Article - International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day, September 8, 2019, was declared back in 1966 and was created to showcase the importance of literacy both within individuals and their communities. Each year there is a different focus in terms of the connection of literacy to the outside world. Some of these connections included literacy within a digital world, literacy for the 21st century  as well as literacy and sustainable development. This year’s theme focuses on literacy and skills development.

            Eye Level’s English program is a comprehensive literacy program. It focuses on the ability to read, write and communicate with others around them, which is one of the main focuses on literacy and its development. Students are able to focus on their reading and writing skills, connecting to the different standards put in place by each state for their general education classrooms. There are many of the components of the program that can positively impact student’s literacy and growth.

            There are different resources within the English program to assist not only with literacy development but with comprehension skills. One of the main components gives students the ability to utilize the Recommended Reading List to read books that are on their academic level, building their fluency as well as their content knowledge. The Recommended Reading List provides students with books from both fiction and non-fiction sections, many of which they may see in their school classrooms. It is important for students to read everyday to continue to build their vocabulary and knowledge. There are books that can be read to students aloud and books that students can read independently.

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So, on September 8, pick up a good book, find a comfy place to sit and take some time to develop those literacy skills and participate in International Literacy Day.

Mathematics Tip - SCT

  In Eye Level Math, there are three components of mastery, simple and clear directions, accuracy, and speed. The booklets take a small step-by-step approach with explicit instruction so that students know what they are doing every step of the way. The second component of mastery, accuracy, was the focus of the July 2019 Key and News math article. The third component of mastery is speed. Speed is extremely important for math, especially when learning the basic operations in Levels 1 to 16. Each booklet in the mathematics program from Levels 1 to 23 has a Standard Completion Time (SCT) per page.  The SCT requirement can be found on the cover of each booklet, but a summary of the SCT 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. Each color represents a different time range. Ideally, a student will be closer to the smaller end of the range, but if the student is the range it is acceptable.

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The SCT should be found on the review page, page 2 and recorded in Key & Manager. On this page, there is a specific spot on the top right corner to record the time. At least one BTM booklet should be recorded per student per class session. If all the review pages can be timed, that is even better. Any SAR page can be timed in the booklet to continue to work on the student’s speed, and the time used should always be within the time range on the cover the booklet. If you want to time additional pages in the booklet, it is recommended to use non-target pages such as 11 or 12.  Now through Key & Manager, a Record Sheet is produced which clearly tracks the SCT found for the booklet. This will help you see clearly track how fast the student can complete a page in the booklet over time and decide if repetition is needed.



English Instruction Article - Summer Activities for Reading

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Due to the lazy summer days, it may be a difficult time to keep student’s focused more on books and less on the beach, especially those days leading up to the new school year. Some students lose up to two months of learned studies throughout the summertime. The following strategies can be used to keep a student on track and engaged for the upcoming school year.

  1. Connect the books the student is reading to different summer activities. If a student is reading an informational piece about famous swimmers, take them to the nearest pool and practice some of the strategies in the text. If a student is reading a text about camping, set up a tent in the backyard and complete different activities that you would participate while camping such as roasting marshmallows for smores or reading a scary story with a flashlight. During the warm summer nights, you can catch fireflies and have the student find more information on them by visiting the library or using a computer.

2. Read a book together that is connected to a movie. Once you and your student have finished the text, plan a movie night together. This is also a great way for the student to analyze the difference between the text and movie without realizing they are actually doing it. They may say things such as “wow, that didn’t happen in the book” or “That house wasn’t the way I pictured it.”

3. When going on a trip or even just down the street to the park, bring a handful of books with you. If you are on vacation and the weather takes a turn for the worse, reading a story can be a great way to pass the time on a rainy day. 

4. Become a publisher! Have your student work on creating their own book. Find a genre that the student likes the most and read a few of those texts. The student can then create an outline of the different story elements they wish to include in their writing. They can read different texts throughout the summer to continue to develop their own story. This is also a great resource to use when students need to complete their book report prior to the new school year.

5. Sign up online for a summer reading challenge. There are many programs today that allow students to participate in summer reading challenges to sign up online, record the books they read, and even win prizes.

6. Have your student keep a reading or writing journal. The students can write about trips they took, books they read, or summer camps they went to. This process keeps students writing throughout the summer months.

 

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.