I can recall spending ridiculous amounts of time with my third grade team trying to provide input on student placement for our kids when they moved to fourth grade. Who should be together? Who HAS to be separated? Which child would do best with this teacher? Which child absolutely can NOT be placed with that teacher?
Moving this student here and then that one there can leave you with a class that has too many high-achievers, or a disproportionate number of ELLs, or one of countless other imbalances. Throw in the occasional parent request or the numerous other problems schools face when placing students into classes and you’ve got quite an overwhelming job.
We’d work and work until we got it juuuuust right…and then discover that administration had decided to consider additional factors, and the classes we spent so much time creating looked nothing like the actual classes kids were placed into. Sigh.
Creating classes can be incredibly frustrating, time-consuming, and unbelievably complex, but it’s so critical to students’ success that you can’t afford to settle for anything less than your absolute best effort.
And that’s why I’m so glad that a group of elementary school teachers got together and designed Class Creator. Designed to help teachers save time when creating classes, the Class Creator software takes into account the important variables like number of students, number of teachers, history of teachers with individual students (and history of students with other students) to create the best possible class.
Classes are created according to your school’s placement policy. If you don’t have one, here’s a student placement policy template that can help you get all the administrators and teachers on the same page about which factors your school wants to weigh.
Once Class Creator has the info about your placement policy, it serves as a tool to help teachers make informed decisions and eliminate mistakes that could affect the performance and well-being of the students. Class Creator aims to give educators more power to create better classes quickly with the help of customizable online teacher surveys. Each teacher completes the survey to provide input on student behavior, academics, special education/IEPs/504s, ESOL, separations, pairings, student-teacher relationships, and so on.
The placements themselves are made using the software’s ‘Teacher Logic’ algorithm. (Yes! I love that name.) The idea is not to replace teachers’ professional judgment, but to automate the class creation process through the info about students which teachers have already provided.
This means all teachers have to do is make minor adjustments the placements, and they have the freedom to do so, as each class can be edited until it’s exactly the way your team determines is best. Student histories can also be entered and saved into the system, which can be helpful in warning teachers about issues from past student placements.
For example, the fifth grade team will be able to see if certain students needed to be separated in third grade, and won’t be relying only on the fourth grade teachers to notice and mention potential issues. This means you don’t have to rely on rumors or try to recall every student’s history on your own–Class Creator has all the accurate info saved, and factors in those considerations automatically. Class Creator is already being used in 25 states and has been trusted by thousands of educators who have created over 10,000 classes with it. If your concern is less about reliability and more about student privacy, no worries–Class Creator is hosted by Microsoft Azure, is FERPA compliant, and encrypts all data entered to ensure security.
For schools and teachers who are hesitant to try learning yet another tech tool, fear not. Class Creator is easy to use and has a really intuitive user interface. It was designed by teachers themselves so they had an insight to what teachers need and want from planning tools. The Drag & Drop editing system is easy to navigate, and the software is designed to deliver real-time alerts or feedback on class demographics and student placement. It also comes with a comprehensive user guide, and videos, which answers FAQs and walks you through the system in plain English: The best part about Class Creator is that you can try it for free to see if it’s right for your school. There’s a free demo already pre-populated so you can experiment with the different options and see how easy it is to use.
Class Creator is also offering a huge discount to the first 20 schools that sign up and list “The Cornerstone” as their referrer. Those 20 schools will receive a Class Creator PLUS annual subscription for just $399. Click here to sign up!
The software is being developed continuously to accommodate the unique challenges of each school that uses Class Creator. If you feel like your school faces unconventional problems, just send the founders an email to let them know, and they’ll figure out how to make it work!
Disclosure: Class Creator has compensated me via Syndicate Ads for helping to spread the word about their class placement software. I only review products that I personally have used or would recommend that other educators use.