PracTutor is well suited for a talented and above proficient student as much as it is for the students who need extra care and intervention.
PracTutor takes a pretest for each of the common core domains to ensure that each student has a unique learning path based on his/her skill set.
The advanced students will start with challenging core standards and are not required to complete the standards that they are already familiar with. This engages them more and helps them stay motivated.
Each core standard in PracTutor has a critical thinking practice and test to challenge the advanced students with more application-based and concept building questions which are aligned with the PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessments.
Schools use PracTutor for all 3 tiers of Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.
PracTutor identifies at-risk students early and accelerates their learning with instruction and practice that is intensive, balanced, and personalized.
Tier 1 – Core Instructional Interventions
What is required?
All students in Tier 1 receive high-quality, scientifically based instruction, differentiated to meet their needs, and are screened on a periodic basis to identify struggling learners who need additional support.
- Each student is unique. PracTutor provides a pre-test for each domain of the Common Core Curriculum to personalize the learning path for each student based on their skill set.
- The students learn from videos carefully chosen; each video corresponding to one of their learning styles as per VARK (Video, Audio, Reading and Kinesthetic).
Tier 2 – Targeted Group Interventions
What is required?
In Tier 2, students not making adequate progress in the core curriculum are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress.
- Teachers can group the students as per their skills and can assign core standards to individual groups or the whole class as per the needs of the intervention.
- The detailed reports help teachers stay on top of how the group is progressing.
Tier 3 – Intensive, Individual Interventions
What is required?
At this level, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits for the remediation of existing problems and the prevention of more severe problems.
- PracTutor links each common core standard to the pre-requisite standard; this helps introduce missing skills automatically in the student’s personalized learning path.
- The student can learn the missing skills through a set of videos and then have a guided practice (with hints and step by step explanations) to ensure the existing deficiency is resolved.
- Teachers can identify the struggling students and the standards they are struggling in using the progress report
NCTM recommends a process for creating or selecting an intervention program. PracTutor is the only program that satisfies all the criterias.
A lot has been said about Common Core Curriculum in the past 2-3 years.
How it helps the greater good -This article from NY times and NEA today-
how it is not worth it at all –this article from Washington post and Fox news- http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/eight-problems-with-common-core-standards/2012/08/21/821b300a-e4e7-11e1-8f62-58260e3940a0_blog.html
To Myths vs Facts – http://www.corestandards.org/resources/myths-vs-facts
What we know for fact is that
- Common core is here to stay.
- 45 states have adopted it and there was no federal say in it.
- It was all community driven – parents, teachers, community leaders, school administrators all worked on standards, pitched in and created them
- It defines what is expected of each child of each state at each grade level
Now, when we keep debating if they are good or not, in my opinion we are arguing if our educators are any good or not. Not the government, the educators -Since these standards were created by them. And we can never be in a good shape if we question our educators and now show faith in them, so let’s support them and work on a path to ensure that the core standards are well implemented and help our kids and nation grow.
Now, coming to the second part – what needs to be done to implement core standards. So every educator including a company like ours has varied opinions on that. Let me present PracTutor’s opinion. We need to ensure 3 things while thinking of implementing any standard, any policy.
- Is it going to be fun, easy and motivating for the kids (who actually will be doing all the work)
- Is it going to be easy for the teachers to know what they need to do – across 45 states?
- Is it going to be satisfactory for the parents who are apprehensive about all the changes?
So at PracTutor we did a lot of brainstorming bringing in educators, technologists, consultants, leaders, parents and of course kids. To ensure all the above 3 things are well implemented we did the following 3 things.
- Made learning and practicing/testing fun with rewards, exciting environment
- Made everything aligned to core standards with flexibility to make changes so the teachers are comfortable knowing what is expected of each standard and how can they bring in their creativity
- Keep parents connected with students and teachers to know how the students are performing and what the teacher is implementing
This makes all 3 involved parties very content.
To ensure this works, we give it for FREE to most school districts/teachers so they are prepared when common core hits them.
This is our opinion, we may be wrong, but we are willing to do the hard work with the right people and ensure we make it right and I guess that is what the US education system needs right now.