Alyssa Van Houten

Elizabethtown, PA

Alyssa Van Houten
Mount Calvary Christian School
Elizabethtown, PA
How do you use Actively Learn in your classroom?

In-class reading, assigned reading for homework, and independent reading.

What problems were you experiencing in your classroom or school prior to adopting Actively Learn? 

Before using Actively Learn, my students had Chromebooks but they did not have any full texts to use the Chromebooks for. I found that my resources were limited, and that Actively Learn helped to offer my students the texts they needed for our curriculum.

What solutions did you try to address problems in your school/classroom prior to adopting Actively Learn? 

Before using Actively Learn, I tried finding PDF versions of the texts, but the Chromebooks were not compatible with many.

How has Actively Learn helped improve your students’ learning and/or your teaching? 

My students' learning has grown leaps and bounds because of Actively Learn. The students are able to ask questions, see peer responses, and read the notes that I've added within difficult sections. They are reading deeper, recalling more, and connecting the text to themes easily.

How do you use Actively Learn with your students? What type of content do you assign? 

I assign independent reading, in-class readings (small group, whole group, etc.), and homework assignments. I particularly like modeling by "thinking out loud" with a section and having the students answer survey questions or predictions in a whole-group setting. Their answers are posted in real time and they can see their peers' thoughts, which is very helpful.

What advice would you have for teachers who are new to Actively Learn? 

It is user-friendly and well worth the time you will put into it. You may get some students who push back at first, but once they see the benefits, they will ask to use it for all of their stories!