TeachTown Basics FAQ

What is TeachTown Basics?

TeachTown Basics is a combination of online and teacher-led lessons that utilize behavior analytic concepts to inform instructional practices. Basics is designed for students working on skills that typically develop between about 2 to 10 years old within six learning domains: Adaptive Skills, Cognitive Skills, Language Arts, Language Development, Mathematics, and Social and Emotional Skills. Pacing in each of these domains is custom for each student, which allows one program to meet the individual needs of many students.

How can I access Basics?

TeachTown Basics can be accessed by teachers, administrators, and students through a web browser on a desktop, laptop, or Chromebook or via an iPad app.

To log in on a desktop, laptop, or Chromebook, go to www.teachtown.com/login and enter your username and password.

To use an iPad app, download the TeachTown Basics app from the Apple App Store and log in using your username and password.

Who would benefit from TeachTown Basics?

Basics presents content in a discrete trial format. It is a great fit for students who are working on skills in the domains listed above and benefit from repetition, maintenance opportunities, frequent reinforcement, and systematic generalization opportunities. 

How does Basics work?
  1. Students will complete a computer-generated placement assessment in the computer program.
  2. Based on that placement assessment, the program will assign appropriate lessons in each domain (adaptive skills, cognitive skills, language arts, language development, math, and social-emotional skills). 
  3. Students will work through these lessons, and the system will continue to make adjustments based on student performance. 
  4. The system will also recommend teacher-led lesson plans covering the same skills. These are called Generalization Lessons in the program and are included to help transfer student skills from the computer-based system into real-world practice.
What happens if my student is assigned content that is too easy or too hard for them?

If your student is seeing content that is above or below their current skill level, the software will recognize that and correct it. Each time your student begins a new lesson in Basics, they are given a pretest to determine how well they understand the material in the lesson. If your student passes the pretest, they will move on to another skill within that domain. If your student passes numerous pretests in a row, the program will recognize that their placement in that domain is too low and have them work on more challenging skills. The reverse is also true- if your student is struggling with the lessons they are seeing, the program will begin to present easier skills in that domain.

My student passed a lesson, but I would like them to repeat it. Can my student go back and review that lesson?

Yes, you can reassign lessons by using the IEP Goals or Facilitator Selected Lessons feature. If you assign IEP Goals or Facilitator Selected Lessons, they will be prioritized, and the program will only give your student the lessons you assign.  This allows your student to work on specific concepts you feel they need to learn or review.

How do I assign IEP Goals or Facilitator Selected Lessons?

These features allow you to assign specific content to students. This is great if you want students to work on specific skills (and automatically collect data on those skills automatically!). If you assign lessons to students, they will be prioritized and override the system’s recommended lessons.

Why do the map locations fade out?

Each building icon on the TeachTown Map represents a subset of lessons from the curriculum. If no lessons are currently assigned/ available from that subset, the icon will be faded. Additionally, if your student selects one icon far more often than the others, that option will become faded (and not available as a choice) until your student has chosen some other options.

What if my students are having difficulty attending to the independent student lessons? 

New routines can be challenging! We often find that initial sessions are sometimes met with challenging behavior, but students often enjoy working in the program once they start using it. Initially, starting with shorter session durations allows students to learn to use the program and access reinforcement. Once students begin to be successful, you can increase the session length slowly. This allows you to meet students where they are and build their stamina over time. You can adjust each student’s session time by going to the Manage button (bottom left of the Home tab) and selecting Manage My Students. Here you will be provided three options. The second option will be to manage your student’s session length. 

It is also recommended to pair the new program with fun and access to reinforcing items simply for engaging with the program or being cooperative with the initial steps. Make it easy! Make it fun!

What if I want to make changes to the rewards in the independent student lessons?

In order to pair the TeachTown student-led learning opportunities with positive reinforcement, reinforcement is provided within Basics in the form of engagement-based rewards. Students will receive various activity rewards as they interact with the student dashboard lessons. Facilitators can select the frequency and duration of these rewards by going to the student dashboard and selecting ‘current student’, and then ‘select rewards’.  Here you can enable or disable specific rewards by checking or unchecking the boxes next to each reward. Any unchecked reward choices will never be presented to the student. You can also completely disable rewards on this page or increase or decrease their frequency and duration. If you choose to disable rewards in the program, please be sure to reinforce your student in some other way.

What are Generalization Lessons?

In TeachTown Basics, generalization lessons are PDF or printed lesson plans that work on the same skills students practice in the online program. These lessons can be implemented by a teacher to support students in practicing and generalizing skills learned online to real-world settings.

How do I know which Generalization Lessons to use with my student?

Basics automatically recommends Generalization Lessons for your student based on lessons your student is taking and has already completed on the computer. To view these lessons:

  • Open Basics in your facilitator account
  • Select the name of the student you would like to view recommendations for
  • Select ‘Curriculum” at the top of the page
  • Select ‘View Generalization Lessons’
  • Click on the PDF icon next to the lesson name

*If you would like to view the complete library of generalization lessons, uncheck the box next to ‘Recommended Only.’

Can I prevent my student from exiting the program?

On an iPad, you can set up guided access. Guided Access will lock your student into the app until you turn off guided access with a password.