"NoRedInk [is an online program that] helps students practice their grammar and writing skills. Students work with engaging and often humorous sentences that incorporate their favorite characters, musicians, athletes, books, movies, sports teams, and celebrities.
NoRedInk provides adaptive, differentiated instruction. This means that the site adjusts questions in real time based on a student's needs. When learners get stuck, NoRedInk shows them tutorials that help them correct mistakes and keep going.
[The teacher] will be able to monitor progress on homework, quizzes, and practice exercises. NoRedInk covers a variety of topics, including punctuation, commonly confused words, adjectives and adverbs, and active and passive voice. Many of these topics are assessed as part of state and national standards. NoRedInk helps teachers make adjustments to their instruction to make sure [a student] is prepared.
[Parents/guardians] can track a student's progress, and can see his/her scores on different assignments by navigating the Results page. This page shows each assignment a student's teacher has created and how the learner performed.
Students can also take charge of their own learning using the color-coded Practice page. This page shows students how close they are to mastering each topic on the site, and students can practice on their own on this page" (Crouthamel, 2017).
In TTUSD, NoRedInk will be used primarily in conjunction with writing assignments. In other words, students will not be learning grammar in isolation but rather in direct application with their own writing and revision practice. Before students can apply what they learn from NoRedInk to their writing, they need to have mastered the grammar rule. One advantage NoRedInk has over traditional grammar materials is that it is a “for mastery” program. Kids cannot move forward until they are able to demonstrate proficiency.
Additionally, this program helps address some of the priority language standards identified by the district-wide English PLC as critical to student success. Below are two standards (offered as example) that were chosen by the 7th grade team as “priority standards.”
L 7.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
L 7.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives.
As you can see, the extent to which the California Common Core Standards specify expected learning is detailed, with each of the subpoints changing and articulating as students progress through grade levels. While this specificity can be helpful, without a program that responds to where students actually are (versus where they are supposed to be), the teaching of these skills can be extremely daunting for teachers. Our learners’ skills and prior exposure is diverse and will benefit from individualized and differentiated support that a program like NoRedInk can provide.
Crouthamel, Jeremy. (2017). NoRedInk. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2G0FQRa