Teacher Guide FAQs

What is a Study Buddy?

Study Buddy is a dedicated-purpose teaching and learning mobile device.

A teacher-tested device used by thousands of schools and millions of students.

What do teachers use Study Buddy for?

To provide extra help to students who are far behind their peers.
To reduce classrooom size with small Study Buddy learning groups.
To provide personalized learning and differentiated instruction.
To reteach essential basic skills.

What is in a Study Buddy software cartridge?

About 1,000 question items with feedback and a teaching animation for each lesson.

Do we need Internet?

No. There are no “computer requirements” to deal with.

What software is available?

Mechanics Basic Skills in English and Spanish for Math and ELA (grades 1-8)

Core Concepts Common Core series grades 1-8 Math and ELA

Achiever! customized to your state standards such as STAAR Achiever! for Texas.

GED and HISET for high school equivalency.

Algebra I for EOC tests.

Is software on Study Buddy cartridges only?

Web subscriptions to the same content are available, with assessments and reports.

How do we get reports?

Study Buddy Gradebook software lets you assign a cartridge to a student.

Study Buddy Gradebook software is an affordable option for tracking student progress.

  • Use a USB cable to connect Study Buddy to your computer.
  • Import scores and learning time.
  • Print report cards to show student progress on your state standards and lessons.
  • Scores are kept on the cartridges.

For immediate assistance call 800/811-2724 or go to www.Brainchild.com.

Self-Paced Study

Teacher’s Steps

  1. The teacher assigns a cartridge.
  2. Student chooses a subject.
  3. Student chooses a lesson.
  4. Use TEST to take a 10-question quiz.
  5. If score is high, choose another lesson.
    If score is low:
    • Use PLAY LESSON for instruction.
    • Use STUDY and share immediate feedback.
  6. Take TEST to measure progress.
  7.  The progress report (back page) may be used.

Self-paced study causes students to be “active learners.
” They know why their answers are wrong and see the steps to find solutions on their own.
When students realize they have the power to help themselves, they gain confidence and are eager to learn. This is “authentic engagement.”

Academic Benefits

• Gives differentiated instruction.
• Accommodates many learning styles.
• Immediate feedback stimulates higher achievement.

Behavioral Benefits

• “Hands-on” learning engages students.
• Increased confidence increases the desire to learn.
• Relieves peer pressure.
• Decreases classroom disruptions.

Research Citation

“Students respond immediately to change in
instruction. They begin to accelerate their rates
of learning if they are taught in a way they want
to be taught.”

Marzano and Pickering,
Assessing Student Outcomes.

Struggling Learners are easily embarrassed. They appreciate private instruction that does not show others they are having problems. They are frustrated easily and must receive instruction in as many ways as possible. They find it difficult to memorize, so they need lots of repetition.

Cooperative Learning (Supporting Kagan’s Principles)

Teacher’s Steps

  1. Group 2 or 3 students share a Study Buddy.
    Consider mixing advanced students with
    struggling students.
  2. Let them choose a lesson.
  3. Use PLAY LESSON for instruction.
  4. Use STUDY and share immediate feedback
    with each other.
  5. Take TEST to show successful achievement.
  6. Have each student group share with the class
    what they chose and what they learned.

Cooperative learning engages students.
Classroom size is reduced. Students build higher level
thinking skills as they explain solutions to each other.

Academic Benefits

• Improves students’ efforts to achieve.
• Material is remembered longer.
• Higher level reasoning is used more.

Behavioral Benefits

• Improves students’ interpersonal relationships.
• Students tend to like each other better, including groups of able-bodied students and students with disabilities, and groups of students with different ethnic backgrounds.
• Students tend to have higher regard for teachers, school, and the subjects they study.
– University of Minnesota, College of Education http://cehd.umn.edu/Pubs/Re- searchWorks/coop-learning

Research Citations

“36 studies concluded that students taking part in peer tutoring spent more time on task, showed better social skills, expressed more motivation and less frustration.”
Peer Tutoringʼs Potential to Boost IQ Intrigues Educators,
Education Week, Vol 27, No 6 October 3, 2007

“Of all classroom grouping strategies, cooperative learning may be the most flexible and powerful.”
– Marzano, Pickering & Pollock 2001



Auditory Learners learn through listening via discussions and hearing information. Study Buddy small group instruction or paired instruction lets them participate in discussions about questions and solutions. Multimedia instruction lets them hear the information they need to know.

Peer Mentoring & Tutoring

Teacher’s Steps

  1. Select the student(s) who need extra help.
  2. Find an older student who might be in a club or volunteer program, in or out of your school.
  3. Determine the time and place of mentoring.
  4. Assign a simple cartridge to the mentor pair.
  5. Have them use the Progress Report on the back page of this guide.
  6. NOTE: Operating instructions are not needed for the mentor pair. They quickly begin to use the Play Lesson, Study, and Test features with no outside help. When older adult tutors are involved, the student shows the tutor how Study Buddy is used. This “breaks the ice” and starts a positive relationship.

Students love to learn from someone just a couple of years older! Tutor programs with adult volunteers
are productive. When tutors are out of practice with academic concepts, the solutions and answers are in the Study Buddy.

Academic Benefits

• Adult tutors can help explain the feedback.
• Older students reinforce their own skills.
• Younger students often relate to older students
more positively than to adults.

Behavioral Benefits

• Students experience greater acceptance by peers.
• Students gain a more positive belief about their
ability to succeed in school.
– Herrera, DuBois, Grossman, The Role of Risk:
Mentoring experiences and outcomes for youth with
risk profiles.

Research Citation

“Students who meet regularly with mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs.”
– (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters).

Visual Learners learn through seeing and prefer written or visual materials such as pictures
and charts. They become confused when doing such things as changing percents to decimals,
then multiplying. They must see the process. Animations in Study Buddy let them “see” the
solution. The feedback for answers lets them see how to find the solution.

Parental Involvement (Take home program)

Teacher’s Steps

  1. Create a form the parent to sign to take responsibility for loss or damage.
  2. Make a copy of the Progress Report on the back page of this guide.
  3. Fill in the lesson(s) to be worked on.
  4. Have the parent initial scores on the Progress Report to confirm that the work was done.
  5. Suggest to the parent that a reward be given for every test score over 80%.

NOTE: When students can study where and when they want to, their competitive nature kicks in and they tend to study more to achieve high scores.

Most parents want to help, but they don’t know where to start. Parents of any educational background participate actively and productively. Parents can start by simply viewing scores on the Study Buddy’s Progress Report, and providing praise. The next step is viewing lessons on their own to learn and understand what their children are learning. A final option is for parents and students to read and discuss questions and solutions.

Academic Benefits

• Promotes family literacy.
• Boosts student achievement
• Provides a shared focus between school and parents.

Behavioral Benefits

• Parents know what is being studied in school.
• Parents understand what challenges their children.
• Eliminates confrontations over parents’ homework help.
• Provides “good public relations” with parents.

Research Citation

“Students with parents who are involved in their school tend to have fewer behavioral problems and better academic performance, and are more likely to complete high school than students whose parents are not involved in their school.
Parental Involvement in Schools,
Child Trends Data Bank

Kinesthetic Learners learn by doing and prefer a hands-on approach. Movement, music in the background, and lots of activities work well for this style of learner. They donʼt like sitting in a formal classroom desk arrangement. Working in small groups or teams is a supportive activity.