Arlain Boucaud

Brooklyn, NY

Arlain Boucaud
East Flatbush Community Research School
Brooklyn, NY
How do you use Actively Learn in your classroom?

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

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

Students were not actively reading or annotating texts. They were not analyzing what the text said and therefore missed most of the information not clearly stated in the text.

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

I had focused mini-lessons with small groups to teach how to read and analyze texts and how to annotate for clarity.

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

Students are given specific directions as to how to annotate text and what to annotate for and I can provide feedback in real time and have students go back and reflect on their work.

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

During my intervention lesson I assign students text and have them annotate based on the skill taught during the mini-lesson. If we do setting they are asked to annotate everything that tells them about the setting and how the setting is affecting the characters. They need to provide clear explanations of each element they highlight. Students that are having difficulty are pulled into small groups and we do it with highlighters on hard copies of the text and then sent back to the digital text to do the same thing.

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

Start off by finding ways to apply what you are already doing with hard copies of the texts you are using. It is extremely easy to teach basic skills by having students annotate texts in Actively Learn. If you are doing character analysis you simply have students assign a character trait to a character and then select the texts that led them to that trait and explain how each text detail supports their choice. Also you can add questions to check for understanding as students progress through the text.