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Learning in Quarantine: 4 Ways to Use Study Island to Keep Instruction On Track

Learning in Quarantine: 4 Ways to Use Study Island to Keep Instruction On Track

This school year, educators might be feeling a bit like they’re experiencing déjà vu. With COVID-19 still heavily present in many districts and communities across the country, schools are again seeing an uptick of students needing to quarantine after exposure or positive test results. While keeping students and their families safe and healthy is of the upmost importance, it still raises worry for educators—that time away from the classroom can easily add up to a lot of lost learning for students, creating a risk of falling behind.

This is where virtual learning comes to the rescue. Having a virtual learning tool in your back pocket is vital to keep students from falling behind, even when in-person instruction is brought to an abrupt halt. If you are using Study Island in your classroom, your students already have access to a program that they can use anytime from anywhere with an Internet connection. Let’s look at how you can use Study Island to keep your students practicing and learning, even during quarantine.

1. Keep Students on Schedule with Assignments

If your students have assigned topics that they are currently working on in Study Island, then the easiest way to keep them working when they are out of the classroom is to have them to simply continue working on those same assignments from home. When a student must remain away from school to quarantine, be sure to check that the student has plenty of assigned work in Study Island. Take this opportunity to set expectations for students—let them know where to find active assignments and respective due dates.

You might also encourage students to check out the suggested topics area of their dashboard to spend more time on specific topics where they’ve previously scored low. Consider how you can use goal setting to drive results. This includes ensuring that students know they will be expected to work in Study Island for a specific amount of time each day or to earn a specific number of Blue Ribbons while they are away from class. Just be sure that students know what their logins are and how to access the site from any device so that the transition to working virtually is seamless right off the bat.

2. Turn At-Home Learning into a Contest or Challenge

Students may not be super enthusiastic about the idea of doing schoolwork while in quarantine, especially these days with online platforms like TikTok, Netflix, and YouTube at their fingertips. To get students to work efficiently from home may require a little extra incentive, and one way to engage them is to turn it into a contest! Check out our Study Island contest toolkit, which is chock-full with contest ideas. You could build anything, such as a "most Blue Ribbons wins" contest a “questions answered” challenge, and then reward all students who achieve the goal. Learning with a side of friendly competition—who wouldn’t love that?

3. Hold a Writing Workshop

Writing is one of those skills that students cannot practice enough. It's a great way for students to not only exercise their language arts muscles but also their critical-thinking skills and creativity. The last couple of years have certainly come with many twists and turns that students have never experienced before, so giving them a creative outlet to work through some of the changes is an added bonus when assigning a writing prompt.

With Study Island’s writing assignments feature, you can assign students a writing prompt to work on while they are at home. Use one of the expository or narrative prompts included in the program, or create your own. Students can type their essays or stories directly into the program, and you can review and send feedback as soon as they have submitted their assignments. Whether you assign a creative-writing exercise or an essay topic, getting your students to practice their writing and flex those creative skills while they’re quarantining at home is a win.

4. Go Live

If you want to engage your students in a synchronous way while they are away from the in-person classroom, consider hosting a Group Session. Study Island’s Group Sessions feature allows you to host a live, fun, and engaging quiz session in which students respond to questions on their own devices. You can utilize checkpoint mode for a noncompetitive session or add some excitement with a game-based session. The flexibility of Group Sessions allows students to participate in a live session together, even when they are not in the same physical location—a reality that many educators face this academic year.

To host a virtual Group Session with your class, start by scheduling a specific start time for the session so that all students know when to log in. We recommend using Zoom, Google Hangouts, or another similar video platform to host a conference call for your students to dial into as well. That way, you can have a live discussion with your students as you work through the questions. Hosting a virtual Group Session takes a bit of preparation, but engaging with their teacher and classmates in a live virtual setting will boost students’ 21st-century skills, give them some human interaction in what can often be a very isolating time, and offer them a chance to participate in meaningful, engaging, and directed practice.

Want to learn more about how to use the Study Island features mentioned in this post? Check out the Study Island Getting Started Resources page. If you’re already a subscriber, you can also check out the Help Center inside the program for lots of helpful tips, tricks, and tutorials.

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Brittany Voges

Brittany Voges currently serves as a Marketing Specialist at Edmentum, and has been with the company since 2016. Before her time at Edmentum, Brittany studied both Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and eventually went on to teach 4th grade in Title 1 schools. Because of her background in education, Brittany is passionate about providing educators across the United States and the world with the tools and best practices to empower their students each day in the classroom.