Susie Owens

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Susie Owens, she’s been teaching second grade for 14 years! Even though she admitted teaching was a second career choice for her, she didn’t waste any time before making a huge impact on students. She currently teaches at Fremont Elementary School in Nevada, but if she wasn’t a teacher she’d go back to her past career of being a roulette dealer at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Keep reading to learn how she avoids burnout after all of her years in the classroom.


 

What subjects have you taught?
I teach elementary so Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Writing

What grades have you taught?
2nd

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
I love to travel.

How do you avoid burnout?
I make sure to take at least one weekend day just for me and my family.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
The kids!

Why did you start teaching?
Teaching was a second career choice for me. I did not start teaching until I was 49 years old! I love to be around kids and to help them to become their best selves.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
BREATHE!

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

What is your favorite book on education?
Phonological Awareness tools and strategies

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
ASK QUESTIONS!

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
I was a roulette dealer at the Bellagio Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, NV

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Each year when my class finally masters addition/subtraction with regrouping.

What is your favorite quote?
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Albert Einstein

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
One of my goals is that every child in my class knows that they are important and they matter.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
I like the reports features, especially item analysis.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
They CAN do anything!

What is your dream vacation?
A hut over the water on Fiji.

 

The acquisition brings together industry-leading LMS and AMS solutions

At MasteryConnect, we are proud to be a part of the work you do every day. That’s why we want to personally share the exciting news—MasteryConnect has been acquired by Instructure!

Joining Instructure, a long-time MasteryConnect partner, is a natural fit. The deal brings together the industry-leading Canvas LMS, which scales curriculum and high-quality instruction, with the leading standards-based assessment platform. Seamlessly integrated, MasteryConnect bridges the gap between assessment and learning, within the intuitive Canvas environment. But, most importantly, both teams care deeply about improving education, and we find meaning in the difference we’re making.

Moving forward, you can expect the same high level of service that you’ve come to expect as a MasteryConnect partner, and using MasteryConnect will be business as usual. To continue our work, the MC team will be joining the amazing team at Instructure, as will all three MasteryConnect founders. With new and expanded resources, we’ll continue to enhance our tools, while building deeper integrations for customers using both MasteryConnect and Canvas LMS.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for putting your trust in us over the last decade. You are the reason we come to work, and we are all committed to supporting you as you improve educational opportunities for kids.

Again, thank you again for your partnership—we look forward to the next chapter together!

Keep on trackin’

Mick Hewitt, Trenton Goble & Doug Weber
Co-founders of MasteryConnect

Read the Press Release

Featured Teacher:
Amber Denbo

March 30th, 2019

 

Amber Denbo

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Amber Denbo, she’s been teaching second grade for 15 years and has experience as a teacher and an instructional coach! She currently teaches at Oswego Community Unit in Illinois and has taught almost all elementary school subjects. She originally planned on being a biologist, but fell in love with teaching after volunteering to teach field trip groups at a local nature center. Keep reading to find out what her most memorable moment in the classroom is.


 

What subjects have you taught?
All subjects-I’m an elementary school teacher!

What grades have you taught?
1st Grade as a teacher, Grades K-5 Math as an instructional coach

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Reading!

How do you avoid burnout?
Spending a lot of time with my family

What keeps you excited about teaching?
Connecting with students and having a positive impact on their daily lives.

Why did you start teaching?
I originally planned to be a biologist because I thought teaching would be too hard of a job. While I was in college as a biology major, I volunteered to teach field trip groups at a local nature center. I fell in love with teaching and eventually got my degree in biology and environmental education. However, I found that as an environmental educator, I didn’t get to know kids or connect with them long term, so I decided to go back to school to become a classroom teacher.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Talk less. Smile more.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons

What is your favorite book on education?
Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Build strong relationships with your students. The rest of it will fall into place.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
Something else working with kids—potentially a child advocate for foster kids or something along those lines.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
I was sitting around a table with a small group of kids for reading and the first grades were being extra silly that day. I asked them to turn off their silly switches. One of the most serious kids in my class reaches up and pretends to shut a switch on and off and in a no nonsense manner says, ‘Sorry Mrs. Denbo my switch is broken.’ It is the first and only time that I laughed so hard I cried with my student.

What is your favorite quote?
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” by Henry Ford

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
As a math instructional coach, I am working on getting as many teachers as possible (K-5) to implement number sense routines in their classroom.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
The ease of using the app and teacher reports

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
I work with hundreds of students and their teachers each year and the one thing I hope they all get from working with me is to always keep trying new things and don’t be afraid to mess things up! That’s how we learn and grow!

What is your dream vacation?
Anywhere my family is- I’m a homebody and don’t really love to travel, but taking trips with my family is always fun no matter where we go!

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
My proudest MasteryConnect moment has been accepting the ‘Appiest District’ award at MasteryCon in 2016 on behalf of my school district.

 

Think MasteryConnect isn’t for PreK-2? In our latest videos, primary grade guru and Regional Education Consultant Jenna Lagerman will show you why MasteryConnect is perfect for the littlest of scholars.

As a former kindergarten teacher and instructional coach, Jenna used MasteryConnect in her own classroom to identify student levels of understanding for skills like letter and number recognition, counting, and more. See her strategies for small-group and one-on-one interventions, progress monitoring, and evaluating data for next steps.

 

 

PD for Primary Grades

Need more guidance using MasteryConnect for your primary classes? Let us come to you!

Our Early Childhood Core PD is a full day, on-site session focused on teaching early childhood educators to successfully implement MasteryConnect tools in the classroom and capture meaningful data from well-designed assessments.

You’ll get hands-on experience navigating the MasteryConnect platform, assigning and delivering assessments, and evaluating data through reports.

Contact your Regional Education Consultant about scheduling the Early Childhood Core PD day for your teachers. Or fill out a quick form, and we’ll call you!

 

Android users rejoice! The MasteryConnect Teacher App is now available in the Google Play store.

With everything you need to launch and document performance-based assessments on your Android phone or tablet, you can roam free in your classroom, capturing evidence of learning wherever and whenever it happens.

With Teacher App in your pocket, here’s what you can do:

  • Launch assessments right from your phone or tablet
  • Record levels of student learning by uploading photos and notes with Evidence Capture
  • Score bubble sheets instantly with GradeCam
  • Record rubric-based grades for student performances and projects

 


 

See Teacher App in Action

 


 

This on-the-go approach to formative assessment makes it easy for you to assess your way, allowing you to provide instant feedback anytime learning happens—including field trips, performances and other non-traditional learning environments.

Interested in learning more about Teacher App or scheduling a demo? Call us at (801) 736-0258!

 

Jameil Saez Hobson

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Jameil Saez Hobson, not only is he a science and garden education teacher at Kamaile Academy in Hawai’i, he’s also a green thumb who loves to hike in his free time. He loves the GradeCam feature in MasteryConnect because it saves time on grading so he can focus his energy on empowering students to embrace their identities. Keep reading to see how he avoids burnout and what he considers to be the most memorable moment in his teaching career so far!


 

How many years have you been teaching?
4

What grades have you taught?
K-9

How do you avoid burnout?
By surrounding myself with amazing people and going to hikes.

Why did you start teaching?
I wanted to empower students in being proud of their identity and not to always question everything. Inquiry is the basis of science and we must always be open to all possibilities.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never compromise your morals or ideals and always fight for was right.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
Fuego en la 23 – La Sonora Poncena

What is your favorite book on education?
Igniting the Sparkle – Gregory Cajete

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Be attentive and learn who are the key players at school. Learn from the environment first before trying to do any major project.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
Farmer

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Sailing in the Hokule’a with my students.

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
I want to travel to Thailand

What is your favorite MC Feature?
100% Gradecam. It’s been so helpful and is one less thing I have to do.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Never quit and remember that they are warriors.

 

Featured Teacher:
Stephanie Morris

February 11th, 2019

 

Glenn Rogers

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Stephanie Morris, she’s been teaching economics, government and history for 15 years. She currently teaches at Eau Claire High School in South Carolina and when she’s not in the classroom, she likes to unwind on the beach! She started teaching because she enjoys staying close to the community she was raised in. Keep reading to learn how she avoids burnout after all of her years in the classroom.


 

What grades have you taught?
6-12

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Relaxing at a beach

How do you avoid burnout?
Time management and not fretting over the little things. You have to be strict about your boundaries and know that there are only 24 hours in a day.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
When a student who has been struggling, finally gets it.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Never send an email while you’re angry.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
Happy by Pharrell

What is your favorite book on education?
Shine by Edward Hallowell

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Hang on, it gets better.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
Possibly an economist or working a government job. I’ve also thought about being an entrepreneur in the tech arena.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Each first day and each graduation is just as memorable.

What is your favorite quote?
A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot – Joe Vitale

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
To get back in the right mindset to finish my dissertation.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
Trackers, they give you a snapshot of how well the students learned the standards.

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Learning doesn’t have to be hard.

What is your dream vacation?
Seychelles

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
I wasn’t always a fan of MasteryConnect. I looked at it like it was one more thing to do. Now I see the benefit and I don’t know what I would do without it.

 

Aw, a brand new semester full of new learning opportunities, and…roster updates. If your school or district is importing sections through Clever, and you find that you are either missing students or have “extra” ones, you can quickly update those new rosters to your existing Trackers.

Follow these step-by-step directions to get your rosters in tip-top shape for Spring semester.

  1. Click on Trackers, then find the tracker you want to connect; click on Edit under the tracker name.

 

  1. Select your class from the Link to Classroom drop-down menu, and click on Update.

 

  1. Make sure the number of students in your tracker matches the number in the classroom you are linking to and the section is the correct semester roster. If there are any hiccups in matching the students, you’ll receive an error message.

 

When a student is moved from one classroom to another during the school year, you can easily transfer that student’s information (including mastery levels and scores) to the new teacher’s Tracker if the Tracker is not connected to a section.
 

In order to do this:

  • The student must be transferred within the same school
  • The new grade level and standards must be the same
  • The student must have been manually added to the Tracker (students added as part of SIS sections can not be transferred using this function)

 

How to do this:

  1. In the Tracker, hover over the student’s name and click Edit.

 

  1. On the Edit Student dialog, click Transfer.
    Note: If you do not see the Transfer option, your student may have been added as an SIS section, and you will be unable to transfer them using this function.
  1. Click the Transfer to Classroom drop-down menu and select the tracker to which you want to transfer the student. You will only see trackers from teachers in your school with the same standards.

 

  1. The student’s information, including mastery levels and assessment scores will now appear in the new tracker with all the existing data.

 

To better protect the owners of copyrighted materials, we have updated our MasteryConnect Online Terms and Conditions. Please review the updated terms of use to ensure that you are uploading and sharing copyrighted materials in adherence to the MasteryConnect Terms of Use. Setting an accurate privacy setting for each assessment is the best first step.

MasteryConnect makes it easy for teachers to build, upload, and share their assessments with other teachers in the online community. However, we are also committed to protecting the rights of content providers—both companies and educators—who create and sell K-12 lessons and assessments. To protect copyrighted materials, we have multiple privacy settings to limit who can see and use uploaded materials.

Check Your Privacy Settings

When uploading assessments into MasteryConnect, it’s important that you choose the correct privacy setting to prevent protected materials from becoming publically available. Every time you upload an assessment, you’ll be asked to set the level of privacy.

There are four levels of privacy you’ll choose from:

  • Share with the community (recommended)
  • Make this material private to me
  • Make this material private to my school
  • Make this material private to my district

 
Be sure to check the conditions of your protected materials in order to set the accurate privacy level. We also suggest you do a quick review of previously uploaded materials to make sure the privacy level is accurate.

As another layer of defense against copyright infringement, the MasteryConnect team continually monitors the community to update privacy settings when necessary. If we find a copyrighted assessment, we will change it to the “private to me” setting and send a message to notify the user that we have adjusted the privacy level and why.

Help Protect Copyrighted Materials

If you see an assessment that should not be public, you can reach out to the user who uploaded it by either commenting in the box below the assessment or sending the user a private message. We appreciate your help in protecting our online community!

Featured Teacher:
Glenn Rogers

January 8th, 2019

 

Glenn Rogers

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Glenn Rogers, a dedicated math teacher at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School in Connecticut. His passion for teaching started in 10th grade when he helped his classmates with a math problem. He believes math isn’t about finding the right answer, and strives to help his students realize they can solve problems in many different ways. Keep reading to find out how Glenn avoids burnout and the moment he considers most memorable in his teaching career.


 

How many years have you been teaching?
6

What subjects have you taught?
High School and Middle School Mathematics

What grades have you taught?
7th and 9th – 12th Grade

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Go on outings with my family. Take long walks with my dog, Loki. Read some of my favorite comic books. Re-watch all of my favorite Superhero films. Play complex board games with friends.

How do you avoid burnout?
Take personal time out of each day for myself to play a favorite game, read one of my son’s favorite books to him, or watch a funny episode of a show on Netflix.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
Watching students grow on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. To see a student change their mindset to achieve their learning and life goals is remarkable. To be a part of that journey is amazing.

Why did you start teaching?
It began when I showed an example of a problem to my classmates in 10th grade. The experience showed me how much I enjoyed helping other people to comprehend mathematics. It was the starting point of my passion for teaching.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Not every lesson is going to go according to your plan. Take note of your accomplishments, watch for the moments of uncertainty, and reflect and recover when mistakes are made.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
“Walking On a Dream” by Empire of the Sun

What is your favorite book on education?
Visible Learning For Mathematics by John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Observe other teachers in your building to gain multiple learning experiences. Don’t be ashamed to ask questions, get help and advice from the people around you. Get to know your students as much as possible; building relationships with students can improve classroom behavior and rapport.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
An actuary

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
On my birthday last year, when I returned to my classroom after walking students back up from lunch my students surprised me with a loud “Happy Birthday” song and a few gifts and cards. I was very surprised and thankful.

What is your favorite quote?
“You’re going to make a difference. A lot of times it won’t be huge, it won’t be visible even. But it will matter just the same.” – James Gordon (Batman)

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
To observe more teachers during the day to gain more examples of teaching styles and methods.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
Admin Tab – I really enjoy making new items/questions that I can use on daily and weekly assessments

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Mathematics is not always about finding the right answer. It is about seeing how you can solve a problem in different and unique ways.

What is your dream vacation?
Travel to a country that has a mix of history, recreation and relaxation.