New Reviews: Teacher Created Materials’ Exploring Social Studies

[Source: TCM]

[Source: TCM]

Teacher Created Materials’ Exploring Social Studies: Texas Edition is a supplemental social studies resource for students in grades K-5 available in print and digital formats. Courses are inquiry-based and focus on the use of primary sources. Social studies content is combined with literacy instruction and may be integrated into English language arts and reading blocks. Learning List has recently completed and published reviews for this social studies series.

[Source: TCM}

[Source: TCM}

At each grade level, Exploring Social Studies develops vocabulary and literacy skills using texts that address social studies content and incorporate primary source materials, such as maps, photographs, letters, newspapers, and historical documents. Most instruction is presented using leveled readers that present age-appropriate text at varying levels of complexity. Leveled readers include vivid illustrations and are available in print, PDF, eBook, and Word formats. Courses also include Primary Source Photo Cards, Reader’s Theater Scripts, Vocabulary Concept Cards, and a Culminating Activity for each grade level.

Primary Source Photo Cards present images of primary sources on one side and student activities on the other. Vocabulary Concepts Cards (grade K) present an image on one side and a mini-lesson about the image on the other. Reader’s Theater Scripts (grades 1-5) allow students to dramatize historical events (e.g., immigrants arriving at Ellis Island). Culminating Activities are collaborative projects that draw on what students have learned throughout the year and include rubrics to help students evaluate their work. Courses include blackline masters of graphic organizers, worksheets, quizzes, and assessments. More information about the social studies resources is available in this brochure.

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Districts Get New Title I Flexibility: Learning List Can Help

[Source: TEA]

[Source: TEA]

Recently, Texas Commissioner of Education, Michael Williams advised districts:

Texas school districts are no longer required to set aside 20 percent of their Title I federal dollars to provide Supplemental Educational Services (SES) for students at low-performing campuses. A district is now free to use those funds on academic intervention programs it deems most effective for its students.

Learning List’s detailed alignment reports help districts easily identify supplemental products that will meet their students’ academic needs.

Our detailed alignment reports verify the publisher’s correlation, identifying multiple citations (e.g., pages, lessons, videos, etc…) that are aligned to each student expectation and the citations in the publisher’s correlation that Learning List found not to be aligned. Moreover, for each non-aligned citation, Learning List’s alignment reports include a comment explaining the part of the student expectation (i.e., the content, context, or cognitive demand) the citation did not address.

[Source: HI. EDU]

[Source: HI. EDU]

If a school/district’s test scores across a class/grade level/subject show a pattern of low performance, the district’s IM – or the teacher’s use of the IM — may be the cause. Here’s how:

STEP 1: Are the district’s materials aligned to that (those) standard(s)?

Learning List’s alignment reports show whether the district’s IM is aligned to each student expectation. If the materials are not aligned to the standards the students missed on the test and the teachers did not know the material was not aligned, students likely were not taught the knowledge and skills required by that (those) standard(s).

STEP 2: Even if the materials are aligned to that/those standard(s), are there some citations in the publisher’s correlation that are not aligned to the standard(s)?

In many cases, Learning List’s alignment report reveals that some of the citations listed in the publishers’ correlation are aligned to a student expectation and others are not. If teachers were assigning the citations that are not aligned to the standard(s) the students missed on the test, students likely were not taught the knowledge and skills required by that (those) standard(s).

Moreover, if the district’s IM are not aligned to 100% of the TEKS standards in a grade/subject, Learning List’s “Fill-in-the-Gap” tool identifies other materials, both comprehensive and supplemental (including open education resources) that address the remaining standards.

As State Board of Education member Pat Hardy commented, “Learning List helps districts use their instructional materials instructionally.” Though Texas school districts must no longer set aside 20% of their Title I funding for SES, districts still have a legal and moral obligation to help all students learn what the standards require. Learning List helps districts choose and then also use their instructional materials effectively to help teachers teach and students learn what the State requires them to know and be able to do. Please click here to request a webinar or more information.

[All materials related to the state’s waiver request – including the latest letter from USDE – are available for viewing on the TEA website .]

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New Reviews: TCI Social Studies Series

[Source: TCI]

[Source: TCI]

Teachers’ Curriculum Institute’s (TCI) provides comprehensive and supplemental resources to support social studies instruction in elementary schools* and high schools. Instruction is discovery-based and includes hands-on activities and frequent opportunities for students to work with peers. Course resources are designed for use with interactive whiteboards and include some print materials. Learning List has recently completed reviews of this social studies series.

[Source: TCI]

[Source: TCI]

Primary instruction combines three resources: (1) an editable, interactive whiteboard- compatible presentation (2) the student text, and (3) the “Interactive Student Notebook.” Presentations contain step-by-step guidance for each activity, vivid illustrations, and references to the accompanying resources in the student text and Interactive Student Notebook. Each presentation begins with an essential question followed by a “Preview” activity that introduces new vocabulary, links to what students already know, and frames new content. Subsequent slides structure discovery-based activities. Activities incorporate some direct instruction, but most learning takes place in hands-on experiences. Presentation slides pose questions and students use their texts and Interactive Student Notebooks to discover answers. Some lessons include “Experiential Activities” that relate historical events to students’ experiences in order to deepen their understanding of key concepts.

[Source: TCI]

[Source: TCI]

Instructional materials include the “Reading Challenge” game and “Glossary Cards.” The Reading Challenge checks for students’ understanding through multiple choice questions presented in a game format. The game provides multiple opportunities to answer correctly and provides corrective feedback. Glossary Cards are interactive tools to support vocabulary development. Each card provides a term or word on one side and flips to reveal the definition. Other resources include a glossary, biographies of key figures, and access to a variety of maps (e.g., political, physical). For a Free Trial for any of these programs, please click here. [* Note there is no 4th grade Texas-based (TEKS) product from TCI.]

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