October 6th, 2015

Learn About Human Rights and Community Issues

Learn About Human Rights and Community Issues

Learn about human rights and community issues with this week’s free educational resources from Career Development & Occupational Studies, aligned to NY State Academic Standards only on NYLearns!

Learn About Human Rights and Community Issues:  Soup Kitchen Kids Learn About Human Rights and Community Issues: Public Forum Night Learn About Human Rights and Community Issues: Who Has Human Rights?


Elementary School

Soup Kitchen Kids

In this activity, students will learn that supermarkets provide products and services as well as learn to plan, shop for, and make soup for a local soup kitchen.

Students will:

  • engage in a community service project—making soup for a local soup kitchen
  • visit a local supermarket where a representative takes them on a tour
  • make the soup for the soup kitchen with the assistance of the teacher and cafeteria staff

Related NY State Academic Standards: CDOS.E.1.1.C, CDOS.E.2.1.A, CDOS.E.2.1.B, CDOS.E.2.1.C, and more!

Middle School

Public Forum Night

In this activity, students will become more aware of community issues and possible solutions.

Students will:

  • develop surveys for the community on various community issues
  • survey the community and seek community issues
  • research the issues and brainstorm possible solutions

Related NY State Academic Standards: ARTS.VA.I.1.1.B, CDOS.I.2.1.A, CDOS.I.3a.BS.1.A, CDOS.I.3a.TS.2.A, and more!

High School

Who Has Human Rights?

In this activity, students will apply the ideals of the Helsinki Agreement to the news, a novel (In the Time of the Butterflies), and themselves.

Students will:

  • read In the Time of the Butterflies
  • read the handout about the Helsinki Agreement and put it in their own words
  • identify five times when basic human rights were unprotected in the novel In the Time of the Butterflies

Related NY State Academic Standards: CDOS.C.2.1.A, CDOS.C.2.1.B, CDOS.C.2.1.C, CDOS.C.3a.TS.2.A, and more!

Also be sure to check out our Featured Content Archive, featuring thousands of activities, constructed-response questions, lesson plans, rubrics, teacher resources, multimedia, and more!

August 19th, 2015

New School Year. New Resources. NYLearns.

Our content team spent the summer adding new educational resources to NYLearns to help you plan the 2015-16 school year. Here are 3 new additions to support your schools this year.

1.  June and January 2015 Regents Exam questions are now available in the Assessment Builder.

Now you can build assessments that include the latest NYS Regents Exam questions.

To find the June and January 2015 Regents Exam questions, simply search for “2015” in the NYLearns Assessment Builder. You can also select a specific subject area to narrow your search results.

2. Grades 3-8 Math & ELA Common Core Questions are now available in the Assessment Builder.

Quickly locate assessment questions aligned to Common Core standards by selecting Math or ELA in the subject area dropdown, and then choose any grade from 3 through 8 in the grade level dropdown. Search for either “CC” or “Common Core.”

Also, remember that you can search for assessment questions by specific standard, key idea, or performance indicator.

3. The National Gallery of Art Ed. Resources are now available in Educational Resources.

NYLearns is excited to now offer educational resources from the National Gallery of Art, which “preserves, collects, exhibits, and fosters an understanding of artwork at the highest museum and scholarly standards.” You can search for “NGA” on the Educational Resources page, or visit “Content Providers” under our Educational Resources tab and select “NGA” from the list.

Finally, we’re also excited to introduce to you our newest NYLearns team member, Education Program Manager Cindy Kline.

If you have any further questions about any of our tools or educational resources, send us an email, live chat, give us a call, or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskNYLearns

July 21st, 2015

Every Summer Needs a Plan

You attend curriculum meetings. You organize standards. You develop libraries of new lessons. Let’s face it, curriculum managers spend most of their summer finding ways to connect curriculum to the classroom.

Luckily, NYLearns is here to help you salvage your summer, AND save you valuable time during the upcoming school year.

With a few quick tips from NYLearns, you can create curriculum map templates in no time.

1. Naming Conventions

Naming your templates is important for staying organized. A consistent naming convention like [Name of School – Subject – Grade Level] speeds up curriculum mapping by allowing you to select the correct template quickly when beginning a new map.

2. Standards Alignment

Most columns in your curriculum map will use the HTML editor for entering content. However, the “Standards” column will use “Standards Alignment” editor.

Under “Column Tool,” choose “Standards Alignment” for the column(s) in which you will enter standards. It’s that easy.

3. Save Your Work!

Once you’ve added all necessary columns to your template, be sure to click the “Save All Columns” button.

4. Tags

Tag your templates with pertinent subject areas, courses, grade levels, and time frames. If this is a “district” template used throughout the year, check all tags for the appropriate areas. Tagging your templates makes your maps searchable in your curriculum database.

5. Make Templates Accessible to Teachers

Once you’ve created a template, make sure teachers can select it when creating curriculum maps. To make a template visible to curriculum planners, click the red “Offline” icon to publish your template, or make it “Online.”

Of course, if you have any further questions about any of our tools, our help desk is here all summer. Send us an email, live chat, give us a call, or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskNYLearns

May 6th, 2015

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

All year, educators around the world devote the majority of their days to teaching and learning. This week is an opportunity to celebrate those educators who have the ability to make lasting impressions on their students. Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with us by sharing your favorite teacher on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #EducatorsElevated

April 21st, 2015

4 Easy Ways to Prep for Final Exams

The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and that means one thing: exam time! You’ve lesson planned. You’ve differentiated instruction. You’ve pop-quizzed. You’ve organized study groups. You’ve gone the extra mile for your students all year to ensure they are prepared for exams in June.

Now that it’s crunch time though, what are you doing to prepare yourself for exams? Luckily, NYLearns has all of the resources you need to stay organized and prepare your students for exams with ease.

1. Know Your Exam Schedule

This one seems pretty obvious, but we can all be forgetful sometimes. Exams have a tendency to sneak up on us, especially with all of our other daily responsibilities, so we’ll make this one really easy for you.

Visit the Assessment tab on the NYLearns main menu, and then click on NYS Exam Schedule. Here, you’ll find accurate June 2015 exam schedules for Elementary, Intermediate, and High School.

2. Build Customized Practice Assessments

Pop Quiz! Q: What’s the easiest way to build practice exams for your students? A: NYLearns Assessment Builder.

The NYLearns Assessment Builder allows users to build printable practice tests based on past NYS Regents exams. Search for questions by grade level and subject area, and filter results by standard, key idea, or performance indicator. Plus, you can quickly save all of your practice tests and answer keys in your ePortfolio for easy access any time.

3. Explore Test Prep Resources

Google usually provides all of the answers to your biggest questions. Sometimes, too many answers… When it comes to finding test prep resources specific to NY State exams, you want fast and focused search results. That’s why NYLearns has organized some of the best websites available for offering students help in preparing for various exams.

Visit Test Preparation, located under the Assessment tab on the main menu, to find resources that offer general test-taking tips, online tutorials, and practice tests to help you prepare your students for upcoming tests.

4. Organize Resources with a “June 2015” ePortfolio Folder

How many times have you found a great online resource for your classroom, gotten distracted and navigated away from that page, and then spent hours trying to find that same resource? Stop racking your brain, and start bookmarking with NYLearns ePortfolio.

First, start a new “June 2015 Exams” folder in your ePortfolio. Next, locate test prep resources that fit your students’ needs, copy the URL and use the “Add Bookmark” button in your ePortfolio. Give your bookmark a relevant title, add a quick description, paste your URL in the corresponding box, and click “Save.” All of your end-of-the-year test prep resources in one location.

Be prepared and stay organized with NYLearns. Good luck on exams!

As always, if you have any questions you can send us a message on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskNYLearns

March 13th, 2015

Introduce Visual Learning with Videos for Your Classroom

Looking for new educational content to freshen up your lessons this spring? NYLearns offers thousands of educational videos from content providers like LearnZillion and the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL). The videos are all aligned to NYS Common Core standards, so you can differentiate instruction while entertaining your classroom.

While videos from SEDL support specific NYS Common Core standards by demonstrating how to implement standards in your classroom, LearnZillion provides instructional content that combines video lessons, assessments, and progress reporting. With access to these videos at NYLearns, you can build dynamic curriculum maps that make lessons more engaging to students.

3 Easy Ways to Find Videos that Fit Your Curriculum

1. Find Standards First

  • Visit the Standards tab on the main menu and search for standards aligned to a specific grade level and subject area.
  • Locate your desired standard and click the “Educational Resources” button associated with it.
  • Find LearnZillion or SEDL resources that work with to the standard you selected.

2. Search NYLearns Educational Resources

  • Visit the Educational Resources tab.
  • Enter “LearnZillion” or “SEDL” in the search box.
  • Filter results by grade level and/or subject area.
  • Click “Search.”

3. Pre-filter Your Search by Content Provider

  • Visit the Content Providers page, accessible on the submenu of the Educational Resources tab.
  • Click “LearnZillion” or “SEDL” on the alphabetical list of content providers.
  • View video resources available on NYLearns.

Save and organize videos in your ePortfolio to quickly embed them in curriculum maps and lesson plans. Just click “Add to My ePortfolio” once you’ve located video resources you’d like to save.

Add a visual component to your curriculum today! Start searching video resources on NYLearns here.

As always, if you have any questions you can send us a message on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #AskNYLearns

January 21st, 2015

7 Simple Steps to Brand New Curriculum Maps

NYLearns is excited to announce the addition of more than 150 brand new curriculum maps for K-12 social studies teachers. These maps are based on the new social studies framework released by NYSED last spring. To access the new maps, follow these 7 simple steps:

1. Log into NYLearns.

2. Click on the My NYLearns

3. Click on My Curriculum.

4. Click on the NYL Model Common Core Maps tab at the top of the page.


5. Select Social Studies from the “Select a Subject Area” box.

6. Click Search.


7. Click on any of these maps and they will open in a new tab.


Enjoy access to hundreds of brand new curriculum maps!

Looking for Math and ELA curriculum maps aligned to Common Core standards? Just follow the steps above and select either English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core) or Mathematics (NYS P-12 Common Core) from the “Select Subject Area” box.

Coming soon to social studies curriculum maps: updated resources and assessments. Stay tuned!


August 13th, 2014

Back-to-School Planning With NYLearns

Start your school year by joining NYLearns’ Marla Witkowski for a free online PD session covering the standard-aligned educational resources and teacher tools of NYLearns.org.

Each webinar will take an in-depth look at different NYLearns teacher tools, standard-aligned educational resources, and how you can use these tools to build curriculum maps, create assessments, build your own teacher website, and more.

The first webinar will cover how to browse and search standards, where to find educational resources aligned to the NY State Academic and Common Core Standards, and how to search our database of over 20,000 questions from NYS Assessments and NYS Regents Exams.

Webinar Schedule

Wednesday, August 20 at 10:00 AM:


“Save Time: Plan Your Year with Standard-Aligned Educational Resources & Instructional Content from NYLearns”

Register Now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/456802951

  • Standards – Explore a searchable database of NY P-12 Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics, as well as the New York State Learning Standards.
  • Educational Resources – Find thousands of high-quality Educational Resources that are aligned to the New York State Academic and Common Core Standards.  This classroom-ready content is searchable by keyword, subject area, grade level, and course.
  • Assessment Builder – Research thousands of questions, along with their alignments to standards and performance indicators, that have been entered directly from released NYS Assessments and NYS Regents Exams.

Wednesday, August 27 at 4:00 PM:


“1 Hour, 6 Teacher Tools, Endless Possibilities”

Register Now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/756940967

  • In-depth review of each Teacher Tool:
    • ePortfolio Overview – Organize and store all your digital files, media, and resources by uploading them into your personal electronic filing cabinet with unlimited cloud storage.
    • My Website Overview – Build your own professional classroom website and empower parents and students with access to important information.
    • My Curriculum Overview – Access your district’s curricula and create curriculum maps based on your personalized approach to instruction.
    • My ePlanner Overview – Organize and plan day-to-day instruction while seamlessly integrating your district’s curricula.
    • Publish Your Best Overview – Create classroom-ready lesson plans and resources aligned to the New York State Academic and Common Core Standards, and submit it to Peer Review for consideration for publication in the NYLearns collection of Educational Resources.
    • My Communities Overview – Communicate and collaborate with colleagues in online learning communities that are school-based, district-wide, or open to others across New York State.

Wednesday, September 3 at 4:00 PM:


“Create Customized Curriculum Maps and Organize Your Instructional Approach”

Register Now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/162968663

  • My Curriculum – A flexible curriculum mapping tool that will accommodate alignment to the New York State Academic and Common Core Standards.  These maps can be customized to reflect a district’s unique approach to curriculum, and can be shared with all stakeholders within the district.
  • Curriculum Administration – Explore the ‘back-end’ of the curriculum mapping tool, where users who have been designated by their district have access to create and manage headers, templates, and curriculum maps.
  • My ePlanner – Create custom lesson plans to meet the needs of any initiative or instructional approach being used in your classroom or district.

Wednesday, September 10 at 4:00 PM:


“Build a Professional Teacher Website”

Register Now: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/308472295

  • My Website – Create a professional classroom website and empower parents and students with access to important information like assignments, news and announcements, sample assessments, and blog posts.
  • My ePortfolio – Add virtually any file you want – word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, images, and more – to your teacher website, from your portable filing cabinet with unlimited cloud storage.
April 15th, 2014

The New Look of NYLearns

We recently decided to give NYLearns a much-needed facelift.  That means a new logo and new colors, but most importantly, we’ve added a brand new support page.  Why are we so excited about a new support page?  First, let me give you a little background on the new design.

Why So Blue?

We chose a blue that wasn’t too far away from the old NYLearns color scheme but was still within our PLS 3rd Learning brand guidelines.  One of the main goals was to align the PLS 3rd Learning brand with our projects, and NYLearns has been the flagship portal of PLS 3rd Learning.

The new logo is directly connected to the PLS 3rd Learning brand in order to develop a uniform look and feel within our projects.

Thanks to Mike Tuberdyke, the lead designer on the NYLearns re-skin project, the logo, colors, and overall feel of the site have moved toward a lighter, more modern feel that will grow with the PLS 3rd Learning brand.

Time for a New Design

Since our last major design update in 2010, we’ve developed new teacher tools, like the ePlanner, and upgraded existing tools, like Curriculum Mapper and ePortfolio.  We’ve also added over 10,000 questions to the Assessment Builder and hundreds of new educational resources to our Featured Content section.

While improving our teacher tools and updating educational resources has always been a top priority, we felt like it was finally time to give NYLearns a new look.  We started updating the design for every tool, button, tab, link, and icon on the site and quickly realized what we were missing: more support options to fit the lifestyle of our entire user base.

The Support You Deserve

Giving our users everything they need to make their NYLearns experience as awesome as possible is really important to us.  In fact, we even won a Stevie Award this year for our support efforts!

Our users are primarily teachers, who are arguably the busiest people on the planet.  When they’re not in the classroom, they’re thinking about the classroom; grading papers, preparing assessments, or planning projects.  Since our goal is to offer tools that make their lives easier in the classroom, we wanted to make sure that our support for those tools matched.

We’ve always offered live support Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.  Unfortunately, that happens to be when most teachers are in the classroom.  So we developed more self-service support resources like video tutorials, FAQs, user manuals, and (our favorite) Ask Ashley series that are available 24/7.

We also included more ways to connect with our educators through social channels like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and our blog.  Now, users can access our support resources from anywhere on the site by clicking on our new Support tab located on the main menu to send us questions, ask for new features, or find updates on resources for the classroom.

So what are you waiting for?  Start clicking around and, please, let us know what you think about the new look of NYLearns.

March 26th, 2014

NYLearns Wins Gold Stevie Award

NYLearns Gold Stevie Award Winner

NYLearns won the Gold Stevie Award for the Front-line Customer Service Team of the Year – Technology Industries Category.

We are really excited to announce that the NYLearns help desk, as part of the PLS 3rd Learning support team, won a Gold Stevie® Award!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What’s a Stevie Award?”

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. We won Gold for the Front-line Customer Service Team of the Year – Technology Industries Category – in the eighth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.

There were some big names in the competition as well like Delta Air Lines, DHL, VIZIO, Salesforce, and Comcast just to name a few. Over 1,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition, an increase of 36% over 2013.

The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 21 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. There were over 400 nominated customer service and sales executives from the U.S.A. and several other countries in attendance. Unfortunately, we weren’t there, but our Gold Stevie is on it’s way so stay tuned for photos of the NYLearns team celebration.

We’re really honored to be recognized for our support efforts. We believe that this award is a testament to the high standards our help desk holds itself to when providing our users with live support and developing support materials like videos, user guides, or even blog posts.

Want to read more about the Stevie Awards? You can do that here: www.StevieAwards.com.

Do you have a NYLearns help desk experience or suggestion to share with us? We’d love to hear about it. Leave us a reply below.