Participating in the Amplify ELA beta experience allows teachers to explore lesson content, interactives, and student activities while independently controlling a presentation.
After opting in to the beta experience on the Lesson Brief page of any lesson in a qualifying unit, press “Teach in Beta Mode.” Don’t worry, it isn’t permanent! You can switch back to classic mode anytime using the “Help” button.
Upon entering Beta Mode, you will see a new interface that is based upon the lesson’s Classroom Slides. To get a tutorial on setting up Beta Mode in your classroom, find the bear and click, “Show me how to present!” Below the tutorial, you will find summary information about the lesson, including its purpose and any digital resources needed for it.
Along the bottom of the screen you will see thumbnail images of slides, all laid out in a row. This is your “slide tray.” Heads up: To maximize space, the slide tray will collapse when not in use. You can open it back up by hovering over it or clicking on it.
To get started with the first slide, click “Start Class” in the slide tray, and select one of your class sections (if you have more than one).
Once you start class, you’ll drag the whole “Presentation” browser tab over to your class-facing screen, leaving the tab with teacher-facing lesson instructions on your own screen so students won’t see it. (This is called “extending your screen”, and if you’re new to this function, the “Show me how to present!” tutorial will walk you through how it works). If you’re teaching remotely, you can focus your video software on the Presentation tab while you deliver or record lessons for your students.
After dragging the tab with the student-facing slides onto the presentation screen, you’ll be left with the teacher-facing content on your own screen, in what’s called the “Lesson Guide” tab. You’ll always know what is being shown on the presentation screen by referring to the left side of the Lesson Guide tab. The plum colored background indicates which slide is currently presented. The right side of the screen, meanwhile, is the content that is for your eyes only. Here you’ll find the teacher instructions for each slide. If the right side is blank, it means there are no teacher instructions for that slide.
To advance slides, you can either cycle through the slide deck using the plum colored arrows to the right of the slide tray, or you can manually select any slide in the tray and then hit the “present” button that will show up above the slide preview. After hitting “present,” the background will change from white to plum, indicating that you are now presenting the slide you selected.
This functionality can also be used for previewing slides to come. If you were just looking ahead and don’t intend to present the selected slide yet, instead of pressing “present,” you’d simply use the slide tray to navigate back to the slide with the plum background. Because you never pressed “present,” what the student sees on the presentation screen will have never changed.
Some slides you come across will contain a video to be played for students. Just press play in the Lesson Guide to begin the video on the presentation screen.
When a slide calls for the use of the library, the vocab app, or a digital student activity (grades 6—8 only), it will be embedded in both the Lesson Guide and the presentation screen. Please note that when you are conducting a demonstration within any of these tools, you will need to move your mouse to the presentation view and manipulate the activity there in order for students to see what you are doing.
In Beta mode, students in grades 6–8 still complete digital activities (multiple choice questions, reading annotations, writing prompts, etc.) in much the same way as they are used to, but you have a new way to follow along with their progress. You can view student activity by clicking the following button in the bottom left corner of the slide tray, which opens a popup screen.
On this popup screen, you can see a list of students in each class along the left, and in the grid, the student's status for each activity in the lesson. The slide tray along the top of the screen only shows slides that contain student activities, skipping any slides that don’t.
The person icon in each row shows which activity that student is currently looking at; students with a crossed-out icon next to their name in the list are not currently active in the lesson. In the activity grid, an unfilled box means the student has not started the activity; if they have started but not completed, you’ll see a box with diagonal slashes. The box will be filled once the student has submitted work for that activity.
When you are finished with the lesson, you can end the class by closing the browser tab on the presentation screen, closing the Lesson Guide, or pressing the “end class” button in the bottom right corner of the slide navigation.
Interested in learning what your students’ experience would be like in a beta lesson?Check out this article.
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