Category Archives: General Information

A Look Inside ClassMax Schools

In the 2017-2018, we launched ClassMax for individual teacher accounts.  When this became successful, we started having schools asking if there was a way for administrators to access data that their teachers were collecting.  This led to the launch of ClassMax Schools this school year.  With a ClassMax Schools account, all teachers within the school receive a ClassMax account and up to ten administrators receive admin accounts.  Additionally, ClassMax Schools receive additional features such as our PBIS tracker called “MaxPoints,” the ability to share student information between teachers, the ability to assign data to any student in the school, admin access to reporting, and more.

Today, we are going to take a look at the admin platform and a few of the features it offers school administrators.  Let’s start with the administrator dashboard:

A ClassMax School administrator accesses a completely different dashboard than the teachers within the school.  The admin dashboard is designed to be a quick glance at what is happening live within the school.  Let’s take a look at the individual parts of the admin dashboard…

First up is the row of brightly colored boxes at the top of the dashboard.  This is an at-a-glance view of how much data has been collected that day in the school.  As you can see in this screenshot, today this school’s teachers have collected information on standards-based progress 28 times, behavior 42 times, accommodations 56 times, and hall passes 3 times.

The box underneath the header to the right is the live Hall Pass Feed.  This lets any administrator know who is out in the hallways during school.  It shows the student’s name, the teacher who sent them, the place the student is going, and the time they have been gone from class.  Not only is this a security measure for school administrators, but it lets them know at a glance who should be out in the hallways (and maybe who SHOULDN’T!).

At a glance information is critical to a school administrator, but what if they need to know more?  There are several ways the data can be sorted and filtered on the admin dashboard.  First, the administrator can filter by selecting any of the colored boxes at the top of the dashboard.  This generates a filtered list showing all the data collected in that particular element.  Additionally, the administrator may prefer the School Activity Feed, which shows a live feed of what is being recorded in the school.  This School Activity Feed can be sorted using the icons at the top of the feed.

For more detailed, historical information, an administrator would need to access ClassMax Reporting in their left sidebar.  By dropping down this menu, and administrator may choose what types of reports to run based on the needs at that time.  If an ESE coordinator was given an administrator account, they could run accommodations reports from this menu.  If a dean was given an administrator account, they could run behavior reports from this menu.  If instructional coaches were given administrator accounts, they could access teacher data on standards.  The uses of reporting for all types of key entities within a school are wide-ranging.

You will notice that the first report option is for MaxPoints.  Let’s take a few minutes to look at our innovative, digital PBIS tracking system.  To start, we will need to look at the difference between an individual teacher account and a ClassMax Schools teacher account.  For an individual account, teachers can assign positive and negative behaviors, along with consequences.  For a ClassMax Schools teacher account, administrators are able to assign a points value to specific behaviors, which collects as a running points total for students.

When selecting a student and then behaviors, a ClassMax Schools teacher can see a points bank at the top under the student’s name.  This shows how many points they still have to spend, how many points they have already spent, and how many points they have earned collectively all year.

You will also notice that there are blue boxes on the behavior screen for ClassMax Schools teachers.  These are incentives that have been set by the administrators that students can spend their points on.  When these are selected, the points deduct from the student’s total points bank.

With MaxPoints, teachers can assign behavior points to any student in the school, too.  Not just their own students.  They access a school-wide search for students in their left sidebar, under the heading “MaxPoints.”  From here, they type in a student’s name and the list of all students in the school will filter down, allowing them to assign MaxPoints to any student, on the spot.

So, how does an administrator get access to this?  Through their reporting menu.  From the ClassMax reporting menu, administrators can access points assigned and then sort that information by date, behavior, incentive, student, or teacher.

That is a very simple overview of our ClassMax Schools administrator dashboard.  For more information, you can see this video demonstration of the platform.

If you would like to schedule a call to discuss implementing ClassMax Schools at your school, jump on over to our Schools and Districts page and fill out the form at the bottom.  One of our sales reps will be in touch with you shortly.

We have seen great success in schools where ClassMax is utilized regularly across all teachers and we are excited to see what it can do for your school!

Why is ClassMax Different?

With so many digital tools out there for teachers to use, why use ClassMax?  Let’s find out…

First, ClassMax is the only CMS (classroom management system) that turns teacher observations into tangible data.  Administrators want data to drive instruction, which means there is added step of collecting the data.  Be it from a test, a quiz, a formative assessment, an activity in class, or an exit slip, there has to be something that a child submits and a teacher processes or grades in order to gather data.  With ClassMax, that step can often be eliminated because data is input based on teacher observations.  So, instead of having groups submit their assignments and the teacher having to grade them all (when she probably already knows on her own who is struggling and who is mastering…), ClassMax teachers can input the data based on what they see kids doing in class, as they are working.  Did Abigail ask a low level question?  Did Michael lead his group using academic vocabulary and complex understanding of the standard?  Teachers don’t always need to give an assessment to know how their students are doing.  With ClassMax, those observations are quickly input on our four-point learning scale and they become data that is as effective as those formative assessments you were about to spend three hours grading.  Not only does this save instructional time, but it also gives professional control back to the professional educator (imagine that!).

The second major difference that ClassMax provides is the ability to track just about anything that happens on a daily basis in a classroom in the same place.  Raise your hands, teacher friends, if you have more than three websites used to collect student information, more than three spreadsheets holding data from your students, and more than 10,000 Post-It Notes stuck to your desk with random things you need to remember to log somewhere.  (Raising my hand!)  Data collection is one of those hot issues right now in education and so the solution for many schools has been to COLLECT ALL THE DATA!  But what that translates to in a classroom teacher’s day is pieces of student information in lots of different places.  It makes utilizing data difficult, cumbersome, and time-consuming, which is why so many of us, ultimately, decide it isn’t worth the effort.  With ClassMax, all of your information is stored in one place – ESE accommodations, IEP goals, behavior, attendance, seating charts, hall passes, standards-based progress, and so much more!  With the use of our custom standards upload, teachers can load in any element they want to track on a four-point scale.  Assessing performance within a group?  Looking for research skills in addition to the paper they have to submit?  These are skills that should be assessed, even if they aren’t standards-based.  Using our custom standards uploader, teachers can assess on these skills quickly and efficiently.  The only other tool you should need is your school or district grade book program and you are ready to roll.

Lastly, ClassMax is different because of the structure of our company.  We were founded and created by an 8th grade language arts teacher who needed a tool that collected everything she was required to track in one place and that actually saved her time.  This means that our product is teacher-centric, while so many other CMS platforms are student or district focused.  Our platform uses simple lines, bright colors, and easy to see buttons so that busy teachers can use it quickly on the go.  Along those same lines, ClassMax was originally distributed and sold directly to the classroom teacher at a price point that teachers could afford.  Most CMS programs are marketed and sold to districts or school administrators, which often means that by the time it gets into the hands of the teacher, it is no longer teacher friendly.  Our first and most important customers are teachers.  Always and forever, amen.  While we have ClassMax Schools, the product itself continues to be driven and developed by teachers, making it easy to use on the go and as adaptable and fast-paced as your classroom has to be.

Admittedly, ClassMax isn’t for everyone – no product is.  It works best in a classroom where a teacher has a laptop, tablet, or phone with wifi.  A desktop computer can be difficult to get back and forth to – though we’ve see it done by some of our superusers!  It works best on Chrome or Firefox (or really anything other than Internet Explorer).  It works best with teachers who are self-driven and motivated to improve learning outcomes in their classrooms or by struggling teachers who need some guidance in their classroom management.  But if you can make ClassMax a regular, consistent part of your teaching day, we know that you, too, will understand why ClassMax is different and will see the difference in your own classroom.

Introducing PBIS Tracking with MaxPoints

One of the features that we are most excited about our ClassMax Schools platform offering is our new PBIS tracker called MaxPoints.  With MaxPoints, teachers can record behavior, just as they do on the individual teacher accounts.  The difference is that the positive behaviors have been given a points value.

When students decide to “cash in” their MaxPoints, the admin team can add incentives to the behavior screen.  For example, if a school was going to have an ice cream social that cost 20 points, students can cash in their points and attend the event.  On the admin side, reports can be run by event, which provides a roster for the event.

While there is certainly a time and a place for tracking negative student behaviors and their consequences (mostly to cover ourselves as teachers, if I’m honest…), when we begin to put the emphasis of our attention on the positive behavior seen in the classroom, we start to see dramatic improvements in student engagement and participation in class.  And we all know that when students are engaged and participating, they are LEARNING.

While PBIS can’t solve all of our classroom issues, it can certainly curb the majority of them.  And when the PBIS tracking tool is easy and efficient, teachers are more likely to utilize them in class.  That’s what we try to offer with ClassMax – the ability for a teacher to focus on a student’s positive behaviors, with minimal interruption of instructional time and maximum encouragement to a child.

For more information about our PBIS tracking program or to schedule a demonstration for your school administrators, please email katie@classmaxapp.com. 

How to Use the Data Editor in ClassMax

The Data Editor is a busy teacher’s best friend in the classroom because it allows you to go back in and delete data you might have erroneously recorded during class, make changes to data you recorded during class, change the dates and times of data recorded in class, and even add data after the fact.  Watch this quick video tutorial to learn how to use the Data Editor in ClassMax:

How to Track Accommodations Usage in ClassMax

Whether you are a specialized teacher working in an ESE school or a general education teacher in a traditional public school, we all have students with special learning needs.  Watch our quick video tutorial below on how to track accommodations usage quickly and accurately using ClassMax.