Victoria Brinson

Edenton, NC

Victoria Brinson
John A. Holmes High School
Edenton, NC
How do you use Actively Learn in the classroom?

In-class reading and assigned reading for homework.

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

My AP students weren't reading the assigned readings and my Civics & Economics students struggled with literacy and any passages that were challenging.

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

I tried to have students read excerpts on paper, but many were unfamiliar with the vocabulary and needed more scaffolding, while others were bored when I would break a text down.

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

I am able to provide students with differentiated reading assignments. Students are able to have more complex texts scaffolded with the inclusion of my annotations and students were also guided in ways to annotate to increase their reading comprehension.

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

For my AP students, I assigned informative texts that would supplement my lessons for homework. Students then came to class with the foundations I needed for them to work on assignments that elicited higher order thinking skills. For my Civics class, I was able to find articles that related to the government concept we were discussing to supplement our discussion. Students were able to relate real world examples to the basic foundations of our democracy.

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

Teachers new to Actively Learn should definitely take the Reading Comprehension course [now "Learn" modules in Professional Learning Center]. This provided ideas on how to introduce complex texts to struggling readers. I would also recommend that teachers use the resource consistently and require students to annotate text. It gives you a little glimpse of what is going on in their minds when they answer specific questions!