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How Prodigy Helps Teachers Transition Back to School

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Students run towards a yellow school bus as they return to in-person learning after COVID-19 school closures.


  • Teacher Resources

Changing routines, new safety protocols and habits built over months of remote learning have transformed today’s classrooms. As students gradually transition back to school and in-person learning, you might be wondering what to tackle first.

At Prodigy, we’re here to help you move math class from students’ homes to your homeroom without the hassle!

Keep reading for:

  • The best ways teachers can use Prodigy Math Game to transition back to school
  • Six more ways teachers can help students adjust to in-person learning

How Prodigy helps you move back to the classroom 

When students play Prodigy Math Game, they’re exploring a world of educational adventures —  whether they’re playing from home or at school.

As your students explore, their success depends on correctly answering curriculum-aligned math questions. Plus, every question answered means more data on their learning progress!

As a teacher, you get access to a free teacher dashboard filled with easy-to-use tools to help you make math practice fun and engaging for your students.

Sign up now

Use Prodigy to:

  • Understand student progress during remote learning
  • Guide student learning in the classroom and at home

Here’s how!

1. Stay in the know with Prodigy reports

Prodigy is available wherever students have a device and internet access. Whether students are playing at home or at school, they can access a familiar and fun game that helps them build new math skills!

Use any of Prodigy’s eight reports to gather insights as students play, including:

Progress report

Sample of Prodigy's Progress report

View a detailed breakdown of student performance by domain and find out where students need more support, either on an individual basis or with a bird’s-eye view of the whole class.

You’ll see:

  • How many students are working below, at and above grade level
  • Which grade students were placed in after completing the Placement Test
  • Student progress through grade-level skills

As students return to in-person learning, there might be some gaps in their skill mastery. Use the Progress report to see what grade-level skills they’ve worked on in Prodigy and where they need extra instruction!

Student Comprehension report

Screenshot of Prodigy's Student Comprehension report

As students play, Prodigy’s adaptive algorithm sends them questions across a variety of skill levels and domains. Your Student Comprehension report helps you break down individual student performance even more with a look at:

  • Sample questions of the exact skills a student worked on
  • How long they spent on each skill
  • The percentage of correct answers they gave

Select an individual student and date range using the drop-down menu, then zoom into what they’re learning by grade level, domain and skill.

View Reports

Use these insights to make decisions about 1-on-1 remediation, put together small groups for targeted instruction or send assessments in Prodigy that encourage more focused math practice.

Speaking of which…

2. Align in-game questions with your lesson plan

It’s great that my students love playing Prodigy, but how do I make sure they’re practicing the skills I want them to?

With Prodigy, teachers are always in control of the questions students answer. And sending them an Assignment is one of the ways you can guide their learning!

When you send students an Assignment, they’ll receive a fixed amount of questions on skills that you choose. Use it as:

Since you can select specific students to send the Assignment to, it’s an easy and quick way to differentiate math progress and see individual student progress.

Plus, you’ll get accurate insights into how they’re learning, and they won’t even know they’re being assessed. 

Follow these steps to send an Assignment and make sure student learning is always connected to the classroom:

  1. Log in to your Prodigy teacher dashboard and select a classroom
  2. Select Assessment and click Create, then select Assignments
  3. Follow the rest of the on-screen prompts to set up your Assignment
  4. NEW: When you select Assign homework, you’ll get instructions to print off for parents or copy to your learning management system.

And voila! Classroom-aligned learning, no matter where students are practicing.

Create Assignment now!

6 More ways to smoothly transition to in-person learning

Four children sit in a row of desks, wearing masks and raising their hands, as they return to in-person learning after COVID-19.

As a teacher, helping students (and yourself!) transition back to the classroom is uncharted territory.

Use these tips to help everyone feel safe and supported as you go back to in-person learning!

1. Focus on social emotional skills

For many students, the return to the classroom means interacting with peers they might not have seen in a year.

Preemptively placing an emphasis on social emotional learning in your classroom isn’t just best practice for right now — it’s a good idea all year round.

An emphasis on social emotional learning gives students the tools they need to deal with challenging situations (like the last year), cope with transitions and develop a growth mindset.

We put together a list of social emotional learning activities to get you started, including:

  • Journal writing and writing prompts for kids
  • Helping students set personal and academic goals
  • Setting up calm-down corners for younger students
  • Mindfulness activities to identify and regulate big emotions
  • Class meetings to make space for community and responsibility
Social emotional learning activities worksheet.

Click to download!

Plus, our amazing team of Prodigy teachers put together a package of worksheets to help you build social emotional skills with your students.

Download SEL worksheets now

2. Prioritize key skills and learning outcomes

Remote learning isn’t ideal for most students, and there’s a good chance there are some learning gaps you’ll need to address.

The most important thing is making sure students master the foundational skills they’ll need to move on to the next grade level.

Diana Truong, one of the education content creators at Prodigy and a former classroom teacher, recommends looking into ways to condense any remaining material students need to master.

“There are many resources that have been developed over the past school year to help teachers focus and hone in on specific standards, rather than trying to achieve them all,” she says.

In general, Diana recommends looking at resources like Achieve the Core for a list of priority instructional content in ELA and math.

3. Build classroom habits

As students return to the classroom, it’s just like the first day of school — again.

After a year of online learning, students need to know exactly what’s expected of them, where everything is and who they’re sharing a classroom with.

Start with icebreakers like math puzzles, brain teasers or riddles for kids to get students excited and participating.

Then, go over basics like:

  • Classroom rules
  • Where they can find supplies
  • Introductions from other students
  • New safety protocols, if applicable

Remember that you’re going to have to spend more time reinforcing good habits and using classroom management strategies to get students used to the routines of a classroom, especially one that might look a little different.

4. Communicate and collaborate

Teacher stands at the front of the classroom and points as students as they raise their hands after returning to in-person learning.

Students have, for the most part, spent the last year learning in isolation.

We’ve all learned that video calls aren’t a substitute for in-person interaction, so use your return to the classroom to help students practice the collaborative skills they’ve been missing out on.

Plan for as much collaboration and discussion as possible,” says Diana. “Include more breaks and opportunities for students to talk and engage in discussions — they’ve spent a year not being able to do this in person.”

As students work together, they’ll develop communication skills and a broader understanding of the subject matter. Plus, they’ll get the socialization that’s been missing from remote learning.

However, you might have to get creative if students still need to socially distance and mask up. Find ways that work for your classroom, whether that means:

  • Working outside
  • Putting up transparent desk partitions
  • Collaborating on a shared doc from a few feet away

Your students will thank you!

5. Be patient

“Give yourself a break and rethink your expectations,” recommends Diana. “Things will likely not snap back to the way they were immediately.”

There are more things than ever to keep track of in your classroom, and every teacher is walking into an entirely unique situation.

Plan accordingly and give time for breaks for both teachers and students. This allows for processing time, but also for students to ease into learning as their routine has likely not been consistent or similar to one another during remote school,” Diana says.

While it might feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, focus on the essentials and how you can support students academically and emotionally.

6. Keep the good parts of virtual learning

A male student works on a computer in the classroom after returning to in-person learning.

We can all agree remote learning isn’t ideal for students or teachers.

But it did teach us the value of different types of media in assignments and using remote-friendly resources like:

Diana recommends transferring what worked well in your remote classroom to your in-person learning. “This helps leverage the familiar routines that were established as a class, and it’s a great way to continue to integrate technology,” she says.

Plus, if you have students learning online and in the classroom at the same time, maintaining online resources can help you and the rest of your in-person class stay connected with online students.

Final thoughts on transitioning back to the classroom

Transitioning back to in-person learning can be a stressful experience. At Prodigy, we’re here to support teachers no matter where they’re teaching from.

In the past year, teachers like you have gone above and beyond to support students and do the impossible. Above all, remember to:

  • Cut yourself some slack
  • Trust your teacher instincts
  • Focus on academically and social supporting students

You’ve got this!

Let Prodigy help you move math class from your student's home to your homeroom.

Sign up for your free teacher account today to access powerful differentiation tools, real-time student insights and math practice your whole class will love.

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