Teacher to Teacher!

The Istation team recently had the pleasure of meeting thousands of inspirational teachers at the Texas Computer Education Association convention in Austin, Texas. We shared a lot and learned a lot about technology in the classroom.

The Istation booth at the event attracted a celebrity! Well, maybe not the movie star himself — but we did meet a man whose life is the basis for a major motion picture! Fredi Lajvardi’s life as a science teacher is the subject of the movie “Spare Parts.”

Istation’s Sabrina Jones now travels the country consulting with schools, and prior to that she spent fifteen years in the classroom. She and Lajvardi had a great conversation in this Teacher to Teacher Podcast.

Tags: Teacher to Teacher

EdTech Works Podcast: Innovative Learning

Featuring George Couros

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George Couros is a division principal for Parkland School Division, a title which may sound unusual if you aren’t from Canada! A school division is similar to a school district in the States. Parkland is just outside Edmonton, Alberta. George’s role as division principal means he helps teachers and principals innovate. He was one of the featured speakers at the Texas Computer Education Association conference in Austin, Texas, in early February. In this EdTech Works Podcast, he spoke about smart ways for schools and administrators to embrace technology and social media. 

 

  Listen Now!

Check out past episodes of the EdTech Works Podcast!

 

Tags: Technology, EdTech Works Podcast

Teacher to Teacher

Istation is built by teachers for teachers! Former classroom educators work in every corner of our office — writing curriculum, training users, and even answering technical questions from the field.

We asked some of our former teachers to speak with current teachers to learn how Istation is being implemented in classrooms. We’re calling it our Teacher to Teacher Podcast. Listen to our first episode below.

Episode 1 features Arron, a first-year teacher at a rural West Texas district. Arron completed her student teaching at an elementary school just up the road from the middle school where she is now a reading specialist. Our Vice President of Training, Lori Lynch, spoke to Arron about the challenge of reaching struggling readers in middle school compared to those at an elementary level.

 

Listen now!

Tags: Curriculum, Testimonial, Teacher to Teacher

January Webinars

Join the Istation team for live instruction in January!

In the month of January, Istation will be offering more opportunities to attend the Day One with Istation Webinars and the Beyond Day One with Istation Webinars. All times listed are Central Standard Time.

Day One with Istation will focus on the basics of getting students assessed and the most important features of getting started with Istation. Beyond Day One with Istation will focus on the ISIP™ Summary Report, Priority Report, Student Summary Handout, and Teacher Tools.

This live instruction is available to Istation customers and will allow them to ask questions and interact with the implementation specialists in the forum. These Webinars are specifically designed to aid Istation users and improve their ability to fully implement the program.

Are you an Istation customer who would like to attend a Webinar?

Register for a Webinar Now!

If you have any questions or would like to speak with the Implementation Team directly, please e-mail implementation@istation.com.

 

Day One with Istation Webinars

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 1:30pm - 2:30pm CDT

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CDT

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CDT

Beyond Day One with Istation Webinars

Thursday, January 8, 2015 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. CDT

Thursday, January 15, 2015 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CDT

Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CDT

 

Tags: Newsletter, What's New?, Curriculum, Implementation

Istation Reading en Español Improves Overall Spanish Reading Growth for Pre-K-Third Grade Students, Study Confirms

Students show greater gains after spending more time with Istation’s Spanish curriculum.

Students in pre-K through third grade who use Istation Reading en Español curriculum demonstrate greater gains in overall Spanish reading ability than their peers who do not use Istation, according to a nationwide Spanish literacy growth study conducted by Southern Methodist University during the 2013-14 school year.

Researchers collected data from more than 60,000 prekindergarten through third grade students to find evidence of Istation Reading en Español’s impact on student development. The study compares beginning of year (BOY) and end of year (EOY) results on Istation’s Indicators of Progress Spanish (ISIP™ Español)assessments of students who used Istation’s Spanish curriculum to the results of those who did not, and it  confirms that the Istation program makes a significant impact on overall Spanish reading ability.

By comparing the ISIP™ Español assessment results of students who used Istation’s Reading en Español curriculum frequently to the results of those who used the program less frequently, the study also shows that those who spend more time with Istation Reading en Español curriculum show greater growth in overall Spanish reading ability than those who spend less time with the curriculum. Further, the study demonstrates that, with a sufficient amount of Istation Reading en Español curriculum usage, students at risk for reading failure make even greater gains than those reading at grade level.

Based on their findings, researchers concluded that “the more students spend time on Istation Reading en Español curriculum, the more students will grow and show gains in their Spanish literacy skills.” 

Istation Reading en Español curriculum was designed and developed using scientifically-based reading research, specifically in the skills most predictive of future reading success. Using the assessment and intervention resources together allows teachers to identify student weaknesses and provide data-informed instruction specific to each student’s needs.

Tags: What's New?, Technology, Curriculum

Tweets from Teachers – Goal Setting

Featuring Diana McGuire

The Tweets from Teachers feature shares real classroom stories in teachers’ own words!

Diana McGuire is a teacher at Burks Elementary in McKinney ISD. She shares how her students benefitted from setting goals and working with accountability partners.

Please share your Istation classroom success stories by using #Istationed on Facebook and Twitter!

Tags: Classroom Tips, Curriculum, Implementation, Testimonial

Istation Reading Improves Early Literacy Growth for Pre-K–Kindergarten Students, Study Confirms

Students show greater gains after spending more time with Istation curriculum

Prekindergarten and kindergarten students demonstrate greater gains in early literacy development learning with Istation curriculum than their peers who do not use Istation, according to a nationwide literacy growth study conducted by Southern Methodist University during the 2013-14 school year.

The study collected data from more than 81,000 prekindergarten and kindergarten students and provides evidence of Istation Reading’s impact on student development. Comparing results on the Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) assessments between students who used Istation curriculum and those who did not, researchers confirm that the program has a significant impact on early literacy growth.

By comparing the number of minutes students use Istation curriculum, the study also shows that those spending more time with Istation Reading curriculum show greater growth in early literacy skills than those who spent less time on the curriculum. Further, students at risk for reading failure make even greater gains with a sufficient amount of Istation Reading curriculum usage compared to those reading at grade level. 

Based on their findings, the researchers believe that “if campuses implement the ISIP Early Reading assessment and Istation curriculum with fidelity, students will experience growth in early literacy skills.”

Istation Reading curriculum is designed and developed using scientifically-based reading research, specifically in the skills most predictive of future reading success. Using the assessments and intervention resources together allows teachers to identify student weaknesses and immediately provide data-informed instruction specific to each student’s needs.

Tags: Newsletter, Technology, Curriculum

More than Just an RTI Solution

District Sees Tremendous Growth with Istation’s Reliable Data

In her search for a Response to Intervention (RTI) solution, Michelle Herkert of Jersey Community Unit School District 100 in Illinois needed a program that could provide results. Though Jersey was already using a handful of products, the programs weren’t giving the district what Herkert called “any meat for the data.”

As the district psychologist for prekindergarten through 7th grade, Herkert had been leading the district’s initiative for implementing the RTI process for a few years, but she needed a more reliable way to gather data about students for the movement to have any success.

Since replacing other programs with Istation, Jersey has seen dynamic growth in the number of students reading at grade level. Istation Reading provided Jersey schools with the formative data they needed to not only identify student needs but also to accurately measure and track student progress.

Partnering with Istation

Jersey teachers heard about Istation at an educational technology conference in Mooresville, North Carolina, and there observed the program in action. Impressed by proven results and the program’s ability to accurately measure progress, the Jersey teachers approached the district and requested a partnership.

Once Jersey’s administration was on board, the district was set. All four pre-K through grade 7 schools even replaced several reading programs with Istation, implementing the program in full force.

Herkert developed a plan with Istation to revamp the district’s RTI program. Her desire to put the responsibility of reading intervention back into the hands of the general education teachers led to the creation of a co-teaching model.

Guiding teachers through the implementation process and encouraging bi-monthly assessments was key. Herkert and her team work with teachers to pinpoint areas of focus and meet once a month with every teacher in the district to go over student data.

She recalled how Istation made the RTI program so successful, saying “Istation fell right in with [the initiative] beautifully, because it allows us to measure our data and measure our interventions. 

Seeing Results

With Istation’s assessments and reports, Jersey finally got a consistent, reliable, and valid measure of reading. As a result of being able to accurately measure interventions, the district has seen tremendous progress.

In just two school years since implementing Istation, the number of students in kindergarten through 3rd grade who scored at Tier 3 has decreased by over 70 percent.

Additionally, Jersey has decreased its kindergarten through 3rd grade special education referrals significantly. Since using Istation, the number of students diagnosed with learning disabilities in Jersey decreased from 21 percent to only 10 percent.

Herkert attributes her district’s success to being able to use Istation’s accurate data to target and address student needs more precisely. Working with their RTI program, she says, ultimately put the time and resources to teach back in the educators’ hands.

More than that, though, Herkert sees a positive change in her students’ attitudes. By tracking their own success, students formerly seen as “passive learners” have become more motivated than ever, in turn helping them improve even further.

Tags: Implementation, Testimonial, Feature

Send Istation Home for the Holidays

Benefits of Istation Home usage

Istation Home is an excellent way to strengthen the school-home connection and expand learning beyond the classroom.  Not only does it extend a student’s education beyond the school day, but it also helps get parents involved in their children’s education!

With the new Assignments feature, you can assign interactive lessons for your students to work on at home for extra practice.

This is a great way to keep students’ brains working over the holiday break. Teachers can either assign lessons for students to complete or allow students to work at their own pace in the Istation Reading and/or Writing program. Below is a sample holiday schedule teachers can give to their students:

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Reward students who use Istation Home over the holiday break

You can reward your students for using Istation Home during this holiday break. Here are some incentives you might consider:

  •        Reward the class with the highest average per-student usage with a pizza or ice cream party.
  •        Award a prize to  the student(s) who used Istation Home the most .
  •        Reward students who complete all of the assigned lessons.
  •        Reward the student who worked on Istation the farthest distance from the school.

For more information on how you can track home usage, e-mail implementation@istation.com.

Parent Portal

By enabling Parent Portal, you give parents the ability to log in to www.istation.com with their child’s username and password to view student progress as well as access resources they can use to work with their child at home. For more information on enabling Parent Portal and creating assignments, click here (make link to support doc landing page).

Tags: Newsletter, Technology, Curriculum, Istation Home

Don’t Miss These Great Webinars Just for Educators

Learn how to get the most from Istation Home and Assignments

Register today for any of these FREE informational webinars for “Understanding and Using Istation Home and Teacher Assignments”

Thu., Nov. 13, 2014  4:00 pm – 5:00 pm cst

Fri., Nov. 14, 2014 8:00 am – 9:00 am cst

Mon., Nov. 17, 2014 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm cst

Tue., Nov. 18, 2014 8:30 am – 9:30 am cst

Strengthen the school-home connection and expand learning beyond the classroom with Istation Home.

An excellent way to extend a student’s education beyond the school day, Istation Home helps families get involved in their children’s education. Plus, with the new Assignments feature, teachers can assign interactive lessons for student to work on at home for extra practice. 

Don’t miss out.

Get the most from Istation Home and Assignments. Reserve your space online today and learn more. 

Coming soon!

Win the Istation Home for the Holidays Contest!

Be on the look out for more information about a special promotion designed to help students to continue learning from home over the Holiday breaks!

Tags: Classroom Tips, Implementation, Training Center, Webinar