Maple Street Tutoring Goes High Tech
Teachers Experiment with Online Learning to Boost Academic Achievement
Maple Street Magnet School has given traditional after-school tutoring a facelift.
The new effort is called the Compass Club, which uses online quizzes and lessons to help students improve their reading and math skills.
The Trailblazers seventh-grade team is using it with students who performed in the bottom 50 percent on math or reading assessment scores.
The Trailblazer team includes teachers Jamie Miller, English; Lindsay Filipowicz, inclusion; Laura Ruelas, science; Ryan Toennessen, social studies; and Elizabeth Weaver, math.
The students come to the classroom to work mainly on Khan Academy or Compass Odyssey online learning programs, but they can also access Quizizz, Kahoot and Quizlet Live.
The club focuses on English on Tuesdays and math on Thursdays for 40 minutes after school.
Weaver said teachers have always offered after-school tutoring, and they attend the Compass Club to answer any questions the students have, but using the online tools gives them another avenue to reach students.
“Compass Odyssey and Khan Academy offer students an individual path based on their (test) scores and that allows us to differentiate instruction for each child based on his or her skill set,” Weaver said. “I think the kids feel empowered to improve their own scores.”
Miller said she has seen an improvement in the numbers of students who are able to catch up and meet their growth goals since starting the Compass Club.
The effort is helped by the school’s use of Chromebooks, which are now available at close to a 1:1 ratio of Chromebooks to students, Weaver said.
“We have also had many real conversations with our children about the importance of being on grade level and how difficult it will be to graduate if they are not passing seventh-grade classes,” Weaver said.
And, the program would not be successful without the support of parents, who “want their children to stay after school and get caught up on their work” even if it means they have to pick them up later, Weaver said.
Students earn raffle tickets for prize drawings for passing content quizzes at a score of 70 percent or higher. They also earn gift cards and movie passes for attending the club 10 times. The prizes and snacks are funded with donations from the Maple Street PTO, money from an Innovative Grant from the school district, and donations from Drake Road Orthodontics.