Bringing You Even More Interactive Content and Features to Start 2018 Off Right!

We continue to enjoy hearing from each of you, sharing in your teaching experience, and receiving your valuable feedback. We are thrilled to share with you what we have been working on!

Today we launched the addition of more Skill Builders to the Interactive Platform- Crime Scene Decoder – Whodunnits? and Crime Scene Decoders. We are also officially announcing the release of editable Performance Tasks, expanded auto-grading, and Professional Development resources for administrators.


Editable Performance Tasks

As our first interactive lesson type launched back in February of 2016, Performance Tasks paved the way for our interactive platform. As we continued to expand the interactive lessons and features, we added editing with each new lesson type based upon your great feedback. We are thrilled to share that we have had the opportunity to revisit our interactive Performance Tasks and include teacher editing as one of their features as well. Yay!

Not only can teachers differentiate by assigning various interest editions or by adjusting the reading level with our ELA versions, but they can now make custom edits to each Performance Task downloaded. The editing feature allows teachers to edit any text in the lesson and also access additional editing features such as:

  • Add, delete, copy, and move questions, text blocks, attachments and steps
  • Show and hide teacher guidance
  • Add, change, or delete question icons
  • Format text with bold, italics, or underlining
  • Customize tables (size, shading, heading, etc)
  • Create varying text to support multiple reading levels
  • Edit the answer key to match your expected response style
  • Change page layout or add additional pages

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Expanded Auto-Grading

Previously auto-grading was only available on the interactive platform for two question types- number pad and multiple choice. Since many of our Performance Tasks include the use of multiple tables, we wanted to add tables as our next auto-graded question type.

At this time auto-grading for tables relies on students providing an exact match response to the answer key we provide. It is important that you preview the answer key and ensure students are aware of the expected response format (i.e. $4.25 vs 4.25). When responses are auto-graded in tables, they will be marked correct if the response given is an exact match. If the response given differs from the answer key in any way, we will mark it incorrect and alert you to the mismatch. You can then scan the responses given and adjust the correctness if desired (i.e. You do not require .00 after whole dollar amounts). If you have reviewed it and decided the response is still incorrect, there is no need to take additional action.

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Interactive Lesson Content Added

We have also expanded our interactive platform to include additional lesson types. We are excited to hear what you think.


In Crime Scene Decoder – Whodunnits?, students engage in quick foundational math skill practice while using the answer from each question as a clue in solving a crime.

The interactive version of Crime Scene Decoder – Whodunnits? are presented in the same way as the paper version, through a series of multiple choice questions. Students answer each question to receive a clue. As they progress through the lesson, students will eliminate suspects, places, and methods from the table provided. Whatever remains on the table of possible clues, will solve the crime.

You will continue to have access to any previously downloaded PDF versions of the Crime Scene Decoder – Whodunnits?. However, we have also gone ahead and put an interactive version of any paper versions you had already downloaded into your My Lessons. You will be able to tell the versions apart because we have appended -UPDATED to the end of the interactive lesson title.

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Crime Scene Decoders are engaging puzzles where students use repeated practice of foundational math skills to decode messages from a culprit behind an international heist.

Much like the previous paper version, the interactive Crime Scene Decoders are set up in a series of scenes. Students start by receiving a Letter from the Chief detailing the crime, are presented with the list of suspects and then travel through six scenes solving problems to gather information. Each scene will provide a number to be plugged into an equation at the end. Once students solve the final cryptic message, they will learn who committed the crime.

Because these lessons are a bit more involved than their Whodunnit? counterpart, a variety of question types are used- multiple choice, number pad, tables, and free response. Students are also supported along the way with images and infographics.

Over the next few weeks, our team will continue to move the remaining Crime Scene Decoders onto our interactive platform. You will be able to see our progress on the scrolling Find New Lessons section of My NextLesson. While we are working on this, to access the interactive version of a Crime Scene Decoder, you will need to download a new copy of the lesson from the search page. Once we have completed moving all the Crime Scene Decoders to the interactive platform, we will provide teachers with the updated interactive versions of these lessons.

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Professional Development Filter and Resources

New for administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers with Admin access to NextLesson is a search filter for Professional Development resources.  The first resources available are centered around recognizing depth in academic conversations, determining the most important scholarly traits for learners, and recognizing the DOK levels of lesson learning targets.  Coming in February – Rank the Question Level!

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We hope you are as excited as we are about these new updates! As always, please do not hesitate to ask questions, seek additional support, or provide feedback to us by writing in to