New Reviews: Mirrors & Windows by EMC

EMC’s Mirrors & Windows: Connecting with Literature is a comprehensive resource to support English language arts instruction in grades 6-12. The program includes print, digital (i.e., CD-ROM), and web-based resources. Learning List recently reviewed the print materials for Mirrors & Windows.


[Source: EMC Publishing]

Across grades, Mirrors & Windows uses the theme of “mirrors and windows” to help students use literature to reflect on their own lives and to connect with people from other cultures and times. Instruction focuses on developing reading skills using a range of literary and informational texts. Content includes engaging, age-appropriate reading selections appeal to a variety of student interests and reading levels. For each reading selection, teacher editions identify the level of difficulty (e.g., easy, moderate, challenging), factors that may make the selection challenging (e.g., vocabulary, length), and the learning objectives addressed by the selection, key vocabulary, and other program resources to support instruction.

Lessons are organized using the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) model, which frames instructional activities in terms of Guided, Directed, and Independent Reading:

  • Guided Reading: Teachers model the strategies used before, during, and after reading.
  • Directed Reading: Teachers support students in using reading strategies and ensuring they understand what they read.
  • Independent Reading: Students practice skills independently.


[Source: EMC Publishing]

After reading selections, students have opportunities to practice comprehension and higher level thinking skills, write about what they have read, and participate in collaborative learning activities.

About EMC*

EMC is a division of New Mountain Learning—a diversified education company devoted to overseeing the continued development and growth of five prominent and established brands: EMC Publishing, Paradigm Publishing, JIST Publishing, RCL Benziger and Standard Publishing. Each brand provides traditional print and technology products and services for a wide range of learning needs including world language, religion education, secondary and post secondary technical/computer applications training, career counseling, life skills and job search guidance.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from EMC Publishing.

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New Reviews: Lexia Reading Core5


[Source: Lexia Learning]

 Lexia Reading Core5 is an online, supplemental reading program for grades PK-5 that includes some print materials. Learning List recently reviewed Core5 products for grades K-5. The data-driven program provides differentiated instruction to help close reading gaps and ensure all students become proficient readers. Core5 combines individualized, adaptive, technology-based lessons with teacher-led direct instruction to meet the needs of students below, at, and above grade level. The program supports Response to Intervention (RtI) at each tier.

Core5 is made up of three components: (1) individualized online instruction, (2) teacher-led direct instruction, and (3) performance data contained in the myLexia reporting tool. Online content is organized in 18 levels that increase in difficulty, building from oral language and listening skills to academic vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency skills. At the start of each school year, a placement test identifies the appropriate level for each student.

Online content is presented using colorful animated characters in a game-like format that keeps students engaged. Teacher-led lessons use the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) instructional model that includes modeling (i.e., “I do”), guided practice (i.e., “we do”), and independent practice (i.e., “you do”). MyLexia performance data and monitoring tools allow administrators and teachers to track progress at the district, campus, classroom, and individual student level. MyLexia predicts the probability of student success on assessments and includes an “Ability Score” that measures students’ growth in word recognition, vocabulary knowledge, syntactic knowledge, and reading comprehension skills.

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About Lexia Learning*

Lexia Learning is one of the best-known and most highly respected reading technology companies in the world. Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, Lexia was founded more than 30 years ago with private funding and grants obtained from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Today, the company maintains a keen focus on its promise to improve student literacy through the use of technology, and has helped millions of students build reading skills.

In 2013, Lexia was acquired by Rosetta Stone.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from Lexia Learning.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to full editorial reviews, alignment reports and spec sheets.

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Reviews: Mathworks: Math Explorations


[Source: Mathworks]

Mathworks: Math Explorations is a series of three, sequential texts for grades 6-8 that focuses on developing students’ deep understanding of mathematical concepts through exploration and investigation. The texts are comprehensive. Content is aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for math grades 6-8, as well as to the TEKS for Algebra 1. Learning List has reviewed the materials for grades 6-8.

Content across the Math Explorations series focuses on developing the computation and reasoning skills needed to apply math concepts to real world problems. Lessons emphasize problem-solving processes. Students are encouraged to take risks and to explore concepts individually and as part of a group. The series integrates algebraic concepts throughout instruction and includes multiple opportunities for students to communicate their thinking in written and spoken formats.

Activities develop students’ precise use of mathematical language and each text includes a glossary and a “Summary of Important Ideas” in both English and Spanish.


[Source: Mathworks]

About Mathworks*

Mathworks is a center for innovation in mathematics education at Texas State University. Their mission is to research and develop model programs and self-sustaining learning communities that engage K-12 students from all backgrounds in doing mathematics at a high level. Mathworks programs raise mathematics achievement for all students, while developing future leaders in science, engineering, and mathematics.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from Mathworks.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to full editorial reviews, alignment reports and spec sheets.

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