Preferred Partner Highlight: ClassTracks
Lida Zlatic, an experienced teacher and scholar, was first influenced to create a new product when she found herself starting off the year at a new middle school in Baltimore with middle school students who had two years of Spanish under their belts. As most educators would, Lida wanted to assess her students before she began creating her lesson plans to target their needs. After asking her students to write down ten of their favorite Spanish words, she was shocked to discover that not one student was able to come up with a list of ten. Lida took it upon herself to learn more about cognition, and the way the brain processes information.
“If you ask any foreign language teacher what the biggest time suck in the classroom is, they’ll all say, ‘vocabulary’. It takes up the most time, yet students don’t retain it. I came up with a method that I later realized aligned with research on how to learn better.”
- Lida Zlatic
Lida hatched an idea involving the standard flashcard method infused with some technological savvy. After trial and error, the end result was ClassTracks.
ClassTracks team (from left to right):Sharlene Xu, Claudia Wynn, Merlin Patterson, Lida Zlatic, Thierry Uwilingiyimana, Dan Lee
Launched in 2015, ClassTracks is a data driven computer program that has been tested on everyone from fifth graders to adults. It allows you to track how your class did, while also pinpointing what was difficult and what was easy for individual students. This allows for the teacher to deliver effective differentiated instruction, as immediate feedback is given before, during, and after each ClassTracks session.
Zlatic believes that this product can be of extreme benefit to ESOL students, as it will speed up the process of students being able to communicate with their teachers and each other. With its research-backed design, gamified interface, and fully customizable content, ClassTracks is a fantastic tool for any classroom where educators are looking to increase their students’ vocabulary.