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Fiscal Year Spend Down: 3 Ways to Use It Before You Lose It

Fiscal Year Spend Down: 3 Ways to Use It Before You Lose It

As the clock ticks down on state education budgets, teachers and administrators are often encouraged to spend down funds before they disappear. While no two states may have quite the same timeline for this end-of-year mad dash, a large spike in spending generally occurs in the spring months for this reason. With the list of unique student needs only growing and a “use it or lose it” funding stream available, here are three online programs with a low price tag and high value that you should consider giving a closer look at before those remaining dollars dry up.

1. Lay a strong literacy foundation with Reading Eggs

The value of developing proficient readers in the formative years cannot be understated. With that said, the delicate and time-consuming task of turning nonreaders into readers can be a trying one that frankly takes time and personal attention to make meaningful gains. You can layer in a digital solution that carefully scaffolds reading skills using songs, games, and vivid animation to develop and reinforce literacy strategies in alignment with the five pillars of reading—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Edmentum’s dynamic 2-in-1 program, Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress, supports pre-K through 6th grade students on their reading journeys using a short placement test and individualized learning paths made up of fun, interactive lessons and activities. Motivational rewards and real-time reporting make Reading Eggs the perfect complement to your teacher-directed guided reading time and it can be an ideal summer or after-school supplement that students will actually want to do!

2. Make time for standards-based practice with Study Island

There’s good reason the phrase “practice makes perfect” still holds up. In fact, the act of retrieving information previously learned to answer a question (also known as practice testing) is proven to be one of the most effective learning techniques out there. And, while we know it works, the act of practice testing doesn’t exactly drum up the level of excitement you might hope for from your students. Enter Study Island. Edmentum’s kindergarten through 12th grade practice and classroom assessment program offers engaging and flexible practice options across math, ELA, science, and social studies.

For teachers: over 600,000 unique items, including more than 10,000 technology-enhanced items to ensure that you have a robust pool of standards-aligned questions written specifically for your state, grade level, and desired subject. Leverage these in traditional practice sessions, through collaborative Group Sessions, or via customizable Built Tests and quizzes to keep practice interesting day after day. For students: learning is managed from an interactive dashboard where students can keep tabs on their Blue Ribbons to track mastery, identify opportunity areas so that their time isn’t spent practicing something they already know, and pull individual reports to set and persist toward unique learning goals.

3. Support elementary teaching and learning with EducationCity

When the attention spans of your youngest learners are waning, instructional variety is key. Elementary students require short spurts of instruction, practice, and assessment that combine visual, auditory, and kinesthetic approaches to keep learning new and interesting. To help you do just that, turning to online tools can liven up the teaching experience. EducationCity offers pre-K through 6th grade students a plethora of learning resources in a brilliant, interactive learning environment.

Select a subject and topic or search for a specific learning objective, and quickly pinpoint critical-thinking questions, interactive whiteboard lessons, or game-based activities to name a few of the content types available in this engaging online tool. Each step of the way, a friendly band of EducationCity characters introduces new concepts, grounds learning in familiar real-world scenarios, and even matures from grade to grade as your students do. Whether at home or at school, this fun interactive world is sure to inspire learning.

Interested in learning more about how you can get the most out of your spend-down dollars? Check out this additional resource on Title I Funding: 5 Considerations for End-of-Year Spend Down.

madison.michell's picture
Madison Michell

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.