New Year, New Online PD

September 13th, 2017

Help Center

 

We’ve refreshed our Online PD video courses to make sure you have everything you need to get the most from MasteryConnect in your classroom. We’ve updated 24 lessons, and added brand-new courses—like one dedicated to MC Teacher App!

Whether you’re new to MasteryConnect, or just need an after-summer refresher to sharpen your skills, our team will walk you through step-by-step instructions, advice, and tips in on-demand video tutorials. Check out the list below to see which lessons have been revised with the latest and greatest MasteryConnect info for the new school year.

 

Introduction Course

  • Navigation
  • Community
  • Create a Tracker
  • Create a Tracker from a Curriculum Map
  • Tracker Basics
  • Add a Community Assessment
  • Raw Scores Assessment
  • Performance Grader
  • Deliver an Offline Assessment
  • Deliver an Online Assessment
  • Reports

 
Intermediate Course

  • Item Banks
  • Rubrics
  • Resource Pins
  • Creating Curriculum Maps

 
Item Banks Course

  • Introduction

 
MC Mobile Apps Course

  • Introduction
  • Teacher App – Scoring
  • Teacher App – Sorting

 
MC Leadership Course

  • Manage Accounts
  • Community
  • Delivering Benchmarks
  • Overview

 
To get MC lessons anytime, anywhere, launch Online PD from the ? at the top of your MasteryConnect home screen.

help-center

Back-to-School Tips from MC Pros

September 8th, 2017

Help Center

 

Another school year has kicked into full gear! At MasteryConnect, we’re proud to be a part of your classroom, and we want you to have the best MC experience possible.

Today our team of support gurus share their best tips to help you go back in style with our curriculum and assessment tools.

 


 

Locate Internal Support

It’s likely that your school or district has designated an internal employee to be the first line of support for you and your fellow teachers. They may have very specific resources or training opportunities.

To see your internal support contact and their contact info, click on the question mark icon next to your name in your MasteryConnect interface.

 

Get to Know Online PD

online-pd

Did you know you have on-demand MC professional development anytime, anywhere? Our Online PD courses offer a slew of instructional videos that provide detailed instructions for MC. Use Online PD videos to find answers about the software, get a quick refresher after a long (but not long enough!) summer, or practice putting all of these pieces into action. And we have updated video content for the year, as well as new courses—like MC for mobile devices.

Access Online PD by logging into your MasteryConnect account and clicking the ? icon at the top right of the page next to your name.

dashboard-onlinepd

 

Search Our Help Center

Our Help Center is stocked full of articles to walk you through any aspect of MasteryConnect. Build your MC superpowers with step-by-step instructions on just about any topic.

Access the Help Center articles by logging into your MasteryConnect account and clicking the matrix at the top right of the page next to your name.

dashboard-help-center

 

Make Necessary Firewalls Fixes

A strict firewall can block or interrupt MC. Your school or district’s IT team will need to ensure all required websites are accessible from your network.

View all domains that need to be whitelisted in this help article.

 

Update GradeCam

GradeCam saves you loads of time when it comes to grading stacks of bubble sheets. To make sure this magical scanning goes off without a hitch, be sure you GradeCam plugin is updated to the latest version.

Get the latest plugin and test your GradeCam settings, visit: downloads.gradecam.com

And view our GradeCam troubleshooting guide. Most issues can be resolved by the steps in that guide, like uninstalling and installing the plugin. (Another good tip: make sure the assessment you’re scanning for has an active Test ID.)

 

Update Your Browser

The MasteryConnect site is always tested on the latest and greatest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. That’s why it’s best to keep your browser version updated.

View details on our browsers and hardware specifications here.

 


 

Submit Support Tickets

If you are unable to find answers to your questions in Help Center articles or Online PD videos, you can submit and manage a support ticket from the Help Center.

The ticket system allows you to

  • See your open tickets in a single view
  • Add comments to your tickets
  • Add screenshots
  • View additional ticket details like status and assignee

Submit a support ticket by following these steps:
1. After you login to MasteryConnect, click Help below the main navigation bar.

dashboard-help-center

 
 

2. The Help Center will open in a separate browser. Click on your name again and select My Requests.

dashboard-help-center

 
 

3. From this page, you’ll be able to manage any submitted tickets. At a glance, you can see when the ticket was created, the last time there was any activity on it, and the current status.

4. Click the subject line of the ticket to open it.Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.35.52 AM

dashboard-help-center

 

5. Here, you can see your original request and all communication concerning it. If the ticket has been assigned, you’ll also see the name of the support team member who’s handling it.

dashboard-help-center

6. When you’re done, click the MasteryConnect logo to return to the Help Center, or close the browser window to continue working.

 


 

We hope you’ve had a great start to the school year, and here’s to tracking mastery in ‘17-’18!

Free Webinar

 

Thursday, July 27th
11AM (MDT)

——

Learn how to use research-based principles to understand and gain actionable information from your formative data. We will identify must-have reports, and we will introduce an instructional strategy that uses higher order thinking as part of the formative assessment process.

You’ll hear

  • The defining features of formative assessment and the formative assessment cycle
  • The garden analogy and why we should think of our students as plants
  • Indicators of what works best in raising student achievement
  • How to make sure teachers are using assessment data

 

Sign up at masteryconnect.com/kdswebinar

Get a single-page view of all trackers in a student’s progress report with new Summary Pages. Learn how this new option streamlines the Progress Report process for administrators.

 

 

For step-by-step instructions on Progress Reports, view our Help Center article.

Free Webinar

 

Thursday, July 13th
11AM (MDT)

——

When Todd Theobald first entered the halls of his elementary building, he found himself principal of the only failing school in the district. A new state grading system had publically issued an “F” for the Title I school, and he had marching orders to perform what seemed like a miracle.

Join us for a one-hour webinar to hear how Todd and his team embraced the PLC process and boldly dug into data to turn things around in only one year—and how they’ve maintained growth ever since.

You’ll hear

  • The “Guarantee 3” strategy for standards…and why it works
  • Why certain students surprised everyone
  • The experiment that prompted principals to go back in the classroom
  • The recipe for focused collaboration and planning meetings
  • Why all data is good data (really)

 

Sign up at masteryconnect.com/datawebinar

Help Center

 

Roam free in your classroom, capturing more formative data whenever, wherever learning happens.

MasteryConnect supports over 2.5 million teachers with curriculum and assessment tools to drive student growth. And now, with the new Teacher App for iPhone, everything you need for performance-based and formative assessment fits right in your pocket.

 


 

  • Launch assessments right from your phone
  • Record authentic evidence of student learning with notes
  • Scan bubble sheets for instant grading
  • Use rubrics for student performances and projects

 


 


Watch how MasteryConnect Teacher App for iPhone keeps you moving.

Download on the App Store

Help Center

 

Did you know that MasteryConnect is now fully integrated with the Canvas LMS? That means it’s easier than ever to use MasteryConnect curriculum and assessment tools to measure and promote student growth. In addition to single sign-on and automatic data pass back, teachers can launch formative or benchmark assessments created from any of the million standards within the MasteryConnect platform—directly from the Canvas interface.

To highlight this new dynamite combo, we will be hosting a free webinar on Thursday, March 23rd. Canvas fans will see how MasteryConnect can help

  • Supercharge your PLC
  • Support a move to standards-based or mastery grading
  • Expand your formative assessment footprint
  • Align and map your curriculum to standards
  • Integrate benchmark/interim assessments into the formative process

The webinar will be co-hosted by MC Chief Learning Officer Trenton Goble and Regional Sales Leader James Seaman, both veteran K-12 educators.

Sign up at masteryconnect.com/canvaslti

 

back to school with MCThe support team always looks forward to the back to school season. Maybe it’s the crisp fall air or the happy faces walking to school each morning. More likely, it’s when we get to help educators tackle another awesome year!

Read on for a step-by-step overview of the new support ticketing process and a few back-to-school tips to ensure smooth sailin’ with MasteryConnect.


How to Submit Support Tickets

Our team loves to interact with each of you, that’s why we’re excited to offer slick improvements to how you communicate with us. We’ve added the ability to manage your open support tickets from within the Help Center (no more trying to keep an eye on an email thread!).

The new support ticket process allows you to easily

  • See your open tickets in a single view
  • Make comments to your tickets
  • Add screenshots
  • View additional ticket details like status and assignee

Submit a support ticket by following these steps: 

1. After you login to MasteryConnect, click Help below the main navigation bar. Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.31.55 AM

2. The Help Center will open in a separate browser. Click on your name again and select My Requests. Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.32.08 AM 

3. From this page, you’ll be able to manage any submitted tickets. At a glance, you can see when the ticket was created, the last time there was any activity on it, and the current status. 

4. Click the subject line of the ticket to open it.Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.35.52 AM


5. Here, you can see your original request and all communication concerning it. If the ticket has been assigned, you’ll also see the name of the support team member who’s handling it.Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 10.36.42 AM

6. When you’re done, click the MasteryConnect logo to return to the Help Center, or close the browser window to continue working.


Firewalls Fixes

Sometimes a super strict firewall can wreak havoc on the MasteryConnect experience. Please ensure your IT Wizards double-check that the websites listed in this help article are allowed free passage through your network.

GradeCam Plugin

GradeCam is magical—no question. But that magic is all made possible by the GradeCam plugin.

We always recommend you keep your GradeCam plugin updated to ensure optimal performance. To grab the latest plugin and test your GradeCam settings, visit: https://downloads.gradecam.com/

The Best Browsers

We always test our site using the latest versions of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Whenever possible, we recommend keeping your browser version updated. Full details about our supported browsers and hardware specs can be found here.

Here’s to another successful school year and plenty of mastery tracking!


MasteryConnect helps over 2.5 million educators around the world with formative assessment, standards-based grading, data-driven instruction, and teacher collaboration. Take an on-demand demo to see how  MasteryConnect may help at your school or district.

PowerOfPriorityStandards

As part of our Client Success series, this is the second of a two-part guide to unpacking and prioritizing standards like a pro. 

In our last article, we shared our tips for unpacking standards, including the process of determining big ideas and writing essential questions. This week we tackle the tricky question: How do you fit everything in?

Regardless of which set of standards you use in your classroom, the sheer volume of material can become daunting. And we’ve all heard the pitfalls of mile-wide-and-inch-deep instruction, which neither saves time nor impacts learning in a meaningful way.

Identifying priority or “power” standards is a process you can use to prioritize the content and skills you’ll need to address with your students. But this process is not about deciding what can be eliminated; rather, it’s designed to help you manage instructional time and determine a clear path for student learning. This prioritization process also brings us full circle back to the need for Big Ideas.

Let’s take a look at the two types of standards we’ll be working with: priority and supporting.

Priority standards are a carefully selected subset of the larger list of standards to be covered in a specific grade level or course that students must know and be able to demonstrate understanding of by the end of the grade-level or course in order to be prepared for the next grade-level or course.
Supporting standards are those standards that support, connect to, or enhance the priority standards. They are taught within the context of the priority standards, but do not receive the same degree of emphasis.

How to Identify Power Standards

Just as you followed a process to unpack standards, you should follow one when selecting priority or power standards. It’s best to prioritize collaboratively to ensure priority standards are identified across the team, so students move onto the next grade-level/course with consistent understanding of content.

Important note: Again, it is critical to remember that prioritizing standards has nothing to do with elimination; it has everything to do with degree of focus placed on standards.

When reviewing each standard you are targeting for instruction, consider the criteria and questions below. If the answers are “yes” for a particular standard, it should be labeled a priority/power standard.

ENDURANCE
Does this standard provide students with knowledge that will benefit them beyond the present?
Will proficiency of this standard help my students gain skills needed in the next grade-level/course or even in real-life situations?

LEVERAGE
Does this standard provide students with knowledge and/or skills that benefit them in other learning situations within the current grade level or course?
Does it have cross-curricular benefit?

READINESS
Does this standard provide students with knowledge and/or skills that are prerequisite concepts and skills needed to be successful in the next grade-level/course?

EXTERNAL EXAMS
Does this standard provide students with knowledge and/or skills that they are most likely to encounter on local, state, and/or national assessments?

Standards you have not identified as priority/power standards may be supporting standards. These standards often scaffold under a priority standard, much as a sub-standard (content or skill) would serve as a stepping stone to the overarching standard.

Start Prioritizing with “I Can” Statements

Once you have identified your priority standards and determined the supporting standards for each, you can begin designing your assessment and instruction. Also, you should now be more prepared to communicate clear learning objectives or targets to your students.

Many schools and districts use “I can” statements to clearly communicate learning objectives developed from priority standards, written in student-friendly language. When used consistently, “I can” statements have a profound effect on the learning of students, because students understand why they are learning the material.

“I can” statements help students:

  • take a more active role in their learning
  • become more reflective of their own work
  • feel more responsible for their learning

Let’s go through this exercise with the standard we unpacked in the last article.

Step 1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY – RI.6.8
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

Let’s say we identified it as a priority standard based on the criteria above, and now we can create “I can” statements to more specifically convey the knowledge and skills tied to this standard.

Priority Standard I Can Statement
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • I can define argument, claim, and evidence.
  • I can distinguish between supported and unsupported claims.
  • I can trace an argument in a text.

Priority standard identified? Check! Standard clearly communicated to students? Check! You now have a road map for instructional change! You can identify clear targets and enduring understanding, as well as effectively communicate the learning outcomes to students. It’s time to start planning lessons and gathering resources to make a difference in your classroom!


For MasteryConnect Educators

To help you get started with this work in MasteryConnect, we’ve pulled together some resources that will provide detailed instruction on how to add your unpacked standards and “I can” statements into your curriculum maps and trackers and how to flag priority standards.

The resources we’ve provided are for both curriculum maps and trackers. However, if you’re working with a collaborative school or district team, we highly suggest doing this work in curriculum maps, then creating your trackers from the maps.

Help Center Articles
Add Sub-Standards to a Curriculum Map
View and Customize Standards in a Curriculum Map
Set a Power Standards in a Curriculum Map
Add Sub-Standard to a Tracker
Customize or Reword Standards
Set a Power Standard in a Tracker

       Web Professional Development

Mindful Introduction Module: Tracker Basics

For on-site professional development on using curriculum maps for unpacking standards, contact your Client Success Manager. And be sure to check back for the next article in our Client Success Series!


MasteryConnect has Over 1 Million Standards!

Looking for solutions that support state or Common Core standards? Check out our FREE apps for educators or take a tour of the full MasteryConnect platform for school and district-level features.

unnamedCan you believe it ?!? MasteryCon is only one week away! To help you plan for the ultimate MasteryCon experience, we’ve compiled a list of last-minute info and reminders.

Schedule & Check In

The session schedule is now live—check it out! There is no need to sign up for sessions, but be sure to snag a program when you arrive. Check-in opens at 9:00 am on Wednesday, July 27th, at the Grand Summit Hotel. Pick up your conference materials any time before the welcome keynote at 5:30 pm. (You can skip printing conference tickets, schedules, or maps; we’ll have everything you need when you check in!)

Special Pre-Conference Workshop

We’ve added a free (yes, FREE!) pre-conference workshop on Wednesday for campers who want to start the MasteryCon fun early! A limited number of seats are available, so register now!

Bunks & Transportation

If you haven’t already booked your lodging, NOW IS THE TIME to reserve your room at the discounted rate. And, if you need to hitch a ride from the SLC airport to MasteryCon, may we suggest scheduling with our preferred transportation partner.

If you’re not staying onsite, you can park for free in the Red Hawk lot, located just below the Silverado Lodge.

Get Your Gear Ready

Dress is casual and comfortable (it is summer camp). But, because MasteryCon is nestled in the most beautiful mountains in the whole wide world, it’s best to bring along the right gear. You’ll want to pack up that sunscreen and a light jacket (warm days, cool nights). And, if you want to join the vista-filled group hikes, don’t forget comfy hiking boots and anything else you may want on the trail.

Make the Most of It!

You’ll want to take in everything at MasteryCon! Be sure to attend conference meals and evening entertainment; they’re all included in your registration, and they are awesome for networking. Also, keep your eyes peeled at the conference for ways to get involved, including earning MasteryCon merit badges and participating in activities wherever you see this guy.

See You Soon!

The MasteryCon counselors can’t wait to meet you at summer camp! Join the fun NOW by connecting with MasteryConnect and other attendees on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Remember to use our conference hashtag, #masterycon, and follow us for updates while at the conference.

See you in seven, campers!