Kym Alexander

Yacolt, WA

Kym Alexander
Battle Ground High School
Yacolt, WA
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? 

Finding good current reading materials, that are also short and appropriate for our content.  I paid extra because I like the ability to pull in other sources and how easy it is to do so.  I can use these outside sources and put them into the Actively learn format and add questions which is very user friendly.  I also like how it has a grading component that is again user friendly and I can print out the report, in this day and age of TPEP where we need to show evidence this is helpful.  

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

I would make a class set of newspaper articles or magazine article and then type up a worksheet to go along with them.  I still have some left in my file folders.  Actively learn has replaced these and the articles and questions are easier to update.

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

I feel it has helped them to paraphrase and practice more science explanatory writing.  I like that I can use this not only as a focus lesson but also as supplement.  I often pick four readings, and the requirement is that at least one must be completed, but the entire class time is devoted to Actively learn.  This allows my lower level readers to complete at least one article while my faster readers have up to four articles to complete.   I use the article for content supplement for again those faster workers in my class who get done early. Differentiation!

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

Use the science materials for Biology.  I primarily stick to high school materials but on occasion use the middle school materials.  I have started to pull in material from outside science periodicals like Science News. 

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

It is easy and syncs well with Google Classroom.  The free version is fine if you want to just be able to use an on-line content reading source.  If you want the grading or to add more resources it will cost for those extra features.