Tenth-grade Honors students in Ms. Schulte's class were excited to be one of only a few schools in the nation to pilot the new Kandoolu program from OnHand Schools. Students learned about sentence-structure grammar rules in order to become better writers.
Ms. Schulte was one of the authors of the ninth- and tenth-grade content in Kandoolu. Dr. Heather Moschetta, from the Reading Achievement Center at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, selected Schulte and a team of five other teachers to each write one hundred grammar and one hundred fifty reading comprehension/analysis questions, each with rationales for the correct and incorrect answer choices. Schulte worked with two other teachers on the ninth- and tenth-grade section while another Baldwin High School English teacher, Dr. Lisa Klein, worked with the eleventh- and twelfth-grade team.
The questions are organized by the U.S. Common Core standards for English Language Arts and align to Keystone Eligible Content. Ms. Schulte uses Kandoolu to enhance her existing curriculum. She shares, "so far, I have infused grammar quizzes into days where my students have been drafting essays allowing them to review a grammar skill and then apply it to their writing."
Students have responded positively to Kandoolu. Ms. Schulte notes, "students shared that they felt the grammar quizzes helped enhance the sophistication of their writing style. They appreciated the lessons on variety in sentence structure and proper use of semi-colons, since they acknowledged these areas have been past weaknesses for them."
OnHand Schools, a Pittsburgh-based education technology company, created Kandoolu to be a real-time formative assessment tool that can be seamlessly integrated into classroom instruction. It gives immediate feedback on student understanding and suggests resources targeted to meet the needs of each child.
Kandoolu is not just a measurement tool, giving teachers a sense of how their students are performing, but an instructional, helping them perform better. Ms. Schulte explains, "what makes the Kandoolu program truly unique is that, unlike any other program of its type that I have used in the past, Kandoolu offers rationales for all of the answer responses, explaining why each answer choice is either correct or incorrect. This makes Kandoolu a very valuable instructional tool. Teachers are able to project these rationales from their computer for the entire class to see and explain the reason behind all or most commonly missed questions."