Episode 17: IXL, UXL, We All Excel!!!

In episode 17, Amy Van Hoose talks to St. Jacob Elementary Teachers Kelly Jewell and Callie Moore about the IXL program that is used in Triad’s K-8 classrooms.  The great news is that IXL can also be used at home. IXL is a K-12 learning experience that provides comprehensive, standards-aligned content for math and language arts.  Triad provides access for students in grades K-8. IXL has been in the district for several years, but is increasing in popularity with teachers each year as we increase the number of chromebooks in the district.  We are now 1:1 with devices in grades 2-12 and 1st grade has several chromebooks, tablets, and desktops to use in the room. Because IXL can go wherever students go, the learning doesn’t have to stop once they leave the classroom!  You can help keep IXL momentum going at home. Through your child’s account, you can check in on their students’ progress, support their growth, and keep them motivated to use IXL at home.

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Episode 15: Take Home Tech (Summer Edition)

In Episode 15, Mike, Adam, and Amy share multiple technology resources that students can tap into during their summer vacation.  Many of these resources are free and allow the learning and exploration to continue into the summer months when inevitably sometime around May 24th, parents will hear the words “I’m bored” for the first time.  Encourage your children to stay engaged in learning while enjoying their time off.  We look forward to seeing them back in August!

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Episode 13: College Admissions

In Episode 13, district technology coach, Adam Geisen, talks to THS guidance counselors Katie Brendel and Heidi Houchins about the “how-to’s” of college admissions.  Planning for college is not an easy task. Students should prep for college throughout high school, but for rising seniors the timeline seems to go very fast. Applying to college can be stressful, but proper planning can help alleviate some of the pressure on students and their families.  


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Episode 12: KinderPrep

Is your child ready for kindergarten? It is often a child’s first experience in an academic setting and sometimes parents wonder whether their children are ready for both the academics and the social interactions in a kindergarten classroom. In Episode 12, Amy Van Hoose and Abby Bradshaw share some ideas about areas parents can work on this summer to help prepare kids for kindergarten.

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Episode 11: Preparing For The PSAT & SAT

Many students begin the college prep process early by taking the PSAT as a freshman and sophomore and then taking the SAT and maybe ACT as a junior. As a parent, many questions may come to mind when you start to look at the test like:

  • What is the PSAT?
  • Do colleges prefer scores from the SAT or ACT?
  • Is one test easier than the other?
  • Should my child take both tests?

In Episode 11, Amy Van Hoose, Katie Brendel, and Heidi Houchins discuss the difference between the two tests and help parents and students understand how colleges use the tests.

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Episode 7: TRIADvances – How Our Teachers Learn

Once teachers earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching certification they are done learning, right?  Not quite.  In the state of Illinois, when teachers receive their teaching certificate, they are required to attend and track continuing professional development in order to renew their certificate.  Certificates are renewed on a 5 year cycle and teachers must enter at least 120 CPDU’s (Continuing Professional Development Units) which equates to 120 hours of professional development per every 5 year certificate cycle.  In Episode 7 of “After The Bell Rings”, Adam and Mike talk about their new Personalized Professional Development program, called #TRIADvances, that puts a new spin on how teachers at Triad earn CPDU’s.  This new and exciting program has taken off and allowed teachers to explore new and exciting technology-infused lessons on their own time.  Adam and Mike have had the pleasure of presenting their #TRIADvances program at multiple local and statewide conferences and are excited to present it at METC Conference (St. Louis) and ICE Conference (Chicago) during the month of February 2018.

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