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Three Ways Educators are Using Study Island Printable Worksheets to Support Students

Three Ways Educators are Using Study Island Printable Worksheets to Support Students

As a task-oriented individual, there’s no better feeling than crossing off a project or task on my to-do list in my agenda, the one that I buy at the start of every calendar year. In a now mostly digital world, many around me have asked why I still use a paper planner when I pretty much carry around a digital calendar in my pocket or purse all day long. It may seem redundant, but there is just something about the physical act of crossing off a task on paper that makes me feel accomplished and organized. The appeal of printables is also not lost on teachers and students.

As a 21st century digital curricula provider, Edmentum excels at delivering technology-based solutions for the classroom. With the ever-changing classroom environment and the revolving door of students who are at home quarantining, a digital curriculum is a must. But, woven throughout our digital solutions are printable resources for our learners. Some may think these are old school—how could they work for the modern educator when so many schools are now offering learning virtually from both the classroom and at home?

There’s value and power in providing an analog resource in a virtual world. First and foremost, we must consider the equity challenge that virtual learning presents. Not every student has access to the Internet or up-to-date devices—having the option of printable work ensures that all of your students have access to practice work. We have also started to hear the term “video call fatigue” floating around over the past year of the pandemic. Just as adults can be burnt out on the overuse of virtual communication, students can too. It’s important to provide educators with tools to combat these factors and to give students time away from screens to maintain productivity.

With Study Island, teachers have access to printable worksheets for every subject and topic, allowing them to use question banks to provide a pen-to-paper, physical assignment for their learners. In the past, we’ve seen schools use these in a variety of innovative ways. Let’s check out three ways you can use printable worksheets in your classroom!

Remediation 

One way to use Study Island printable worksheets is specifically for remediation. As soon as teachers identify that learners are struggling with a specific skill, they can print off a worksheet for that skill in a previous grade level to help bring their students up to speed. Teachers are also able to use the option of removing the multiple-choice answers, making every question open-ended. Seeing the students’ handwritten responses allows educators to better identify where the students’ knowledge gaps are. How are they working through this material? How are they describing their answers? Are they showing their work? These printables can capture a little more information to help instructors decide their next steps. 

A Break from the Screen

It can be a challenge for a teacher to find time to work with a smaller group of students in the brick-and-mortar classroom, and station rotations help create a situation where teachers are freed up to work with smaller groups. In the in-person classroom, many teachers choose to have a station that includes working within Study Island online and a station that includes working on a printed worksheet to give students a variety of ways to practice their learning. To do this in a virtual setting, teachers could create breakout rooms within Zoom or another video-conferencing platform, making one of the breakouts feature time away from the screen to work on a meaningful practice with a printable. The other stations could involve working with the teacher and working with smaller groups. Once students arrive at the teacher-led station, the group can discuss the results from the printable worksheet, and the instructor can provide valuable feedback on student work, using it as a chance to deepen knowledge and fill gaps.

Extra Credit

When I was a teacher, I remember receiving calls from parents and desperate pleas from students, all saying the same thing, “Are there any opportunities for extra credit?” As a teacher, this request made me tense up. Of course, I wanted to provide extra credit opportunities, but I didn’t want to have to create them myself, as I was already crunched for time! It always felt like extra credit for my students just translated to extra work for me. Using Study Island printable worksheets takes this stress away. Not only does Study Island provide teachers with the content itself in printable format, but also it gives teachers the answer key, as well as a detailed explanation for every single question. In the era of “work smarter, not harder,” Study Island printables are an easily accessible extra-credit option.

One instructor I knew took the detailed explanations, printed them off with the worksheet, cut the explanations into word strips, and handed the explanations and worksheet to a student simultaneously. The goal was to have the student complete the worksheet, and also have the student identify which explanation most appropriately fit each question. It was a brilliant way to increase depth of knowledge.

Classrooms everywhere have changed over the last few years, and technology is more prevalent than ever in the day-to-day happenings in education. Students were (and still are) able to continue their learning when school closures occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, they can continue that learning if they must stay home to quarantine. Digital resources have helped transform classrooms, provide additional options for students, and save teachers time.

Even still, my pen-and-paper agenda will always be in my bag, with many lists of crossed-out tasks. It’s old-school cool.

Want to learn more about creative ways to use Study Island this school year? Check out our feature focus on Study Island Group Sessions!

This post was originally published by Lindsey Witt on November 2018 and has been updated.

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Brittany Becker

Brittany Becker 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.