April 25th, 2016
Support Manuals from NYLearns
As educators, we know that nothing is more annoying when planning educational experiences than hitting a snag.
That’s why we’ve made it easy for our partners to quickly locate robust support manuals and comprehensive videos to assist with using NYLearns.
We invite all of our users to our support tab, where you can find in-depth user manuals, including screen-by-screen instructions on how to use everything from our standards and educational resource searches to finding the perfect assessment questions.
For those of you who are designing curriculum documents, we now offer curriculum administration manuals to assist you in creating and updating curriculum maps using the NYLearns curriculum matrix tool.
Interested in becoming a NYLearns expert? Check out all of our support resources including video tutorials, assessment updates, and FAQs.
Let’s stay connected. Visit NYLearns on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, Pinterest, and our blog!
September 8th, 2015
Welcome back! September is in full swing, and you’re ready for another great school year. Make teacher prep a piece of cake with these 3 tools from NYLearns.
- Vertical Viewer
Incorporating NYS Standards is tricky, isn’t it? Not anymore. Use our Vertical Viewer to isolate the standards you need to target. Every standard is linked to a relevant resource that you can use in your classroom right away.
- Educational Resources
Are you still using Google to find “resources” that don’t even match state standards? Stop. Our Keyword Search will hook you up with relevant resources that are classroom-tested and teacher-approved.
- My ePortfolio
Once you have identified standards and collected resources, you can save them all in one convenient location. Just click “Add to My ePortfolio” from within any standard or resource, and then access it whenever you want.
At NYLearns, we’re educators, too. We work hard to make teaching just a little easier. We’d love to hear from you, so please send any questions or comments to our support team at any time. Have a great year!
September 19th, 2013
Megan Scherer, Ed.M., PLS 3rd Learning Director of Course Development
Starting your first year of teaching can be one of the most exciting and overwhelming points of your career. Designing your first lesson plans, sending out welcome letters to students and meeting new colleagues are the first steps to a year of success. However, establishing classroom guidelines and structures with your students will go a long way toward setting the tone for a positive culture for learning. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:
Create Classroom Guidelines with Your Students.
Regardless of the age of your students, classroom guidelines and parameters should be created the first few weeks of school. In doing so, students will have a clear understanding of expected conduct to maximize learning opportunities.
- You should create a list of no more than five guidelines that exhibit positive, observable behaviors instead of negative ones. For example, “Listen when others are speaking.”
- You can then discuss specific examples of what this guideline means and would look like in the classroom.
- Writing guidelines with your students places additional responsibility on them and promotes a community of learners within your classroom.
- Display your guidelines in a visible space where your students can see and review them regularly.
Arrange Seats According to Learning Styles.
The students in your classroom will most likely have an array of learning styles. You will learn more about your students and discover their learning styles over time. Creating a seating arrangement that accommodates to each style will promote effective learning as their needs are met.
Here are some tips to create seating structures for each style:
- Kinesthetic Learners: Arrange students in a space where they can move freely when necessary.
- Tactual Learners: Place these students in a space where they can see, touch, and move to experience learning.
- Auditory Learners: These students often thrive when they are seated front and center of the classroom. Positioning these learners here enables them to listen and absorb instruction more effectively.
- Visual Learners: Place these students in a space where they can see and hear everything. Creating diagrams and graphics to portray concepts and knowledge will assist in contextualizing new knowledge. Hang or display anchor charts, concept maps, and graphic organizers in places where they can easily be references and reviewed.
Don’t be afraid to turn to seasoned colleagues for insight on what works in their classrooms. And keep in mind that professional development and professional learning community opportunities, as well as mentoring, can also help you make the transition from a successful student of education to an educator successfully reaching students.
Are you a first-year teacher with a question for the NYLearns team? What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you during your first year of teaching? Share it with us below – and don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where we’ll be sharing even more tips and advice!
September 5th, 2013
by Amanda Winkelsas, Ph.D., PLS 3rd Learning Curriculum and Instructional Specialist
Whether you’re a first-year rookie or a 30-year classroom veteran, those first few weeks back after summer break are a whirlwind of paperwork, schedules, and brand new student faces. The NYLearns team and I have put together ten helpful hints to get your school year off to a great start.
- Avoid assumptions. Starting the school year with a fresh attitude and perspective on both the upcoming year and the students with which you will work can take you a long way. No two school years are exactly the same, and the optimism with which you approach the year can be contagious.
- Begin with the positive! Early in the year it is important to focus on students’ strengths and to share positive news with families. Considering the strengths and various skills that students have, building confidence, and avoiding a deficit-perspective will enable you to build more productive relationships with students. Additionally, sharing good news and accomplishments with students and their families early in the year will establish foundational partnerships that become even more important throughout the school year.
- Be organized and prepared! It is essential to establish procedures for nearly every element of your classroom practice. What should students do if they need to go to the nurse? How do they turn in work? What should they do if they finish an assignment early? Through what means—and how often—will you communicate with parents? Establishing routines and posting reminders within the classroom or in another central location is important to avoiding chaos and confusion within the day.
- Set and communicate clear goals with and for your students. It is important to clearly articulate your goals for both yourself and your students. Consider the critical concepts and skills—both academic and social-emotional—to be mastered and developed throughout the year. Posting these in a central location will help to ensure that these don’t slip from view!
- Ask students and their families to set goals together. In addition to the goals you and your students might set together, invite students and their families to set their own goals for the school year. Based on their previous experiences, they may have specific hopes and priorities for the upcoming year. Facilitating this process and listening to students’ and families’ goals is important to learning about each of your students and better understanding how you can support their individual success.
- Establish high expectations. Students are perceptive and are aware of the level of expectation that is set for their efforts, achievements, and their overall behavior in the classroom. Establishing and supporting students in their efforts to meet your high expectations is a critical element of overall achievement and success in the classroom.
- Be consistent. Students learn quickly if you’re serious and follow through on what you say. Be consistent—both in your praise and in reinforcing the goals, procedures, and overall expectations that you have set.
- Connect and collaborate with your colleagues. It is important to maintain a network of colleagues that you both trust and respect. Find other teachers with a similarly optimistic, forward-thinking attitude and bounce ideas off of them throughout the year—or consider forming your own Professional Learning Community (PLC). Sharing successes and working together when challenges arise can provide the critical element of support that is necessary to a productive, positive school year.
- Push yourself professionally. It is important to lead by example! Just as you aim to inspire lifelong learning within your students, it is important to continue to learn and grow as a professional educator. Set a professional development plan for yourself early in the year and hold yourself accountable!
- Remember why you teach. Throughout the year as you become busy, and at times even overwhelmed, take time to remind yourself why you entered the profession. Consider the impact of your work and the life-changing potential that exists in the small moments that constitute each school day!
Do you have a tip to pass on? Please post it below—and don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where we’ll be sharing even more tips and advice from the NYLearns team!