Browse Category: Blended Learning

Adaptive Learning 101

Every student has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses.


Some student may excel in STEM subjects, while others may love literature and writing.  Yet, think about how the average school day is divided up: 55 minutes for English, 55 minutes for gym, 55 minutes for science, as if every student needs the exact same amount of time and support to grasp each and every subject.


As human beings, we just don’t work that way. Educators know it better than anyone. Their students learn at different speeds. And the variety of skill levels in a classroom make it difficult to personalize learning and reach every student. Often, we see the advanced student bored because they’re not being challenged and the struggling student lost because the content is too difficult or quick-paced.


This linear approach to teaching, giving equal attention to every subject and moving students along at the same pace, is not practical. And it may not be the best way for preparing students to succeed on those rigorous end-of-year assessments.


Adapting in the Classroom with Adaptive Learning


More and more, what students need is an adaptive learning approach—an approach that adapts itself to them, with their individual strengths and weaknesses in mind.


Adaptive learning gives students the opportunity to spend time on those concepts and skills needing additional support and instruction. Adaptive learning tools are often technology-based, using this technology to track student progress and adapt lessons to the skills and content students need. Students move quickly through what comes easily to them, but spend more time on what doesn’t.


Adaptive learning doesn’t just empower students, though. It empowers teachers. With adaptive learning, teachers can meet students at their precise learning level. Scores come back in real-time, while the student is working, which means that a teacher knows—almost immediately—which students are struggling and on what specific concepts and teachers can then remediate or reteach an individual student, small group or the class as a whole.


Adaptive Learning = Success


The insight a teacher gains, thanks to adaptive learning, enables that teacher to offer more individualized help or to modify instruction or explain in greater detail.


Ultimately, adaptive learning means greater student confidence and the potential for stronger performance on state assessments. In fact, according to one recent study, students showed a 27% pass-rate increase, a 9% retention increase, and a 10% increase in final grade average, thanks to adaptive learning usage in their instruction. Another study revealed a nearly 50% increase in students who received an A or a B grade. [1]


Ready to Adapt

As we developed Measuring Up Live 2.0, we took into account the profound importance and the practical challenges of nurturing 21st century skills in the classroom. To improve students’ skills, knowledge, and readiness for assessment, our research-based, adaptive, and differentiated solution provides rigorous content and scaffolded support and puts success into students’ hands. Robust reporting is at the heart of the program, giving educators the tools they need to track all students in their classroom, target instruction, and prescribe practice to meet the skills and standards each student needs, all to support standards mastery and assessment success.


Want to learn more about how you can use the Measuring Up Live 2.0 adaptive learning to improve student assessment? Watch This!



Welcome Back! Checklists Aren’t Just for Students

For students, the back-to-school checklist mainly consists of the standard list of supplies, the requisite instructional materials, and maybe a new backpack. Educators, however, have a much more daunting task to prepare for the year. Not only do they have to round up the supplies they need, but they also must create lessons, prepare the classroom, and put in place a plan for ensuring their students come away from the year with a truly educational experience. It’s a few weeks into school now, but we know how chaotic those first weeks can be. We’ve put together our top three suggestions for any educator looking for ways to set their year up for success.


Let’s Get Personal

It can be easy to become so focused on the needs of your students the first few months of the year, that you forget to take care of yourself. As you design lesson plans and meet with students and parents, take some time to set personal goals. What do you want to achieve this year? Be it career advancement, personal progress, or even just a focus on improved relationships with your peers, construct a list of ways you want to improve yourself over the next year. Giving yourself something to work towards can improve the overall classroom environment in surprising ways.

Maybe try keeping a journal. Noting and reflecting on your ideas and experiences not only allows you to keep track of the ever-mounting tasks at hand during the school year, but it will also give you a chance to see how far you’ve come at the end of the year. Between goal setting and journal keeping, our hope is that these measures help highlight the impact you are making as an educator.


Establish Your Baseline

Most educators have experienced at least one instance in which they worked hard on a lesson plan they loved, only to start over when realizing it was overly ambitious for their students’ skill levels. Using assessments helps educators track their students’ level of knowledge and skills. There are variety of helpful tools geared towards this, all of which have unique approaches. Some teachers may choose to simply have the students conduct a self-assessment, while others may utilize a specific formal assessment (summative, formative, benchmarking, etc.). The key is using whatever tool you have to establish what your students know, where they are in terms of their skill level and to identify a clear path for advancement.

It’s a simple fact that your students are all different in terms of skills and knowledge. There will be some far ahead of the curve while others lag behind. A baseline assessment of your class as a whole will allow you to differentiate your instruction to the needs of your individual students.


Establish Benchmarks

While it is important to have goals for yourself as an educator, it is also essential to work out clearly defined benchmarks and progress points that you want your students to reach throughout the year. These benchmarks may be observational, they may be the result of a running record, they may be formal assessment opportunities throughout the year, or they may be a defined set of test scores and portfolio elements. The important thing is that they are clear with target dates and goals to track student progress towards standards mastery allowing you to modify instruction to meet those goals.


The goal of the Measuring Up suite of digital and print instructional materials is to provide educators with the tools to assess students, target instruction, and provide each student with adaptive practice at their just-right instructional level. With over 25 years of experience and research backing us, we are dedicated to making student assessments simple for educators, with the goal of testing to track true yearly progress. To learn more about the Measuring Up solutions, visit us online today or contact your local sales representative!

5 Ways Educators Are Using Real World Connections to Bridge the Gap Between Concept and Curriculum

As an educator, there might be one question you dread above all others: “But when am I ever going to use this?”

For many students, understanding how classroom curriculum applies to the real world is notoriously difficult. In areas like English and Mathematics, many students fall into the trap of regurgitating information without really comprehending the underlying framework. To successfully understand and apply these concepts, students must be able to think critically about a subject matter area and draw conclusions about its importance and application.

Generating positive results on end-of-year tests is a function of helping students make real-world connections between what they are being taught in the classroom, and how those ideas frequently impact their own life.

Research conducted by famous educator Edward Dale showed that when students are able to apply curriculum to authentic experiences, knowledge retention skyrockets to over 90%.[1] This is 18x more effective than when they simply listen to teachers or watch a lecture.

Mastery Education, the developers of Measuring Up, created new state-specific, print instructional materials, which utilize real-world connections to support knowledge retention. Learning objectives are tied into existing background knowledge, which encourages students to focus on real-world connections and applications. This creates a better opportunity for students to internalize the information.

If you are interested in applying this methodology in your classroom, here are 5 tips that support a real-world connection philosophy.

  1. Legitimate Tools

Students want to know why something is important to learn. Providing tools for students that help them grasp how the fundamental concepts they are learning will be relevant later on is crucial. Integrating technology with subjects like math can engage students and prove the legitimacy of what they are learning.


  1. Culturally Relevant

Students are more likely to retain information if it reflects patterns and statistics they find in their own life. “Research on culturally relevant and responsible instruction clearly shows that knowledge of students’ family, community and socioethnic cultures—their languages, literacy practices, and values—can help teachers address the interests and build on the skills of their students” (p. 254)[2]

  1. A Community Framework

One school with a significant population of ESL students challenged their Spanish class to create a helpful video that would help new students learn more about the school and culture.[3] This project not only challenged students to use correct grammar and learn new words, but it created a context for how learning a new language could help them build lasting relationships.

  1. Current Issues

Using current political and popular issues and news is one way to create a lasting impression with learners. These areas often spark passionate debates that resonate much more than antiquated or abstract examples.

  1. Potential Products

The significant interest in entrepreneurship in the United States has created an opportunity for teachers to show how fundamental concepts can enable innovation. When students are tasked with creating products they care about, they are more likely to see how professions like engineering, business, and finance require a solid education.


These are just a few ways that educators can connect lessons with real-world experiences. If you are interested in learning more about how Mastery Education is creating materials for the next generation of learners, click here.







Tips on Implementing New Educational Technology – A Spotlight from ISTE 2017

The annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference is the marquee ed tech event of the year, attracting educators from all over the country and featuring the newest and most innovative educational technology available. As schools being for many of you across the country, we thought we’d share a little from the conference in hopes to inspire you as you begin your school year. This year’s conference did not disappoint with powerful keynote addresses from influential and inspirational leaders in journalism, education, and technology.

  • Jad Abumrad – Creator and host of the popular “RadioLab” program on public radio, which has been running for 15 years, as well as a recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award in 2015
  • Jennie Magiera – Chief innovation officer for the Des Plaines Public Schools located in the Chicago, Illinois, and author of Courageous Edventures which dives into classroom struggles and how innovation can improve educational performance
  • Reshma Saujani – Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a nonprofit working all around the country to close the gender gap that exists in the technology space


Held in San Antonio from June 24-27, ISTE 2017 was a huge success that showcased the most cutting-edge educational technologies, including Measuring Up Live 2.0 from Mastery Education.


Adopting new technology can help make dramatic improvements in educational excellence, but there are things to consider when doing so.

  • Is there a trial period to get a feel for the technology before a larger investment must be made?
  • Is customer service and technology support available and equipped to respond to issues promptly?
  • How is data security handled, including initial input, storage, and data transfer?
  • Is the product embedded with advertisements, and to what extent?


Here are some tips for adopting new educational technology and evaluation of the program success.

  • Ensure technology products have been tailored to be consistent with school standards
  • Perform a full 360-degree trial prior to adopting the technology
  • Determine if the technology complies with student information and privacy laws
  • Understand the scope of the financial and resource investment
  • Construct a detailed plan for the technology roll out prior to implementation, as well as a full implementation plan
  • Evaluate the technology performance regularly
  • Drive decisions based on data


These questions and tips are key to helping educators and technology innovators embark on fruitful partnerships that will benefit student performance over the course of the school year.


At Mastery Education, we understand the value drivers and pain points associated with adopting new educational technology. As such, we are focused on developing research-based products that promote problem-based learning to deliver measurable educational advancement.


Learn more about implementing new technology and how the suite of digital solutions from Measuring Up can help by visiting us online at today!

New Measuring Up Instructional Worktexts Written to Your State Standards

A key challenge for educators is finding a way to customize and differentiate learning for each student in their classrooms. Teachers need tailored tools that allow them to target instruction and differentiate learning for all students in the classroom, including struggling learners, English language learners, and advanced students. And to ensure that students are making progress, educators also need to track and monitor incremental progress and mastery of the standards. To meet the needs of these educators, Measuring Up has created a new instructional worktexts built specifically to meet your state standards.


These new state-customized Measuring Up worktexts focus on helping students master the state standards and prepare for rigorous end-of-year assessments. Connecting seamlessly with the Measuring Up Live 2.0 digital assessment and adaptive practice solution, these worktexts help educators target instruction to those skills students most need support on.  It is a simple but powerfully effective approach, incorporating a comprehensive alignment of assessment, instruction, and practice for each student. This new program is customized for each state, addressing challenges educators are facing today with lessons that inspire confidence, engage students, and improve assessment results and growth.


This program was built with the needs of educators in mind. Through extensive market research, Mastery Education identified key needs, which informed the product development, including:

  • Providing real world connections to help students make deeper meaning.
  • Supporting all learners in a classroom, including English language learners.
  • Integrating writing within lessons.
  • Demonstrating multiple ways to solve mathematics problems.
  • Offering educators Exit Tickets for quick comprehension checks.


These new Measuring Up worktexts were built for CA, FL, GA, IL, NJ, NY, OH, PA, and TN standards, with additional states coming in early 2018. A national edition is also available, written to meet the needs of the Common Core standards. The lessons feature:

  • real-world learning goals,
  • vocabulary defined in context,
  • guided instruction to learn and apply skills,
  • independent practice in a format that emulates the state test,
  • and an Exit Ticket to check for student understanding.

Writing is embedded into every ELA lesson and mathematics lessons offer multiple ways to solve problems as well as more discussion opportunities.  Throughout the lesson, students will see work-space areas, checklists, and prompts like Turn and Talk to keep students engaged. These prompts encourage learners to apply what they’ve learned and elicit self-evaluation.


The Teacher Edition features teaching suggestions for struggling learners, English language learners, and above-level students. It also provides additional standards information, and offers support on how to use data to evaluate student learning and more effectively target instruction.


Measuring Up can be used in a variety of usage scenarios:

  • Supplement to a core curriculum
  • Before- or after-school program
  • Intervention
  • Summer school
  • Progress monitoring
  • Benchmarking
  • Test readiness program


Mastery Education constantly strives to deliver opportunities that provide richer and deeper learning experiences to unlock a brilliant future. With materials built for each state, the Measuring Up blended solution allows teachers to pinpoint each student’s standards level, target instruction to their skill level, and improve high-stakes state assessment results. Personalized and differentiated learning coupled with robust data and reporting give educators the tools to drive students’ improvement and success.


It is important to choose a partner that evolves with the ever-changing education landscape. To learn more or view sample lessons, visit today!

Have You Seen Measuring Up Live Lately?

Taking high-stakes assessments can be a stressful experience for students. But the right practice tools can help alleviate the pressure and even make the preparation process fun. The powerful Measuring Up Live 2.0 platform provides data-driven assessment coupled with adaptive, differentiated practice to target each student’s needs. And students will see question types and test formats that emulate what they will see on high-stakes assessments. This familiarity helps build confidence and improves performance.


In a recent study, scientists from Tufts University found that taking practice tests can actually protect memory against the negative effects of stress. Amy Smith, one of the authors of the study noted, “Learning by taking tests and being forced to retrieve information…has a strong effect on long-term memory retention, and appears to continue to have great benefits in high-stakes, stressful situations.”  And an article in Thesis Magazine states that researchers have found that retesting will improve an individual’s score by 2/3rds of a standard deviation, on average.


Measuring Up Live 2.0 is an innovative online assessment and practice platform made up of two powerful programs that work in tandem: Insight and MyQuest. Insight diagnoses student skill level and standards knowledge. Based on the Insight assessment results, MyQuest automatically prescribes targeted, differentiated, and adaptive practice with standards-based learning paths targeted to each student’s individual needs. This allows for true differentiation and targeted instruction. Teachers also have the option to manually assign practice to students.


Insight offers grade level assessments delivered in specific testing formats, such as PARCC, SBAC, AIR, or STAAR. Teachers can use a library of pre-created assessments based on state standards and assessment blueprints or create their own from over 60,000 questions/item types. Multiple grade levels are available to meet the needs of struggling students or advanced learners. There are even features such as text-to-speech to support English language learners.


MyQuest’s adaptive instructional technology adjusts according to students’ individual understanding and responses, allowing teachers to pinpoint instructional needs. As students move through the content they receive immediate feedback, and content level difficulty will auto-adjust based on results. Students can even practice in fun game modes.


Measuring Up Live 2.0 offers true preparation for high-stakes state assessments. With robust reporting and real-time data at the heart of the program, educators can truly pinpoint instruction to student needs. And putting actionable data in the hands of district personnel, school administrators, teachers, and even students is powerful and leads to success.


To learn more about Measuring Up Live 2.0, check out this brief overview:

Or contact your local rep to try it out yourself.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial