Putting Exact Path to Work Over Winter Break
Putting Exact Path to Work Over Winter Break
Before we know it, the winter break will be upon us, and we could all use a break to rest and recharge. At Edmentum, we certainly encourage you and your students to do that (you’ve all earned it), but if you’re also interested in carving out some independent learning time focused on closing skill gaps and accelerating toward grade-level mastery, we have you covered. We’ve put together four ways (and one bonus tip) that you can keep learning going throughout the winter break using Exact Path, our K–12 diagnostic-driven, direct-instruction program.
1. Ready, Set, GOAL
There’s nothing like the allure of a little friendly competition. Use Challenges in Exact Path to set up a specific goal that fits the time period of your break. Want students to earn two trophies a week? Maybe work on each subject 30 minutes a week? Whatever goal you set, you have the ability to tailor it to support your learners and decide what “prize” you want to dole out when they achieve it. Perhaps just a little recognition on school announcements will do the trick or the allure of earning a homework pass the first week back from break would be an effective incentive. You decide! Check out our nine incentive ideas to motivate students for some extra inspiration, then host your own Exact Path contest.
2. Get a Head Start on the New Semester
Know what skills you want to hit the ground running with come January? Start now by creating focused assignments for your students in Exact Path around that content. Those lessons, made up of direct instruction and meaningful practice, can then become the additional context and preview for which all future learning builds upon when the school year resumes. Essentially, the winter break becomes your grounds for experimenting with a flipped classroom model that then allows you to dive into meaningful application or project-based learning activities based on what students have already completed in Exact Path.
3. Sneak in extra standards mastery practice
Have you heard about the new, research-backed add-on in Exact Path, Standards Mastery? This add-on introduces a meaningful way to target standards-based learning via formative assessments and practice—all from within your Exact Path implementations! Utilizing this exciting new option within Exact Path during winter break allows you to keep a pulse on where your students are at academically, providing insight for post-winter break reviews and instruction. Each instantly generated, single skill, question set is made up of only 10 questions, making for a quick yet powerful and engaging winter break check in for students!
If you're interested in adding on Standards Mastery to your Exact Path implementation before the final bell rings this semester, you're in luck! From now until January 31, 2023, Standards Mastery is FREE for existing Exact Path customers or with the purchase of a new Exact Path Implementation. You can get a quote here.
4. No Access to Technology? No Worries!
Worksheets CAN be your friend. When access to consistent Wi-Fi is a challenge for your students, there are still options for targeted learning using Exact Path. Yes, I’m referring to those winter packets that you’ve likely copied and assembled at least once or twice in your teaching career. But what if they didn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all tool? As winter breaks approach, review your students’ learning path performance to discern which skills they’re ready for next, which ones they’ve historically struggled with, and which ones need additional reinforcement. Then, grab the associated worksheets available for that skill or set of skills, and hit print. It might take a little extra time, but you can feel confident that when your students are working away, there are no signs of “busywork” in sight.
5. Move Beyond Skill Building, and Spend Time Reflecting
If the idea of assigning work to your students over winter break doesn’t feel quite right to you, consider an exercise that checks in with students’ motivations and general well-being. Start by reviewing some of these reflection questions, and then choose a few that you’d like your students to respond to. Include questions that encourage students to think about strengths, weaknesses, and goals, and then pull in a few that focus on what students have learned about their preferred learning modalities, study practices, and academic drivers that will help keep them focused when crunch time hits. You can even print off each learner’s Exact Path Student Summary Report so that students can use these as a guide during this exercise to see which skills they assessed above on, earned trophies on, or are still struggling with. When school resumes, create a safe space for students to check in with you, or select an accountability partner to turn to throughout the rest of the school year.
Make sure that students have updated learning paths before school lets out! Hopefully, you were able to complete your winter diagnostic before the break and used the autogenerate learning paths feature to catch any new students who maybe didn’t have time to test. If you still have students with learning paths that don’t look quite right to you, remember that you have the ability to edit learning path placement as needed. But, we caution you to only do this right after an assessment has been completed, as students will lose any work they have done in the learning path you are editing.
Interested in learning about more ways to get the most out of your Exact Path subscription? Check out our blog post, 3 Teachers’ Simple but Smart Exact Path Implementation Strategies, for implementation ideas, or visit our Exact Path Getting Started Resources page.
This blog was originally published by Madison Michell, November 2019, and has been updated.