Castle Learning Online Newsletter – May 2012


Click the image below to view the Castle Learning Online Newsletter for May 2012.

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New Feature: Attach Documents to Individual or Multiple Questions


Do you have a document, website, PowerPoint or audio file that would be a great supplement to a portion of your Castle Learning assignment, but not all of it?  No worries!

Now you can attach a document to individual questions in an assignment.  This allows you to have multiple documents, and only have documents appear on the questions you choose.

Image of Attaching a Document to Multiple Questions in Castle Learning

To attach a document to individual questions in an assignment, please follow these steps: Continue reading

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Castle Learning is Getting a New Look!


The team at Castle Learning is dedicated to continually improving the Castle Learning Experience for our students, teachers and administrators.  We are very excited to announce that CastleLearning.com will be releasing its new look on April 30, 2012!

The new, fresh look includes information about Castle Learning Online that is readily available for users of all types, as well as an updated look for the Administrator, Teacher, and Student Home Pages.

Castle Learning Online Home/Login Page

Castle Learning Online New Login Page for April 30, 2012

Administrator Home Page

Castle Learning Administrator Home Page

Teacher Home Page

Castle Learning Online Teacher Home Page

Student Home Page

Castle Learning Student Home Page

The Information Center will be connected directly to www.castlelearning.com/blog so that you’ll always have the latest news, updates and releases!

Thank you to all of our users who have helped us continually enhance the Castle Learning Experience.  We look forward to continued improvements, and we thank you for using Castle Learning!

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New Vocabulary Links in the Elementary English Course


Castle Learning’s English Curriculum team has just completed new vocabulary links in the course: Elementary English.  The new vocabulary definitions have been re-written at a reading level appropriate for primary grade learners.  The definitions’ font, color and size have all been changed to appeal to the needs of young readers.  When appropriate, Castle Learning also provided images and pictures to help drive a specific point home.

It’s easy for teachers to reinforce vocabulary skills by using the vocabulary definitions that are automatically linked to Castle Learning questions.  Additionally, these definitions can be made into Flashcard assignments.

Castle Learning Flash Card - Elementary English Part of Speech

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New Elementary English Reading Sets


Castle Learning’s English Curriculum Team has just released 9 new reading sets in the course: Elementary English. The new passages are longer in length which models recent changes in state assessments as well as the Common Core. Many of the multiple choice and constructed response (writing prompt) questions focus on Common Core initiatives such as: text-based evidence, vocabulary usage in context, and author’s purpose.

3rd Grade (Basic) Level Reading Sets:

  • Bikes I- Bike Safety- RL: 3.4
  • Jellyfish I- How Dangerous are Jellyfish?- RL:3.8
  • The Donkey Carrying Salt- Fable- RL: 3.5

4th Grade (Intermediate) Level Reading Sets:

  • Bikes II- Types of Bikes- RL: 4.5
  • Jellyfish II- Life Without a Brain- RL: 4.5
  • The Lioness and the Bulls- Fable- RL:4.4

5th Grade (Advanced) Level Reading Sets:

  • Bikes III- The History of Bikes- RL: 5.7
  • Jellyfish III- How Do Jellyfish Move?- RL: 5.6
  • Mercury and the Woodman- Fable- RL: 5.5

All of these reading sets have constructed response (writing prompt) questions and include sample answers for students (after they answer each question). The questions range in length and difficulty. Some questions ask students to complete a graphic organizer, some may require a sentence or two, and others may require a paragraph or more.

Elementary English Sample Constructed Response Question

NOTE: Multiple reading passages can be incorporated into one assignment.  Encourage students to click the double-down arrows next to the reading passage title to expand the selection (this helps avoid confusion when multiple passages are included).

To create a short answer reading set assignment, please follow these steps: 

  • From the Teacher Home Page, click the Assignments link
  • Select Elementary English from the course drop down menu
  • Under the Short Answer tab, enter a name for the assignment and click Create New Short Answer Assignment
  • Click the Add Questions link on the left side of the page
  • Along the top of the next page, click on the tab titled Castle Reading Sets
  • Here you will see a list of all of the Reading Sets broken down by basic, intermediate, and advanced skill level
  • To view the reading set and correlating question, click the magnifying glass icon
  • Once you have selected the reading set you wish to include in the assignment, import the reading set and correlating questions by clicking the blue plus sign next to the name of the set
  • You will now be returned to the assignment editing page where you can add more short answer questions and assign the assignment to students


To create a constructed response critical reading passage assignment, please follow these steps: 

  • From the Teacher Home Page, click the Assignments link
  • Select Elementary English from the course drop down menu
  • Under the Constructed Response tab, enter a name for the assignment and click Create New Constructed Response Assignment
  • Click the Add Questions link on the left side of the page
  • Check the box for Critical Reading Passages beneath the Select Units title and click the Browse and Select Questions Individually button
  • You will now be able to view the various reading passages and correlating questions. In order to see the entire passage you will need to expand the selection by clicking the down arrow button next to the passage
  • To import the reading passage and correlating questions, check the box next to each passage you wish to include in the assignment
  • You will now be returned to the assignment editor page where you can add more short answer questions and assign the assignment to students
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NYS Math Exam Practice Now Available at the Elementary and Middle School Level + More Common Core!


Castle Learning’s Math Curriculum Team has just released “ready-to-go” assignments (Public Assignments) in preparation for the upcoming NYSED Math assessments.

Castle Learning Public Math AssignmentsLook for assignments with these names in Elementary Math:

  • NYS Sampler Exam 2012 Grade 3
  • NYS Sampler Exam 2012 Grade 4
  • NYS Sampler Exam 2012 Grade 5

and in Intermediate Math:

  • NYS Sampler Exam 2012 Grade 6
  • NYS Sampler Exam 2012 Grade 7
  • NYS Sampler Exam 2012 Grade 8

Steps for importing a Public Assignment for NYS Math Practice:

  • From the Teacher Home Page click Assignments
  • Click the Create From Public Assignments button
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to Mathematics
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to Elementary Mathematics or Intermediate Mathematics
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to Castle Assignments
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to New York
  • Click the title of an assignment to preview or select the check box next to the assignment name to mark it for import
  • Click the Import button at the top left of the page to import into your Assignments
  • Now it’s ready to be assigned!

Common Core Update

Castle Learning Common Core Math Public AssignmentsIn addition, Castle Learning continues to build its collection of public assignments tied to specific Common Core math standards.
Steps for importing a Public Assignment for Common Core Math:

  • From the Teacher Home Page click Assignments
  • Click the Create From Public Assignments button
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to Common Core
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to Math
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to the grade levels (Grade 3 through Grade 8) or the desired high school strand (Number & Quantity, Algebra, Geometry, Probability & Statistics, or Functions)
  • Click the standard number of an assignment to preview or select the check box next to the assignment name to mark it for import (some standards have multiple assignments)
  • Click the Import button at the top left of the page to import into your Assignments
  • Now it’s ready to be assigned
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NYS English Exam Practice Now Available at the Middle School Level


Castle Learning’s English Curriculum Team has just released 9 new “ready-to-go” assignments (Public Assignments) in the course: Intermediate English. These assignments model the new changes defined by NYSED for the upcoming ELA exams.

The new exam is separated into 3 “Books” which are to be administered on three consecutive days, Castle Learning modeled this by creating Continue reading

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