Benchmark Advance: Extending Learning at Home

Hi, Benchmark Buddies! I’m using this post to show you several ways you can extend learning from home using the Benchmark Advance resources.

If you haven’t already, check out the following posts for additional support:
Solutions for COVID-19 Remote Learning
Markers and Minions Digital Resources
Markers and Minions Take-Home Packets

Create Customizations

You can open up the e-readers (leveled and student magazines) and create customizations which you can then share with your students. This is a really powerful tool for digitizing your lessons. Within the customizations, you can type in your teaching notes and annotations, and even copy/paste a link to a Screencast video of you teaching the lesson. (Learn how to create a Screencastify video here.)

You can also add sticky notes onto the pages of your e-reader with pre-typed questions. You can use the text-dependent questions that come with each text and each leveled reader and type them there for your students to see. Students type in their responses onto the sticky notes. If you don’t know WHERE to find the text-dependent questions for the leveled readers, see this tutorial video and then come back here to see how to use them.

Here’s a (silent) video showing how to create a customization with annotations and sticky notes.

Creating Assignments for Students to Access at Home

You can assign almost anything to your students. The exception is you can’t assign PDFs from the handbooks. Here are some ideas for things to assign for e-learning.

1. Leveled reader texts with customizations
2. Student magazines with customizations
3. Heidi Songs videos
4. The Interactive Learning Games
5. Decodable books for primary

This is a video showing how to assign something to your students. I am using the Benchmark Advance assessments as an example, but the process is the same for assigning anything else.

Daily Take-Home Activity Calendar

If you’re sending the students’ consumable texts home (K-1 Shared Read texts, 2-6 student magazines), definitely send them home with this activity calendar. It’s meant to be completed with parents at home using the student texts. Here’s how to access the activity calendar in addition to some other Home-School resources.

Please share in the comments if you have any other suggestions!

Hi! I’m Toluca from Markers and Minions, where I help teachers feel more effective and confident with high-quality resources and an awesome teacher community!

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4 thoughts on “Benchmark Advance: Extending Learning at Home”

  1. Toluca,
    Thank you so much for working so hard to create digital resources and instructional videos for those of us who are trying to create quality content and learning for our students during this online learning adventure. Your suggestions on using the daily take-home calendar to give to students and families for additional learning opportunities with
    Benchmark was a great reminder since we will be starting a new month without students we can post the activities for them to start in April. In the past, we just sent home the paper copy of activities at the end of the month for the next unit. Also thank you so much for the video on Screencastify, that is going to be my next technology adventure!

    • Amber,

      You are very welcome! I’m so glad I can help during this challenging time. It’s been a pleasure because it keeps me distracted.
      I agree about the take-home calendar. Previously, I was always a bit confused about using it and didn’t really think it was useful because I didn’t want to send the books home with the kids while we were still on the unit. But now during this remote learning, it’s the perfect tool!

  2. Hi Toluca,
    Allow me to express my gratitude in all that you do! It is wonderful, helpful, and engaging to students and educators alike.

    For the customization, when students “submit” their assignment, is the teacher able to then view their markings?

    • Hi Paige,
      Thank you very much!
      Yes – as the teacher, you are able to see when the student submits on your end and you can review their work. On your dashboard, click on Assignments up top, and then click on the assignment you gave. Then, you’ll be able to see an icon that says “notes” and you can see what the students typed onto the sticky notes and in the sidebar!


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