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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 prepare your submission for our 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. 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.

4. 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 six-step guide that includes everything you need to design your Exact Path contest. Then, tell us about your ideas before December 31 to be entered to win one of three available $500 Target gift cards for your school.

This blog was originally published November 25, 2019, and has been updated.

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.