We know how it goes. With back-to-school testing taking up valuable device or lab time, it can be hard to get your kids going with ThinkCERCA. Good news for you: our CERCA Starter lessons are now available in paper-based form so you can get your students up-to-speed on the building blocks of critical thinking with or without a device. CERCA Starter contains 30-minute lessons designed to introduce students to the basic concepts behind argumentation. In just eight sessions (a ninth coming soon!), they’ll be equipped with the necessary background knowledge to excel at literacy across subjects and tackle other ThinkCERCA lessons throughout the year.
To get access to these paper-based versions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your school success team manager directly. In the meantime, here are some things to know about these paper-based versions and how to get started.
Why did we create these?
We heard that teachers with lower technology access at the start of the year wanted to get all of their students up and running with the CERCA Starter, so we're providing an alternate paper version of the same assessments as you find in the product.
Why aren't the passages included?
Our permissions agreements with the rightsholders of our passages do not allow us to print and distribute their articles. We only have the right to publish them online.
How should teachers use these with their students?
We recommend that teachers project the Minilessons or the QuickCERCA passages for the whole class, or perhaps have students read in small groups depending on the number of computers the class can access at a time. Then students can complete their assessments individually.
What should teachers do with the data?
At this time, ThinkCERCA does not have functionality for teachers to manually input their data. We recommend that teachers analyze their students' results on paper using the Understanding the Data guidelines.
Elizabeth Riley Boyer is an experienced journalist, digital content strategist, and operations manager. Prior to joining ThinkCERCA, she was part of the founding team at Impact Engine, Chicago’s first social impact investment fund and accelerator. As Impact Engine’s Director of Operations & Communications, Elizabeth oversaw the company’s overall processes, day-to-day planning and finances, curriculum development, marketing strategy, and community outreach.
Elizabeth also spent three years at Chicago magazine, most recently as its Digital Engagement Editor, where she managed the organization’s social media and reader engagement initiatives. Elizabeth also works as a freelance content strategist, writer, and communications consultant. Her recent writings on impact entrepreneurship have been featured by the Huffington Post and Crain’s Chicago Business.
In 2007, Elizabeth helped open a private school for underprivileged children while volunteering for a nonprofit organization in the Dominican Republic. This experience inspired her to quit a paper-pushing job at an insurance brokerage firm to pursue a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Elizabeth also holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.