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Instructional Software


Accelerated Reader:

Accelerated Reader (AR) is a software assessment in wide use by primary and secondary schools for    monitoring the practice of reading. AR Reading Practice Quizzes determine how well a student has comprehended a book they have read. The software also provides additional information to teachers regarding reading rates, amount of reading, and other reading variables.

There are 3 steps to using AR. First, students choose and read a fiction or non-fiction book that is part of the AR program at SAES. Teachers monitor reading to ensure that students are choosing and reading books at their instructional reading level. Second, students take a reading practice quiz on the computer. The quizzes are multiple choice with 5, 10, and 20 questions depending on the book’s difficulty and length. The questions ask literal comprehension questions, and students must correctly answer a set number of questions in order to pass an exam, for which they are given a percentage of points associated with the book depending on their achievement on the quiz. Third, the teacher receives a report on the practice reading quiz, information that is intended to assist to motivate reading, monitor progress, and target instruction.



Blackboard sites are online learning communities, or “virtual classrooms.” At South Anna, teachers create their own Blackboard sites for student use in the classroom and at home. Teachers can post announcements to their students regarding upcoming events, assessments, and projects. They can house documents for student and parent reference such as daily schedules, class rules and regulations, homework policies, and other housekeeping forms for parents and student reference. They can allow online journaling for students to leave messages for their teacher regarding things liked or didn’t like about a particular lesson or to ask for help with a specific task. Teachers can post web-based activities for students to complete during Prime Time or while at home. Many teachers also post favorite websites where students can practice skills they have learned in class or engage in further learning activities that promote the current topics being discussed in class.

Hanover County Blackboard Pages can be accessed here.

Username: Student Lunch Number                        Password: birthdate in number form (mddyy)

Click here to review login instructions for students.


HCPS Instructional Tech Ponds:

In addition to teacher websites, HCPS has created a forum for housing a wealth of information, activities, and games appropriate to each grade level via a Blackboard site called “Tech Ponds.” These areas provide a wealth of internet and web-based activities to correlate with grade-specific Standards of Learning (SOLs). Students can engage in learning in the classroom and at home using Blackboard to access Tech Ponds.   Tech Ponds Directions


Cornerstone Achievement Technology is a computer software program available for use for students in second, third, fourth, and fifth grades in the Hanover County Public School System. Cornerstone software, primarily designed to reinforce Language Arts skills, provides e-learning and concept reinforcement in the areas of grammar, spelling, and word usage. Students practice punctuation, capitalization, word use, and spelling through interactive computer activities and learning games. Students each have their own login and password, so teachers can prescribe specific lessons to students, individualized by the students’ strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.



Graph Club/ Graph Master:

Graph Club is an easy-to-use software program for creating, exploring, interpreting and printing graphs in grades K-4. The software boasts the ability to help young students make the transition from graphing with the use of real manipulatives (such as counters or paper squares) to graphing in the abstract. Students can easily create picture, bar, circle, and line graphs and tables with titles, symbols, and labels for both the x- and y-axes. This enables younger students to learn to formulate questions to be addressed with data; collect, organize, and display data to answer questions; represent data using five different graph types; compare different representations of the same data; and describe parts of the data and the set of data as a whole.

Graph Master allows students in grades 4-8 to graph, analyze, and compare data. The software prompts students for data, labels, symbols and text while they create and interpret graph types. Accompanying activities and data sets allow teachers to build conceptual understanding within the context of meaningful real-world questions. Using Graph Master, older elementary students can formulate and answer questions by collecting, organizing, and displaying relevant data; compare related data sets and different representations of the same data; represent data using graphs and tables; find, use, and interpret measures of center and spread; and develop and evaluate inferences and predictions based on data.

Graph Club Example:



Inspiration/Kidspiration Software:

Inspiration and Kidspiration software help students organize information, develop thinking skills and demonstrate knowledge using visual thinking strategies through the development of graphic organizers.

Inspiration is a software program that allows students to learn in different visual models through the creation of graphic organizers. Graphic organizers are visual representations used to organize information by simplifying information and stimulating thinking skills. They provide a visual connection with the lesson and explicit guidance in classifying information for recall. Students can utilize the software’s extensive symbol collection to find images to represent concepts, insert and play multimedia files, and show relationships between ideas by linking symbols and text.

Kidspiration is the younger version of Inspiration software. Created for early to mid elementary-aged students, Kidspiration also provides an easy way to apply visual learning principles to promote comprehension and retention of concepts learned in class. Students can build graphic organizers by combining pictures, text and spoken words to represent thoughts and information.

Kidspiration Example:


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