Dave Mattas

San Diego, CA

Dave Mattas
Helix Charter High School
San Diego, CA
How do you use Actively Learn in your classroom?

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

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

Accountability for take-home reading and during reading assessment and feedbackWhat solutions did you try to address problems in your school/classroom prior to adopting Actively Learn? *Student annotation and written response

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

It has shaped the way my students read by adding both accountability and collaboration.  Students are able to read and learn together and I can immediately see their progress.  It also empowers me to respond in text to students and support student learning by adding marginal notes related to context and vocabulary.

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

I use Actively Learn for all take home reading assignments and for most in-class assignments.  In-reading questions allow me to facilitate discussion based on texts and give me a space to direct readers to the learning goals I have determined.  Texts can function in different ways depending on how I lead them through it.

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

Find your own entry point and try it!  There are many layers of utility embedded in the program, but it's also possible to use it on a level that is accessible to you.  At its base level, it replaces text handouts and allows teachers to see how long students have spent in the text.  At higher levels, questions and responses allow for detailed assessment data related to student learning and understanding.