ITF Connection

September 2018

1% Better - Day by Day

Welcome back to another school year. I hope the first weeks with your students have been filled with building community and hitting the ground running with meaningful learning activities. We already have some grade levels digging into Mastery Connect and several of our teachers in grades 3-5 have started using a new technology tool called FlipGrid. mClass assessments and iReady diagnostics are up and running as well, and we are starting to dig into some of that data. I appreciate your dedication to our students and hope to be able to support you as you integrate technology this year.

I've been able to meet with the majority of grade levels and teams. Within these meetings, I've discussed the concept of being 1% better everyday. If this is a goal we have for ourselves, we will be 180% better at the end of the school year. If you have a goal you'd like help meeting this year, please be in touch. I want to support and come alongside you as you strive to improve your own professional practice.

In this newsletter you will find important information about Mastery Connect, Dreambox, iReady, and phones. There will be some action items you need to complete. Please do these tasks by September 28th.

Mastery Connect

Trackers have been created within MasteryConnect. For grade levels who had gone in and created trackers already, please know I did have to make a few adjustments. I tried to communicate those changes with grade levels individually. Our trackers are now connected to the 2018-2019 curriculum maps and each account has been realigned to the correct CORE standards.

CFAs should be delivered within Mastery Connect, but one thing I want to challenge you with is to think of Mastery Connect as your online gradebook. If you are completing a task with your students which you will use to determine how they are progressing towards learning a standard, that task can be something we add to MasteryConnect. The more we enter into this system, the easier it will be come report card time. This is a journey and we are in different places. I will work with each grade level as we determine the best way for uploading tasks into Mastery Connect and inputting data.

A few features to make you aware of that are new within Mastery Connect include read aloud for students and the ability to search for items by passage for ELA. These features are available when creating item bank assessments. If you have a student who requires read aloud, you can enable this feature and when they are taking an item bank assessment, the question will be read for them by the computer. Please contact me if this is a feature you want set up for your students.

If you are creating a reading assessment using the item banks, you can now search for passages by standards. This will show you the passages available and the number of questions for each passage for the given standard. Below is a screencast demonstrating how you can access the reading passages.


iReady has a new teacher dashboard (pictured below). The updates were made to be more user-friendly and to place the information you need the most at your fingertips. Once your grade level has completed the diagnostic, please contact me for a time where we can go through the new dashboard to access student data as well as additional features to help you meet students where they are instructionally. For iReady to make a true impact, there needs to be a combination of teacher assigned lessons in addition to the i-Ready assigned lessons based on how the student performed on the diagnostic assessment.
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The goal for student usage within Dreambox is 45 minutes per week or 5 or more lessons. I will be looking for classes who have at least 70% of their students active within Dreambox each week. To be considered active, students must complete 2 or more lessons and be logged in for 15 minutes.

Currently, our teachers with the highest percentage of active students are Kristen Johnson and Anna Downing with around 25% of their class being active within Dreambox. I will start checking in on Friday afternoons and celebrating those classes who achieve the 70% mark for the week.

If you are new to Dreambox or need a refresher, some resources you can access include the Welcome Kit for Teachers and MyFlexPD.

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There is one action item you need to complete for your classroom phone. Please program your speed dials according to the directions linked here. These settings will not be pushed out and must be programmed on each device. If you have already programmed your speed dials, please confirm they match these updated directions. Some changes have been made from the directions I shared with grade levels a few weeks ago.

Please have speed dials programmed by September 28th.

A few phone quick tips:

  • To set up your voicemail, press the button with the mail envelope on your phone. Your password is 319123. Listen to the options to set-up voicemail. These are also the steps to check voicemail.
  • To dial an outside number: dial 9 + whole phone number + #
  • To dial within the building or CCS: dial 5 digit extension + #
  • To complete an all call (must have speed dial programmed first): dial 8# - wait for tone - dial #110 - wait for overhead chime to make your announcement.
  • To complete an all call (speed dial is not programmed): dial 20999# - wait for tone - dial #110 - wait for overhead chime to make your announcement.
  • Phone tutorials and guides can be found by clicking here.

Technology Updates

  • I am still waiting for all of our new equipment to be set up by our technology department. There is a new system they are working to set up which will help push programs and settings out to iPads and teacher machines.
  • Hopefully within the next few weeks, carts and teacher devices will start to be delivered.
  • We are short on new devices, but extra are being ordered. I will work with teachers who don't receive their new equipment right away to make sure they still have access to technology.
  • Sub computers: please do not plan for subs to access technology. I do not have a supply of sub computers here at the beginning of the year like in the past. It can also be difficult for our subs to access all of our different programs and I may not be able to get to your classroom immediately to help troubleshoot. You should also NEVER share your account with a sub. This is a violation of our policies.
  • Keep placing those work orders. If you have anything not working in your classroom that is part of the technology world, place a technology work order under staff links on the CMES homepage. This can be anything from students not being able to login, smartboard not interacting, projector isn't mirroring, need help with new phones, keyboard is missing a key, etc. You do have to be connected to the CCS network to place a work order.

Still there?

Have you made it to the end? Email with SEPTEMBER in the subject line. In the email, type one phrase: one percent.