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What's New at Freckle: Summer 2018

Posted by Hannah Alvarez on August 10, 2018 at 12:15 PM

What's new at Freckle back-to-school

Welcome back to school, teachers! We hope you’ve had a fun and relaxing summer. Now, we’re ready to dive into another amazing school year!

While you were away over the summer, the Freckle team has been hard at work building new ways to help you reach every student at their own level. From Spanish language support, to a new fiction section of ELA, to more state standards alignment, we’re working to make sure you have all of the resources you need to differentiate instruction. In this post, we’ll show you the biggest updates we’ve made to your Freckle account this summer.

This school year is going to be your best year yet for differentiation and student growth—we can already feel it! :) 

Here's what's new: (click to jump to any section, or just scroll down!)

A new look for the teacher dashboard

We’ve given your teacher dashboard a fresher, brighter look and made it easier to find what you need. Don’t worry—all of your options to create assignments and view reports are still there; they’ve just been tidied up to make it easier to understand where to go!

New teacher dashboard interface with Math Content screen. "What do you want students to do?" with three assignment options.

If you want students to work on a particular subject, you can click on that subject to view the different types of practice and assignments that are available.

There are also descriptions and video walkthroughs for the different types of practice, so you’ll know exactly what each practice mode does and when you might choose to use it in your classroom.

Math screen: Practice Math Skills & Standards with options to assign math practice, benchmark assessments, etc.

Or, you can go straight to the Assignments page if you know which type of practice you'd like to assign. Simply click the "Add an Assignment" button to select a subject and a practice type.

Assignments page. Add an assignment. Math, ELA, Social Studies, or Science.

New fiction stories in ELA Skills Practice

We’re thrilled to announce the first-ever fiction stories in Freckle! There is now a Fiction: Inference domain in the ELA Skills Practice mode. Students will explore inferences at their own level with these short stories. Our fiction library will be growing this year, so keep an eye out for even more fiction domains in the future!

Fiction: Inferences screen in the student dashboard. Image of pig next to a circus tent.

Sharing and transferring students is easier than ever

Now, you can share or transfer students to a teacher in a different school within your district. You can also share multiple students at a time, which is great for sharing the whole class with a co-teacher—or sharing a smaller group of students with another teacher such as an intervention specialist.

Sharing screen: Do you want to share or transfer this student? Image of the difference between sharing and transferring.

New ELA skills domain for Claims and Evidence

Your students can now select Claims and Evidence when they work on Skills Practice, or you can assign this domain to your students when you want them to work on it! In this domain, your 2nd-8th grade students will practice matching evidence to the claim it supports and explaining how an author uses evidence to support a claim.

Claims and Evidence screen in the student dashboard. Image of pig next to building.

New state standards alignment

We’re excited to announce that Freckle now supports Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina state math standards.

We’ve also added Georgia’s ELA standards and will be aligning with many more states’ ELA standards over the coming months!

To change your math or ELA standards system, visit your Settings page.

Settings page with options to change name, grades, subjects, and Math and ELA systems

ELA articles are grouped by category for students

When students go to select an article to read, they’ll now get to choose from Biographies, Careers, Food, Personal Interest, Science, Social Studies, and Technology. This will make it easier for students to find articles related to their personal interests. Getting students excited to read more about their passions is a great way to differentiate ELA practice!

The article library also includes an “In Progress” category for any articles a student started but didn’t finish and an “Already Read” category for articles they might like to revisit.

Article Library in the student dashboard with each category

Answer keys for Inquiry Based Lessons

If you’ve ever used one of our Inquiry Based Lessons (IBLs) in a math class, you’ll be excited to hear that IBLs now come with teacher solution sheets! We hope this will save you time in reviewing students’ work and make it easier for you to do more IBLs with your students.

Answer key for "Pythagorean Puzzles" IBL with solutions for identifying shapes within an already existing shape

Spanish audio support is rolling out into the math domains

Spanish audio is a frequent request we’ve received from teachers who want a new way to help Spanish-speaking ELL students grow in math. We agree that a student’s math progress shouldn’t be hindered by their English language skills! We’re introducing Spanish audio one math domain at a time; keep an eye out for all math domains to include this support soon.

Student Math Practice screen with Spanish text and audio. "Que numero viene antes del 5?"

Teachers can update a student’s coin balance

Occasionally, either intentionally or not, one student in a class may log into another student’s account and spend coins in the Piggy Store. Teachers can now correct this and restore any lost coins. To do this, visit your Roster page and click the gear next to the student whose coin balance needs to be updated.

Roster screen with list of students and settings menu open. Options to edit student, update coin balance, print login card, etc.

Middle school constructed response questions

Constructed response questions have been a popular way to get high school students to apply critical thinking skills to math challenges, and now they’re available for grades 6-8, too! These problems include open-ended conceptual, situational, and visual questions. There is often more than one way to correctly answer the question, and they require students to "construct" or develop their own answers without the benefit of any suggestions or choices.

A Situational Constructed Response sheet for the Rectangular Prism Volume standard: designing a planter box.

ELA standards page

You can now view all ELA standards in your teacher dashboard for quick reference. For each domain, you’ll see a description of each standard along with a breakdown of skills in the standard and instructional videos. Currently, only the Common Core standards are included, but we will be adding each state’s ELA standards over time.

ELA Standards page showing all standards for the Explicit Information domain

ELA Groups Report now includes standards

The next time you visit your ELA Groups Report, you’ll notice that you can now group students by their skill level in individual standards, as well as their overall reading level. This is great for grouping students into same-level or mixed-level groups when you want the class to practice a particular standard!

Simplified K-2 student screens 

We’ve updated the look of Freckle for younger students to keep them focused and make it easy for them to understand. Now, K-2 students will see Math, ELA, and From My Teacher on their home screen. Any assignments you create will appear in order in the From My Teacher section.

In Math Practice, students won’t have “scratch paper,” writing tools, or numbers on the screen; only the problem and the multiple choice answers or the answer box.

K-2 student home screen. Options to select ELA, Math, or From My Teacher.

Freckle Text Levels

Freckle's new Text Levels are an easier way for teachers to know what level students are reading at. The Text Level contains a number and a letter: A, B, or C. The number is an approximate correlation to a grade level band. The letter tells you if the text belongs to the low, middle, or high part of that grade level band. Read all about Freckle Text Levels here and check out the text level correlation chart to see how it aligns with other reading level systems!

An ELA article at the 7C reading level (end of 7th grade)

We hope these updates will make it easier for you to differentiate instruction in your classroom this school year!

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