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How do students practice Focus Skills?

All teachers can assign Focus Skills to students by creating Targeted Practice assignments. Now, Freckle automatically provides just-right Focus Skills sessions for Premium students who have Star Math scores. This new independent practice mode identifies students' learning gaps and helps supercharge their growth!

While Adaptive Practice is domain-based (dividing practice into skill areas like Geometry or Fractions), Focus Skills span all domains and help students reach grade level proficiency more quickly. Visit https://www.renaissance.com/focus-skills to learn more about focus skills and how you can use them to prioritize class time.

How does Freckle choose which Focus Skills to show students?

First, Freckle combines each student's practice data with their most recent Star score to get a complete picture of the skills they have mastered. Then, Freckle prompts students to practice the first (most foundational) focus skill that they aren't proficient in yet.

  1. Students who are eligible for this practice mode access it via the "Focus Skills" tile on their Math Practice menu.

  2. From their briefing screen (pictured below), students can initiate a short session in the recommended focus skill. Within the session, students see the exact same experience found in teacher-assigned Targeted Practice.

    A sample briefing screen, showing the name of the session and the number of coins the student can earn for each correct answer.
  3. If a student struggles, their next practice session adapts to incorporate the focus skill's prerequisite skills. They can still work their way to mastery by demonstrating high accuracy in these prerequisite sessions. If a student demonstrates proficiency at a focus skill, Freckle celebrates their accomplishment with an animated summary screen:

    The message says: 'You mastered this skill!'
  4. The next time the student clicks on the "Focus Skills" tile, Freckle will prompt them to practice a new focus skill to fill in their next learning gap. Students who practice frequently will continue to fill in their learning gaps until they are proficient in all of the focus skills through their rostered grade.
  5. Once students reach this finish line (the end of their rostered grade), Focus Skills practice allows students to choose between two previously mastered focus skills so they can keep their knowledge fresh. In this way, the practice mode is ideal for both remediation and review!

    A focus skills practice screen. The student is presented with two skills they have already mastered, which they can choose to practice further. The student can earn coins for accuracy.

Who has access to Focus Skills during independent practice?

For now, "Focus Skills" is only available for students whose Star Math scores are syncing into Freckle.

For those users, Freckle turns Focus Skills practice on by default for students in grades 2–8. Teachers are welcome to turn this practice on for younger or older students by enabling the "Focus Skills" tile from each student's Dashboard Settings screen.

The Edit Student page. On the Dashboard Settings tab, under Math Settings, the Focus Skills tile has been selected, activating it.

How is Focus Skills similar to and different from Adaptive Math?

When students practice Adaptive Math, they choose a domain (e.g., Geometry or Fractions) and practice standards at their level. Each standard is made up of skills.

Some standards contain Focus Skills, or skills that are critical to a student's understanding of later material.

When students practice Adaptive Math, they practice all standards' skills across a single domain.

When students practice Focus Skills, they practice just these essential skills, which span multiple domains.

Adaptive Math versus Focus Skills

Adaptive Math

Focus Skills

Available by default for
K – 12th graders

Available by default for
2nd – 8th graders
with Star Math scores*

All Skills
In a single domain

Just Focus Skills
Across multiple domains

10 questions / practice session

5–10 questions / practice session

Both adapt to student performance

* Available for students whose Star Math scores are syncing into Freckle

How do they support differentiated practice?

Adaptive Math

Focus Skills

Gives struggling students practice at their level within the specific domain your class is working on (e.g. Geometry).

Remediates struggling students by targeting their most critical learning gaps across all skill areas.

Adapts to advanced students by giving them practice above their grade level.

Gives advanced students opportunities to review & cement the most important grade level material.