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How should you structure your classroom experience with School 21? Teachers have developed a number of approaches, which may be appropriate for you, depending on your students' access to technology, your students' learning needs, your goals for the class, and your personal teaching style. Here are a few models.

Full Class and "Float"

In this model, the teacher leads a full class discussion about a concept, often using School 21 Problems or Learning Resources as examples. After the full-class discussion, the students work on School 21 to achieve Mastery (or Excellence) in that concept. While the students are working, the teacher "floats" around the class, helping students and congratulating them on their progress. During this time, the teacher keeps School 21's Instant Updates report open on her tablet or laptop, so she can see which students need help in real time (as well as notifications of student achievement).

The Full Class and Float model keeps the class moving through concepts at roughly the same pace, covering concepts together on the schedule of the teacher's full-class discussions (which correspond to Assignment due dates the teacher sets). Of course, the teacher can also allow and encourage interested students to move forward at a faster pace as well.

Full Class and Float is most appropriate for classrooms with 1:1 computing (a device for every student), though it is possible to have students work in pairs or small groups (rotating which student is signed in to School 21) in classrooms with fewer than one device per student.

Scheduled Rotation

In a Scheduled Rotation model, the teacher divides the students into set groups (for instance, a class of 30 may be divided into 5 groups of 6). While most of the students are working on School 21, the teacher pulls one group over to a "group table." That small group of students participates in an activity set up by the teacher. Often the activity will be as simple as working together, guided by the teacher, on a sample School 21 problem. In this scenario, the teacher asks prompting questions that help students construct meaning and develop a deeper conceptual understanding of the concepts at hand. Teachers can also use this small group time for puzzles, games, writing exercises, short projects or other activities.

Depending on the nature of the small group activity, the teacher may spend most of his time at the table with the students, or instead may float through the larger group working on School 21, offering help where needed. During a single class period, the teacher may have 1-3 groups rotate into the group table experience, depending on the nature of the small group activity.

Scheduled Rotation can allow students to move at different paces through School 21 concepts, as the depth of understanding developed during the small group activity is usually valuable for students who have already mastered a concept, as well as students who have yet to begin tackling it.

Scheduled Rotation is one way for classrooms with fewer than one laptop or tablet per student to still use School 21 as a primary vehicle for core curriculum, as the students at the group table generally do not all need devices (depending on how the teacher has designed the activity).

Scheduled Rotation with Project-Based Learning

This model is similar to Scheduled Rotation, with the addition of another group table for students to work on longer-term group projects together. The teacher divides the students into groups that remain set for some period of time. During any particular class period, one of the groups will be at the project table (working on a longer-term project), one will be at the group table participating in the small group activity set up by the teacher, and the remainder of the students will be working on School 21. The teacher rotates these student groups through these activities at a pace that makes the most sense, given the nature of the project and small group activity.

The Scheduled Rotation and PBL model is a great way for students to experience the power of both the School 21 experience and really interesting projects, which can often provide fun, hands-on, real-world experiences that deepen students' interest and understanding of the material.

This model can also be really useful for classrooms that may only have devices for about half the students. For instance, the teacher may choose to have two project tables (instead of one), thereby putting only about half of the students on School 21 at any one time.

Ad Hoc Grouping

In Ad Hoc Grouping, the teacher doesn't create set groups of students. Instead, she monitors School 21's Teacher Reports to see which students may most benefit from additional assistance at the group table, and calls those students over on an ad hoc basis. For instance, the teacher may notice on the Teacher Reports that several students have not yet mastered a concept that most of the class has already completed. The teacher then has those students come to the group table for intensive help, while the rest of the class works on School 21. Or the teacher may notice that a handful of students are "racing ahead," and may need support tackling an advanced concept, so she can bring that group of students up to the group table.

By forming groups ad hoc, the teacher can personalize valuable small group time (with its lower student:teacher ratio) to meet each student's needs in the moment. This model is a great tool for helping to ensure that no student "falls through the cracks." Instead, each student keeps up with the pace necessary to master all the concepts during the school year.

Ad Hoc Grouping can also be a good way to use School 21 in classrooms where there are computers for most, but not all, of the students in the class.

Occasional Full-Class Use

Many teachers only have access to computing resources (the lab, or a laptop cart) part time. In these cases, teachers use School 21 to accomplish a specific goal they have for the class at the time when they have access to the computers.

For instance, some teachers drop into the computer lab once a week. On those days, they may ask students to achieve Mastery in a concept that was introduced the previous day. Or the teacher may, as a reward (and as reinforcement), ask students to achieve mastery in any concept they choose.

Occasional use can also be a great way to help students prepare for SBAC, PARCC, or other end-year exams. Reviewing concepts on School 21 (even just once a week) can not only reinforce understanding of the material, but also give students computer fluency skills they need to be successful on those exams.

Mix and Match

Of course, most teachers are resourceful and inventive, so they utilize not just one of the models above, but a combination. For instance, a teacher may start the year with a Full Class and Float model, to ensure students are being introduced to concepts together and getting used to the School 21 experience. Then the teacher may move to a Scheduled Rotation model, with set groups. Upon introduction of a real-world project, the teacher may shift to a Scheduled Rotation and PBL model for a time. And finally the teacher may finish up the year under an Ad Hoc model, to ensure each student is getting the personalized attention she needs to successfully master all concepts by the end of the year.

We encourage teachers to try a variety of models, and to generate new ones. If you'd like to share your model with us, please email School 21 Support, and we'll try to get your ideas out to the School 21 teaching community.

Targeted Learning for RTI, Gifted and ELL

School 21 is a great solution for students needing individualized instruction, as part of an intervention, a gifted program, or an English Language Learning program. In these situations, teachers work with each student to establish individual goals to accomplish on School 21. The nature of the School 21 solution, with multimedia learning resources at students' fingertips, assessment that adapts to student capability levels as they learn, and translations into other languages, enables students to make progress independently or with instructor guidance.

The goals a student and instructor set on School 21 may be about catching up to grade level or completing two grade levels in a single year. The School 21 solution is flexible enough to meet both needs.

A Note on Using Assignments

School 21 provides Assignments funcitonality for teachers and students. With Assignments, the teacher can set due dates for the mastery of each concept. Students then see those due dates in their Dashboard, and work towards meeting them. And teachers can see each individual's assignment status in the Assignments report.

Usually teachers set due dates throughout the year to ensure the class covers all the concepts for the course. In some cases, teachers may want to create a separate class for students who are moving at a different pace, and set due dates for that class accordingly. In these cases, the teacher may structure the classroom experience in an entirely new way, using the models above in the context of the groups who have different due dates.

A Note on Homework

We recommend teachers play close attention to the amount of access their students have to technology outside of school hours. In cases where all students have access to School 21 during homework time, teachers may encourage students to make additional progress on School 21 at home. This may free up classroom time for other kinds of powerful learning activities, such as Project-Based Learning.

School 21's unique solution draws on a number of established lines of research, and has delivered outstanding case-study results validated by teachers.

Efficacy

Teachers have seen outstanding student results with School 21, resulting in significantly improved student achievement for core students, gifted students, and students in need of intervention.

In one case study, teachers measured student capability levels before implementing School 21, and then again after 6 months of using School 21. During the study, the average student progressed almost 2 grade levels in just 6 months (from grade level 7.1 to 8.9). One student in the 6-month study progressed from a 4th grade level to a 9th grade competency.

If you would like to participate in School 21's longer-term, university-led efficacy studies, please contact School 21 Support.

Research Basis

School 21’s solution draws on established research in a number of different areas, the combination of which underlies our uniquely effective approach. Some of the research areas include:

Adaptive Practice for Development

School 21’s design leverages theories such as the cognitive psychologist Lev Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and the ideas of scaffolding and dynamic assessment. The research shows that incorporating these strategies into educational experiences can improve learning effectiveness for students. You can read an overview of a variety of research on the ideas of scaffolding and the ZPD in “Understanding Scaffolding and the ZPD in Educational Research” (Verenikina, 2003), and you can read more about dynamic assessment, including information on empirical findings, in “Dynamic Testing” (Grigorenko, Sternberg).

Game-Like Incentives

Numerous empirical studies show the positive effects of using game-like incentives like those in School 21's solution (such as clear goals, immediate feedback, points, levels, badges and leaderboards) to engage and motivate people in a variety of contexts, including learning. You can read an overview of the research in “Does Gamification Work?” (Hamari, Koivisto, Sarsa).

Developmental Mindset

The research of Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford University (resulting in her book Mindset) contrasts a "fixed mindset" (in which a person believes that intelligence and talent are fixed traits) with a "growth mindset" (in which a person believes that they can grow "smarter" with effort and persistence). Dweck has shown that individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to work hard despite setbacks, and therefore succeed. And Dweck has shown that subtle environmental cues (such as feedback that emphasizes hard work instead of innate intelligence) can help young people develop a growth mindset. School 21 includes these subtle environmental cues with our feedback after learners answers questions.

Learning Styles

School 21 uses artificial intelligence to make personalized recommendations of learning resources based on demonstrated learner preferences, which may correspond to what have sometimes been called “learning styles.” Research shows that incorporating “learning styles” (such as Kolb’s) into the learning experience for students at the very least increases their enjoyment, and may increase the overall effectiveness of the program. Furthermore, private sector development of matching models between media typologies and consumer preferences (in particular the Netflix recommendation model) can accurately predict the consumer’s level of preference for media they have not yet consumed. School 21 applies these same kinds of strategies to matching learners with learning resources they prefer. You can read more about the research into learning styles and matching content to learner preferences in “Implementing Kolb’s Learning Styles into Online Distance Education” (Richmond, Cummings), “Learning Styles” (Howles), and the Netflix Prize website.

Focus and Coherence

School 21’s alignment to the Common Core principles of focus and coherence to enable students to successfully develop mathematical reasoning is supported by research, most significantly the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) conducted every 4 years since 1995 by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, and published on the National Center for Education Statistics website. The TIMSS 2011 results created a compelling case for how a focus on a more coherent set of mathematical concepts found in high-performing countries (rather than the traditional coverage of a far greater number of concepts found in the US), could significantly improve student achievement. School 21's solution aligns to the conclusions of the TIMSS study.

Alignment to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) requires more than just “coverage” of each individual content standard. As a fully-aligned CCSS solution, School 21 meets the wide variety of CCSS alignment criteria necessary to implement the CCSS in the way they are intended.

The Common Core publishes guidelines (for K-8 and High School) for how to evaluate tools and solutions with regard to the CCSS. These guidelines are detailed and extensive. Here is a quick summary of the most important criteria, and how School 21 aligns to them.

Comprehensive Coverage of Content Standards

School 21 covers each content standard listed in the CCSS for each grade level. You can see how School 21’s concepts align to the CCSS standards on our Courses page.

Focus on Most Important Content Standards

The Common Core has identified certain content standards that are to be emphasized more strongly in any CCSS-aligned solution. These content standards are sometimes referred to as the “major work” for the grade level. The Common Core recommends that approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of a solution be focused on the major work for the grade level.

The following chart gives the approximate amount of time devoted to major work In School 21’s courses (acknowledging that teachers have the flexibility in School 21 to spend more or less time on any particular concept):

Course Major Work Supporting Work
Grade 6 Math 77% 23%
Grade 7 Math 73% 27%
Grade 8 Math 78% 22%
High School Algebra 1 76% 24%

Balancing the 3 Areas of Rigor

The Common Core requires students to rigorously understand mathematics on 3 dimensions: Conceptual Understanding, Procedural Skills & Fluency, and Application to the real world. As noted by the Common Core, sometimes these areas of rigor are addressed together in a particular problem or activity, and sometimes a problem or activity will address only one or two areas of rigor. School 21’s solution balances these 3 areas of rigor for well-rounded student development, through the following aspects of our program:

Learning Resources

For each individual concept, School 21 provides learning resources (such as videos, text-based materials, and, occasionally, online manipulative elements) that address that specific concept. These learning resources are created or selected with several purposes in mind, and thereby correspond to different types. The first type is an explanation, which seeks to build the learner’s Conceptual understanding of the mathematics involved. The second type is sample problems, which serve not only to build Procedural Skill & Fluency, but also (in the case of word problems) often address how Applications of the concept occur in the real world. Of course, as the CCSS notes, the three aspects of rigor often naturally occur in conjunction with one another, and School 21 selects and creates learning resources that draw these natural connections. Furthermore, School 21 uses artificial intelligence to match these learning resources to individual’s demonstrated learning preferences, so that students develops on all 3 rigor dimensions with resources personalized to their needs.

Problems

School 21 uses artificial intelligence that matches problems to each student’s mastery level of a concept. Problems move from an introductory, “easier” level, to a harder level as the student demonstrates competence. As such, earlier problems are often designed to build baseline Conceptual understanding, often in the context of a real-world Application. As students progress, harder problems challenge students to apply their Procedural Skills to more difficult material, until they eventually master the concept. Some problems also ask students to consider the work of other, fictitious, students, and critique their reasoning, thereby solidifying Conceptual understanding. Finally, School 21 uses algorithms to generate a virtually infinite number of problems (rather than selecting from a finite item bank), so that students can have unlimited practice problems in a concept, thereby developing high levels of Fluency.

Solution Explanations

After answering each problem, students have the opportunity to see a detailed explanation of the solution. Where appropriate, these solutions explain the “why” of the solution, as well as the steps to get to an answer. By reading these Solution Explanations, students solidify their Conceptual understanding of the material while developing their Procedural Skills and Fluency. If the problem addresses modeling in a real-world context, the Solution Explanation also reinforces Application skills.

Teacher Reports

At School 21, we are big believers in the value of great teaching. Often the best way to help a student develop, on any of the aspects of rigor, is to keep her teacher informed of her development, and to alert her teacher when she needs help. School 21’s Teacher Reports are designed to provide actionable, just-in-time information for teachers to meet students just where they are. Informed by School 21’s reports, teachers can plan lessons and design small-group, individual, or full-class activities that address the specific concept that specific students are working on. And our Instant Update reports give teachers real-time, to-the-second updates about how students are progressing. These Instant Updates also alert teachers when a student needs help. Armed with reports and instant updates, teachers can intervene with the student to help them move to the next stage or mastery, and develop their understanding in all 3 areas of rigor.

Careful Conformance to Standards

We design School 21 concepts to match the intent of each standard. Many standards call for a stronger emphasis on Conceptual understanding, or Application to the real world through word problems, or ability to solve certain kinds of problems with Fluency. We carefully design our concepts to align to the intent of each standard, so that the overall balance of rigor is achieved.

Attention to Standards of Mathematical Practice

In addition to the Content Standards, the CCSS include a set of 8 Practice Standards. The Practice Standards outline approaches, habits of mind, and mathematical ways of thinking that are just as important as the specific skills contained in the Content Standards. Here is a brief overview of how School 21’s solution addresses the Practice Standards:

1. Make sense of problems, and persevere in solving them

Many School 21 problems ask students not only to find answers, but also to answer question that reveal their understanding of the problem (i.e., require them to “make sense” of the problem). As students succeed and progress to higher difficulty levels for a concept, School 21’s problems become involved, requiring significant student perseverance to solve them. Furthermore, perseverance is essential to success in general on School 21, where students are given very clear goals and challenged to achieve them. With game-like incentives motivating them, students often do far more work than in a traditional learning environment, and must “keep going” even when they haven’t mastered concepts as quickly as they’d hoped.

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively

As called for in CCSS, School 21’s problems often ask students to move between quantitative and abstract reasoning about a situation. We ask students to represent situations by equations or graphs or other abstractions that can be manipulated to be understood. And we ask students to understand the quantitative meaning of these abstractions, relating them back to a real-world situation, using units to inform their thinking, and generally being able to interpret the meaning of an abstraction.

3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others

School 21’s problems often ask students to identify the reasons behind conclusions they or others draw. Often our problems ask not just for an answer, but for a justification. Some of our problems present the reasoning of fictitious students, and ask learners to evaluate those students’ thinking.

4. Model with Mathematics

School 21 often puts students in real world situations, and asks them to solve problems, interpret observations, draw conclusions, and generally make sense of the world using mathematics. The nature of the School 21 solution, with lots of practice with such problems, develops students’ comfort and fluency with the idea of creating a mathematical model to represent situations in real life.

5. Use appropriate tools strategically

School 21 frequently challenges students to understand the insight gained from different ways of looking at a situation—graphs, tables, verbal descriptions, equations and others. Over the course of hundreds of problems like these, students develop an understanding of which representations, and which tools (paper and pencil, graphing calculator, etc.) may be most appropriate to help them make sense of a situation.

6. Attend to precision

School 21 asks students to think and communicate answers precisely throughout the solution, in a variety of contexts. We ask students to get a correct answer, rounded to the required place (or to a place appropriate to the situation), with the correct units. In order to progress through the School 21 program, a student must be precise when demonstrating her knowledge.

7. Look for and make use of structure

The School 21 experience, in which students utilize mathematical concepts in a repeated fashion, at successively more challenging levels, exposes students to a world in which patterns emerge. As they recognize these patterns, they develop a deeper and more complete understanding of the concept at hand. And, of course, many of the concepts themselves are about looking for structure.

8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning

Similarly, School 21 builds student understanding of regularity and repetition in reasoning, by not only requiring they achieve mastery in concepts that explicitly require such capability, but also through the nature of our solution. School 21 students are first asked to apply understanding at a simpler level, and then asked to repeat that application of understanding at a more challenging level. Naturally, the recognition of regularity and repetition emerges, and School 21 then challenges students to recognize that regularity and repetition explicitly in concepts that require it. Through the School 21 experience, then, students develop this practice as a habit of their thinking.

School 21 is an excellent tool to help students prepare for SBAC, PARCC, and other high-stakes, computer-based exams. Not only does School 21 comprehensively cover the content standards, it also contains most of the item types that students will encounter on the SBAC and PARCC. By working on School 21, students develop computer skills and fluency with these types of problems, so that they are comfortable when they encounter the exams.

The following chart outlines major item types for SBAC, PARCC, and School 21. As you can see, School 21 also goes beyond the item types on SBAC and PARCC to provide a uniquely interactive solution that builds deep conceptual understanding.

Item Type SBAC PARCC School 21 Other Solutions
Multiple Choice - Single Answer
Multiple Choice - Multi Answer
Short Text Entry
Drag and Drop - Single
Drag and Drop - Multiple
Hot Spot
Table Fill-In
Graphing - Points
Graphing - Lines
Graphing - Linear Systems
Graphing - Non-Linear Curves
Equation/Numeric (Keypad)
Multi-Step Problems

If you would like to know when our next free webinar about School 21 and the SBAC and PARCC exams, please contact School 21 Support.

School 21 is an outstanding tool for teachers to use in an RTI framework. In one case study, a middle school student moved from a 4th grade competency level to a 9th grade competency level in just 6 months of using School 21. The nature of School 21’s personalized learning solution, and the fact that School 21 provides educators with continuous ongoing assessments of student performance, make School 21 a powerful tool at all three tiers of RTI.

School 21 and RTI Tiers

As described in “Tiered Instruction and Intervention in a Response-to-Intervention Model”, RTI is a tier-based model that considers data about student progress, places each struggling student into one of three tiers, and provides appropriate intervention for each student, based on his tier.

One of the most challenging aspects of RTI implementation is the gathering and analysis of data about each struggling student. With School 21, educators get continuous, ongoing data about each student’s progress, making it much easier to identify the tier each student should be placed in, and the corresponding instructional intervention the student needs.

Tier 1: Core Program, Progress Monitoring and Grouping

In Tier 1 of an RTI model with School 21, all students move through the core School 21 program. Teachers carefully monitor student progress using School 21’s Teacher Reports, and identify students who may be in need of extra assistance. While the rest of the class continues to make progress on School 21, the teacher works with these students in small groups at the “group table,” helping them to explore, understand and become more proficient in specific concepts.

At the Tier 1 level, the amount of time students spend in these small groupings may be comparable to the time other students in the class spend in small groups with the teacher. The difference with these groups is that they are specifically formed by the teacher to address students who are struggling, as evidenced by the Teacher Reports.

Many educators view Tier 1 as a “focus on prevention.” With Math in particular, the further students “fall behind,” the more difficult it is for them to “catch up” later. With School 21, teachers can identify the risk of falling behind much earlier than with other programs, thereby preventing situations in which students have too far to go to get back on track.

As students make progress, the teacher adjusts groupings, to ensure that each student is getting the support she needs to succeed in the core, Tier 1 program. If a student is not succeeding with Tier 1 level of intervention, the teacher may decide to move the student to Tier 2.

Tier 2: Targeted Interventions

For students who are not achieving sufficiently within a Tier 1 program, the teacher can implement targeted Tier 2 interventions, which utilize more instructional time in small groups, supporting remedial curriculum, and perhaps additional teaching personnel.

Tier 2 students usually spend more time in small group settings being helped by a teacher. These small group interventions may happen during normal classroom time, or, depending on the school’s schedule, during additional time devoted to helping Tier 2 students. Most schools define the amount of Tier 2 time needed as approximately 30 minutes 3 times a week.

During these additional small group sessions, teachers work with students to help them understand concepts, using strategies not dissimilar from those used in Tier 1 small groups. In Tier 2, however, teachers may utilize additional curricular materials. For instance, a teacher who has identified (with School 21’s Teacher Reports) that a group of 8th grade students is struggling with fractions may create a School 21 Grade 6 class (which addresses fractions) and enroll those students in that class. Using School 21’s Grade 6 problems and learning resources (as well as additional help from the teacher), students can focus intensively on fractions skills, and thereby become proficient enough to begin succeeding in the core Grade 8 program.

For Tier 2 interventions, the school may leverage an additional teacher to conduct these targeted interventions, thereby allowing the core program teacher to continue to help the students in the core group and Tier 1.

Tier 3: Intensive Interventions

When students are not making sufficient progress with Tier 2 interventions, the teacher can move them to Tier 3, in which they receive more intensive help than in Tier 2.

In Tier 3, the student will spend more time in smaller groups. With Tier 3, for instance, students may spend 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week (instead of the 3 days for Tier 2). And that time is probably spent in groups of 2-4 students, or one on one with a teacher.

Generally, schools utilize a specialist teacher for Tier 3 interventions, so that teacher can focus intently on the student(s) in the intervention, while the core classroom teacher focuses on the core and Tier 1 groups of students.

As with Tier 2, the teacher can use a variety of instructional strategies to help students in Tier 3, including the utilization of earlier-grade material on School 21. Because all School 21 courses provide game-like incentives and immediate feedback, once students are placed at a level at which they can be successful, they generally make quick progress and build their confidence.

Some schools use student performance in Tier 3 as an initial indicator of evaluation for special education, while other schools use RTI in parallel with special education (with most special education students receiving Tier 2 or Tier 3 levels of assistance).

School 21 Features and RTI

Several features of School 21 align particularly well to recommended strategies for teaching in an RTI context.

One Concept at a Time

School 21’s program is designed for students to master very specific concepts, one at a time, reducing student confusion that can be brought on by tackling too many concepts at once.

Clear Objectives

Our game-like incentives make it very clear to students what they need to accomplish, and gives encouragement and feedback every step of the way.

Immediate Feedback

After a student completes a problem, School 21 provides a detailed explanation of the solution for that problem, so that students can review their thinking and actions, and more fully understand the concept at hand.

Multi-media and Multi-dimensional Representations of Concepts

School 21 includes graphical, textual and video representations of many concepts, and we often draw connections between different representations of a mathematical idea of situation (such as graphs, tables, equations and descriptions). By approaching concepts from a variety of angles, students often find that “Aha!” moment of understanding they may not have gotten from a single medium or representation type. By monitoring a student’s reactions to these different media and representations, teachers can more fully understand a student’s learning preferences, and can thereby intervene more successfully with the student.

Match to Learning Styles

School 21 uses artificial intelligence to recommend learning resources to students based on their demonstrated preferences. Over time, therefore, the learning program adjusts to an individual student’s needs, helping them to understand concepts more successfully and quickly.

Teacher Tools: Problems and Learning Resources

In many RTI intervention situations, core teachers and specialist teachers may utilize a number of teaching tools and strategies (e.g., manipulatives) they have found to be successful. In addition to these resources, teachers can use School 21’s problems and learning resources in small group or one-on-one settings with students.

Within each concept, School 21’s problems progress from easier problems to harder problems, so teachers can utilize a range of difficulty levels as they assist students during interventions. In addition, our learning resources include explanations, “starter” problems and “harder” problems, as well as some videos and online manipulatives, providing teachers with a set of multimedia teaching tools at their fingertips.

Note on Grouping

One of the challenges with RTI programs is the stigma of students being grouped for interventions. School 21 encourages teachers to group all students, not just students in Tier 1, 2 or 3. For instance, grouping gifted students together enables the teacher to help them through the accelerated topics they are tackling. And heterogeneous groups can be great ways for students to explore concepts with the teacher, as well as to work on group projects or activities.

In a classroom like this one, with groups for many different purposes (not just RTI), any stigma from being put into a group is mitigated by the variety and frequency of grouping.

A Solution that Appeals to Students of All Abilities

Students realize that School 21 enables them to go at the pace that is right for them, which ultimately leads to their success and enjoyment of math, even if they initially struggle.

“I don’t worry about being held back or pushed too fast. I really like to do it [School 21] and it allows me to go at my own pace.”

--Seventh Grade Student

"I have a student who just races ahead on School 21. His parents love it, because he can complete more than one grade level in a year."

--Middle School Math Teacher

School 21 is an ideal solution for teachers to use with gifted students, as it provides many of widely recommended aspects of a gifted program:

Accelerated Pace

School 21 allows students to move at their own pace through the material. This allows interested students to accelerate beyond the pace of a core curriculum, and complete more than one grade level in a year. School 21's game-like incentives motivate students to achieve at their maximumm pace, thereby encouraging gifted students to accelerate.

Compacted Curriculum

A gifted student moving through School 21 at an accelerated pace in essence creates a compacted curriculum, because her success level in problem completion allows her to complete fewer problems while still mastering all the standards in a grade level.

Student Grouping

School 21's Teacher Reports allow teachers to easily identify which students are moving ahead at their own pace. Armed with this information, teachers can design small-group activities to assist accelerated students and provide in-depth enrichment activities for them.

Student Exploration of Interest Areas

School 21 is not only flexible with the pace a student progresses, but also with the path the student takes through the material. For instance, if a gifted student is interested in Geometry concepts, the teacher may allow the student to "jump ahead" to the Geometry unit in a course (many units, such as Geometry and Statistics, have fewer pre-requisites in previous units, and can be explored in a different order). This ability to explore concepts they choose allows gifted students the autonomy to take control of their learning.

Sufficient Time for Enrichment Projects

Because gifted students can move at an accelerated pace through the material, the student will have extra time within the school year. The student and teacher may choose to allow the student to take on future grade-level content, or the teacher may take advantage of the additional time to explore enrichment activities with the gifted student.

School 21’s High School Algebra 1 course automatically comes with full Spanish-language translation of all Problems, Solution Explanations and Learning Resources. Students can translate back and forth between English and Spanish with the click of a button, and can see translations of individual passages by “mousing over” the passage.

Upon request, School 21 can also provide translation of the Algebra 1 course into the following languages:

Afrikaans English Igbo Maltese Somali
Albanian Esperanto Indonesian Maori Spanish
Arabic Estonian Irish Marathi Sundanese
Armenian Filipino Italian Mongolian Swahili
Azerbaijani Finnish Japanese Myanmar (Burmese) Swedish
Basque French Javanese Nepali Tajik
Belarusian Galician Kannada Norwegian Tamil
Bengali Georgian Kazakh Persian Telugu
Bosnian German Khmer Polish Thai
Bulgarian Greek Korean Portuguese Turkish
Catalan Gujarati Lao Punjabi Ukrainian
Cebuano Haitian Creole Latin Romanian Urdu
Chichewa Hausa Latvian Russian Uzbek
Chinese Hebrew Lithuanian Serbian Vietnamese
Croatian Hindi Macedonian Sesotho Welsh
Czech Hmong Malagasy Sinhala Yiddish
Danish Hungarian Malay Slovak Yoruba
Dutch Icelandic Malayalam Slovenian Zulu

If you would like your course translated into one of the languages listed above, please contact your School 21 Representative, or email School 21 Support.