With schools across the United States closed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, teachers and parents face enormous challenges in their efforts to quickly transition to remote and virtual learning environments for their students. Teach to One: Math, an innovative learning model from New York-based nonprofit New Classrooms Innovation Partners, is supporting dozens of partner schools and districts by meeting students where they are—both academically and physically—and adapting its personalized learning model to a remote learning environment. Read the full press release.
We will continue updating this page with news, breakthroughs, media, inspiration from our partner schools, and all else that emerges in this rapidly evolving time. If you are using Teach to One with your students, let us know how it’s going and we will gladly share your story.
June 22, 2020
When Federal Way Public Schools, in Seattle, closed schools due to the coronavirus outbreak, one of the first things Andrea Ball’s students asked about was their ‘Star Chart’. The Star Chart had become a fixture in the second semester of Ball’s classroom at Sacajawea Middle School, which began partnering with Teach to One: Math last fall. Data walls like Ball’s Star Chart (Romano Butler in Chicago used a High Flyers wall) are a popular learning tool that many TTO teachers use to promote and recognize individual student growth over the course of the school year.
“The Star Chart is a fun and easy way to connect to one another and broadcast our individual and group accomplishments,” said Ball. Each star sticker, she added, represents a 100% score on a TTO Exit Slip or Playlist Demo assessments.
Despite the distance learning, Ball made it a point to ensure the Star Chart continued to be visible during their synchronous learning times. She moved it from her classroom wall and put it up in the background of her home office. Now, it’s become a fixture during their video classes.
“Not only does it make a fun backdrop for video conferences, but students get excited to see their individual progress and add to the sparkle and shine of our success as a group.” Ball said.
June 15, 2020
The school year may be over, but we’re still excited to share a few of different ways in which teachers at Teach to One partner schools have exemplified distance learning resilience and creativity for their students during COVID-19 school building closures. Today’s story comes to us from East Oakland’s ASCEND, where a math teacher and amateur filmmaker extraordinaire flexed her creative muscles while teaching virtually.
Ms. Pérez, a first-year teacher at ASCEND, kept herself extra busy during these distance learning months of self-quarantine by recording video lessons for her students. When she’s not doing that, she’s also making movies to share with her school’s community. For some, she’s made promotion videos with heartfelt messages. For time capsule video for eighth graders, she dug into her film archive to find footage from their first year at the school.
Her latest video is an irreverent and dramatic take on how she’s had to adapt her teaching practices since school buildings have closed. “School was a simple place in March,” the movie begins. “A place where teachers taught in a classroom with students.”
The video shows how she has tapped into her best “DIY” self, which includes scenes from her creating a homemade document camera.
As the field team supporting ASCEND says, the videos are another example of how the school has gone above and beyond to support students. From a community garden and weekly farmer markets to chess and anime clubs, ASCEND has always been bursting with many learning experiences to develop the whole child.
For more about the school, check out this interview with former Principal Morgan Alconcher.
June 1, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, New Classrooms Site Operations Manager Rosa Pynes shares some of the ways she’s found to strike a balance between work, play, and chores during COVID-19. Give some of these ideas a try!
May 27, 2020
There is nothing ideal about implementing an emergency transition to distance learning. Over the last several weeks, we’ve had the privilege to help school partners apply unique aspects of Teach to One’s school-based design to ensure learning continues in a personalized virtual learning environment.
This work with new and existing school partnerships is also helping our team better understand students’ multifaceted distant learning challenges. Our close collaboration with partners is providing important data-driven learning insights about what works best for students during this time.
An example is Beginning with Children Charter School 2, an elementary and middle school in Brooklyn. Working with math teacher Nicki Lowell and school/district leaders Esosa Ogbahon, Martine Louisma and Edwin Santiago, we’ve worked closely to support students, track daily learning progress, and make refinements along the way. Our teams have been experimenting with how much structure and synchronous learning to offer students. We’ve learned that some students need more flexibility around taking assessments, and we’ve been able to adjust testing windows to keep them open all day. Other students, we’ve learned, seem to do better with additional scaffolding and more structured lesson times. These kinds of close working partnerships – and the timely insights and feedback they yield – are what helps us provide a better learning experience for all TTO partners.
May 26, 2020
The math teachers at Gray Elementary School in Chicago got creative for their students to send them an inspiring message about the importance of continuing to learn new math skills and concepts. This photo collage was put together as a way to encourage their students during this challenging time.
“Mathematics may not teach us to add love or subtract hate but it gives us hope that every problem has a solution.”
Their student-centered collaboration is no surprise. This core group of math teachers at Gray has been teaching TTO together for over eight years, which is a big reason that Gray’s students make significant learning gains by the time they leave middle school.
May 22, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, Deputy Director of Instructional Support Mary Sandvik lets us in on a must-do when working from home with children.
May 20, 2020
You can read the whole interview on the NGLC blog. Here’s an excerpt from Matt, who explains when he typically sees students start to fall behind in mathematics.
May 15, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, Phoenix International Academy Learning Community Leader and Reading Specialist Felicia Sparkes talks about how to maintain a sense of community with students and families through academic check ins and virtual relationship building.
May 13, 2020
To help meet new distance learning challenges this school year, New Classrooms has expanded Teach to One: Math (TTO) by adapting our school-based personalized learning model to one that supports high-quality remote learning. This collaboration enables schools to transition key aspects of TTO, such as daily scheduling, an adaptive curriculum, and exit slips, in ways that allow students and teachers to pick up where they left off the day before.
As part of our expansion, we’ve welcomed new schools in Maryland, New York, and Ohio to the Teach to One partner community. Today, we’re featuring one of those schools, Metro Early College Middle School, a mastery-based middle school program whose mission is to address unfinished learning prior to entering high school. On just the second day of TTO remote programming, students achieved a 100% completion rate on their daily exit slip.
Kabe Eichenauer, a teacher at Metro Early College Middle School, shared that TTO’s self-paced learning design, high-quality instructional materials, and team of instructional and technical experts have ensured students continue to make learning progress during these unprecedented times. He added that students are more motivated to achieve a “‘sparkly’ perfect score on their daily exit slips. While the students are competing to achieve the sparkles for bragging rights, what they don’t realize is that they are mastering the content in the process.”
Metro Early College Middle School students agreed that one of the things they liked most about TTO’s personalized learning model is that it allows them to learn at their own pace. One student commented that TTO has reduced their anxiety about not understanding a math concept, “because it won’t move on to a new lesson unless you mastered the previous one.”
May 8, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, New Classrooms Director of Instructional Support Carrie Walsh discusses how celebrating the successes of students encourages remote learning. Watch her video for some ideas on how to recognize and visualize your students’ academic achievements.
May 5, 2020
This week, the Odessa American published a story about the role of Teach to One in helping Ector County (ECISD) students address unfinished learning.
Math director Cinda Brown said that because students were already familiar with Teach to One and its incentive systems, their desire to do well hasn’t waned.
“We’ve had positive feedback from all of our kids and all of our parents,” said Brown, with one parent claiming that “math has been the least stressful subject” to study at home.
“A lot of our sixth grade students were showing gaps and performing at a third, fourth grade math level,” according to ECISD Blended Learning Coordinator Lauren Tavarez, but mid-year assessments showed that many of the students had grown a full grade level or more. “With blended learning and with Teach to One, the students are able to go on and work (and move on if they’re ready). We’ve got some students who are learning at a 10th and 11th grade level.”
“Teach to One has the right combination of digital tools and face-to-face interaction that students need with their teacher and each other.”
Click here to read the full story
May 1, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, New Classrooms Director of Instructional Support Ken Rose ties a bow on the importance of setting clear expectations with students, especially when learning is happening remotely.
April 29, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, New Classrooms Director of Instructional Support Ken Rose explains more on the importance of setting clear expectations with students, especially when learning is happening remotely.
April 22, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, Amanda Van Dusen—a teacher at Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix, AZ—talks about factors that went into setting up her at-home workspace.
April 21, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, New Classrooms Director of Instructional Support Ken Rose explains the importance of setting clear expectations with students, especially when learning is happening remotely.
April 21, 2020
Teachers often talk about Teach to One’s collaborative nature. As we like to say, one of the biggest instructional shifts that teachers have to make is to embrace the idea of “going from neighbors to roomies.”
So it’s been no surprise to hear how teacher teams at TTO partner schools are finding creative ways to stay connected. The latest story comes to us from North Chicago’s LEARN 6, where the math team is finding ways to bond and support one another—in and out of the virtual classroom.
Zainrub Khan, a TTO math teacher at LEARN 6, recently shared screenshots of how she and her TTO colleagues are taking care of themselves so that they can take care of their students. In their case, it’s virtual Zumba classes via FaceTime and YouTube.
“Quarantine can’t keep TTO apart,” says Khan.
April 20, 2020
In this Timely Teacher Tip, New Classrooms Director of Instructional Support Lyn Harper shares another icebreaker idea to help set the tone in your virtual classroom.
April 20, 2020
On April 8, our partners at Phoenix International Academy (PIA) were featured on Telemundo Arizona’s evening news program, highlighting staff efforts to support students and families. Executive Director Ivette Rodríguez acknowledged the challenges, even dangers, for all connected to the community she and her teachers serve, but they are meeting the moment—daily and hourly.
Limited access to transportation and basic necessities has made distributing meals that much more vital to student wellness and success, so Mr. Martínez and Mr. Hake are driving across the community to get it done. If students need access to a laptop, or if they need academic support from a teacher, these committed educators are literally and figuratively delivering.
Take a closer look at a school with a vision for wellness and achievement, one that has leaned into personalized learning and made no concessions when it comes to their expectations of student success.
Photo Credit: Telemundo Arizona
April 17, 2020
In this “Timely Teacher Tip,” New Classrooms Director of Instructional Support Lyn Harper shares an icebreaker idea to help set the tone in your virtual classroom.
April 17, 2020
Today marks one month of remote blended learning at ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate School. The 7th and 8th graders who filled these classrooms only weeks ago have switched over to remote blended learning with Teach to One: Math (TTO)—and they’re taking no shortcuts to achievement.
When remote learning for many students nationwide has been pared down to what is essentially homework all day, ASU Prep South Phoenix continues to operate in real time, with each class period starting and ending exactly as they would under normal circumstances. Math Director Felicia Oliver and teachers Kristin Ramos and Abraham Rosengard have tackled this challenge with creativity, energy, and TTO.
Oliver, Ramos, and Rosengard have adapted their lesson planning, delivery, and engagement strategies, but they have changed nothing about the academic expectations for their students. They made the decision to use several TTO learning modalities, including Live Investigation—teacher-led instruction over video—as well as Independent Learning and Tasks, which are multi-day lessons that require students to solve complex problems.
With an unchanged schedule and a relentless math department, students at ASU Prep South Phoenix can continue on their personalized learning journey without diminishing their long-term goals.
April 14, 2020
This week, teachers from three different middle schools in Ector County ISD, in Texas, took TTO’s collaborative teaching model online, working together to share suggestions for remote learning and swapping ideas on how to improve student engagement and participation.
Not long after Ector County ISD began transitioning to remote learning, Cinda Brown, the math director at Wilson & Young Middle School, was excited to see larger-than-expected student attendance and participation rates. This week, she began meeting with Teach to One teachers in other partner middle schools, including Bowie Middle School Math Director Jennifer Hernandez, to share insights about what’s working and what’s not. She said she plans to continue reaching out to her colleagues in different schools so that they can learn and adapt together.
“We’re very excited we have so many students who are utilizing TTO at home!” Brown says.. “I’m excited to see how much our students continue to progress.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed enormous challenges to school districts as they rapidly shift to remote learning models. For students with significant unfinished learning gaps, the next several months are especially important. Being able to track if, when, and what they’re learning is critical, which is why a recent survey finding that 47% of public middle and high school students haven’t attended a single online or virtual class is so troubling.
April 10, 2020
The math teacher team at Brooklyn’s MS 88 picked a pertinent monthly message for April: Peaks, valleys, and plateaus.
“That’s all that life is: peaks, valleys, and plateaus,” teacher Michael Seymour tells his students in a video tribute that MS 88 math teachers sent out to students earlier this week. The video tribute is one of the small but significant ways in which MS 88 teachers are trying to keep a sense of connection and community with brick-and-mortar schools shuttered.
The learning continues online, of course. Before signing off, Seymour reminds students to complete their Playlist Demo — an online assessment that students take at the end of a round in Teach to One to ensure students stay on track.
“As you’re going through your training, taking your notes, going through your exercises and learning, remember that there will be high points, there will be low points, and there will be points where it feels like not much is going on at all,” says Seymour.
Above all, MS 88’s teachers and leaders want their students and families to know that the school is present and available to support in turbulent times. On the school’s web site, they have compiled a remote learning guide with key contact information and mental health resources.
“We are sending you all the love and support we can, and while we know it won’t be easy for you, we are here for you.”
April 9, 2020
Students and teachers at SLAM! North Middle School in North Miami Beach, FL have handled the transition to remote learning with a commitment to steady progress. Teachers Maritza Soto and Amy Ishoy are operating the complete Teach to One program, using breakout rooms in Zoom for additional assistance. Students can take advantage of office hours when they need extra help, and that engagement has translated over to the daily exit slips with a completion rate surpassing 90%. SLAM! North Middle is leading the way nationally to ensure that students do not incur learning loss.
World-famous musician and philanthropist Pitbull, a SLAM! North supporter, posted an encouraging video message on the school’s Facebook page for all teachers and students. He thanked them for their hard work and welcomed them back from Spring Break by encouraging them not to FEAR this time in history but to Face Everything And Rise: “No matter what they throw our way, we find a way to pivot and make it happen.”
April 8, 2020
On April 3 in the Odessa American, Ector County Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri shared insights that emerged from a Zoom check-in with his Student Advisory Council. These juniors and seniors discussed the new conditions of their lives, including the impact of remote learning, videoconferencing over teleconferencing, and what it’s like to finish the school year in isolation. Read more: Odessa American: Muri gets student feedback on remote learning.
March 26, 2020
There is no way to quite explain how it feels to be a teacher right now.
After all of the weeks of excited preparation in the fall, and the hours of planning, grading, and reflecting that you have done for your students throughout this year, you are now forced to be away from your classrooms for an extended time, and things are, well… surreal. The classrooms are filled with evidence of your hard work on setting expectations and displaying your pride in student achievements, and now they are empty. Despite the lack of physical connection, teachers have the unique ability to bring stability and safety to an otherwise chaotic time for students right now. So, how can you stay connected to those beautiful souls that you are beginning to miss dearly? Here are some ideas:
#1: Keep your classroom together!
Communicate with your students through Google Classroom. You can ask students questions like, “What are you doing to stay active outside?” This encourages students to focus on their physical and mental health and connects the students in the group to each other.
#2: Become a Zoomer!
Use the Zoom video app to teach lessons and give everyone an opportunity to see one another. TIP: You can change your Virtual Background to make this extra fun. Teach from an island, or lead your lesson in front of a famous Monet painting.
E-mail, call or snail mail 5 students a day to check in on how they are feeling.
#4: Send an email poll.
Send an email poll to the class once a week about something fun, or make it an academic question.
#5: Go Live!
Start a Facebook page, Instagram account, or Twitter account and offer a daily or weekly Read Aloud or lesson to your class. Students will look forward to seeing your face and hearing your voice.
#6: Show school spirit!
See if you can share a video on your school’s Facebook or Instagram page. Let the students know that you are thinking about them, and tell them how they can reach out to you.
#7: Be available.
Create office hours when you are completely available for student questions, emails, and video chats.
Continue to find ways to celebrate students as they work from home by shouting out specific individuals or sharing highlights of their learning efforts and progress.
#9: Blog Away!
Start a weekly blog where you tell them how you are doing and ask them to comment about their week.
#10: Challenge Them!
Send out a weekly challenge via an app like Flipgrid or a social media site. The challenge can even involve going outside and responding to the challenge with pictures or videos.
Sarah Towler, Abby Engelberth, Mary Sandvik, and Rosa Pynes also contributed to this post.