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June e-ClassNotes

J U N E   2  0  1  4

By the Numbers: Wrapping Up Another Successful School Year

As we ramp up for summer school, we thought we’d take a moment to look back on the 2013-2014 school year. Schools across the country had their work cut out for them with the combination of the implementation of the Common Core and classrooms embracing blended learning models and new technologies. Our partner schools and organizations stepped up to the plate in a major way, working hard to make learning rigorous, relevant, and fun.

Total Students Served: 4,500
Total Teachers Served: 117
Number of Schools: 61
Cities: Baltimore, Bridgeport, Chicago, and New York City

A couple favorite anecdotes from HS 519: Cobble Hill School of American Studies in NYC that used our West End Law program:
“Sometimes I made mistakes, and I learned there were consequences to those mistakes. But I kept on trying.” Maria, student

“Classroom, Inc.’s simulation aligns perfectly to the Common Core. The model gives the kids as close as possible to the real experience when it comes to implementing those skills that will make them successful in careers and college.” Mr. Gentile, teacher

School’s Out In for the Summer!

We’re working in several cities to expand high-quality learning opportunities for students during the summer months, a time that is particularly important for at-risk students. More than 2,000 students will use our game-based learning programs in a variety of settings—from leadership to literacy to career exploration programs.

Check out the details of our partnership with Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago City of Learning and continue reading below for more on our NYC-based work.

Assessment Key for Large-scale Buy-in

Increasingly, the education community is thinking deeply about alternative assessments that provide a more complete picture of students’ abilities. Jane Canner, senior education advisor at Classroom, Inc., argues on the Games + Learning news site for ways that game developers can think about assessment at the outset of development, and how to involve educators in the process.

Each month, we will feature something new and exciting about After the Storm—our new game-based learning programs designed to middle school-level Common Core State Standards in reading and writing.Taking GLS By “Storm”
We debuted After the Storm at Games, Learning & Society in Madison, WI earlier this month. Check out the reflections from Anne Richards, VP Product Development, who organized a panel called “Anatomy of a Learning Game: From Design to Development to Distribution.”The panel—which included an education product developer, assessment expert, creative director, games curator, and public school teacher—highlighted the collaborative approach that we took to creating After the Storm. Anne discusses how these strong partnerships are critical to making learning games valid options for schools, parents, and others who care about real quality, rigorous research, and definable results.

Read all of Anne’s thoughts on GLS.

Partner Focus
Summer in the City: NYC DoE Summer Quest

The nation’s largest school district is offering free, full-day summer learning to elementary and middle school students through NYC Summer Quest. Teachers collaborate with community-based organizations to offer students engaging enrichment activities as well as Common Core-aligned instruction. We’re partnering with Summer Quest to launch After the Storm, our new blended learning program where students play the role of editor-in-chief of an online magazine.

A snapshot of our Summer Quest partners:

P.S./I.S. 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual Language Magnet School/BELL:
Mr. Flete and a BELL community educator will use After the Storm as part of the enrichment and leadership initiative that students will opt into. As they simulate the job of editor-in-chief, students will earn badges and build their digital resumes through accomplishments made within the learning game.

C.S. 211/Children’s Aid Society: Mr. Jackman and Ms. Rodriguez will launch After the Storm as a way to deliver Common Core-designed English Language Arts curriculum in a fun and engaging manner, while providing students with applied learning experiences. Students will use what they learn as editor-in-chief to work in teams to develop their own magazines.

Keep an eye out on our website and follow us on Twitter as we share stories throughout the summer of how we’re working with our Summer Quest sites.

What we're readingCheck out the full list of news, blogs, and reports that caught our eye this month in our June RoundUP.

Reactions to the Vergara Teacher-Tenure Decision Pour In, Education Week:
Dominating headlines this month were discussions on the high-profile California court case that ruled that teacher tenure and dismissal laws unfairly saddle disadvantaged students with weaker teachers.Aspen Task Force on Learning & The Internet:
This new report features several recommendations for putting the learner at the center of a networked world. Games + Learning distilled the ideas for those involved in game-based learning.Delay Urged on Actions Tied to Tests by Schools, NY Times:
The Gates Foundation has called for a two-year moratorium on any high-stakes decisions based on tests aligned to the CCSS. The NEA welcomed the Gates Foundation’s stance, expressing the need for more time for implementation.

We’re making our plans for various events. Want to meet up with us?
Email: CInewsletter@classroominc.org
Tweet at us: @ClassroomInc
Atlanta, GA June 28-July 1
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Conference:
Las Vegas, NV June 29-July 2