Learning List has reviewed Blue Pelican Math’s Algebra I course. This comprehensive product supports teacher-led instruction and independent study for students in Algebra I. Content is available in print and online formats. Instruction emphasizes paper-and-pencil problem solving and includes web-based videos in which author Charles Cook explains concepts and demonstrates problem solving strategies. [Read more…]
Posts made in May, 2018
Pearson’s enVisionmath2.0 Common Core is a comprehensive mathematics curriculum for grades K-8 that includes print and eBook resources with additional online content. Students learn through hands-on activities that focus on understanding, fluency, and flexibility with math concepts while developing problem-solving skills. Learning List recently reviewed eBook and online resources for grades K-5. [Read more…]
The effective implementation of a material is as critical to student success as the material’s alignment to standards. Learning List’s editorial reviews empower districts with information they need to not only to select materials but also to implement materials more effectively. They provide a qualitative analysis of each material’s instructional content and design. They point out the critical components of the product and the value each provides in the instructional process. They highlight the supports available for teachers and point out deficits in the material’s offerings. For example, the editorial reviews explain whether teacher resources include background in content and pedagogy, provide pacing information and/or lesson plans, and offer guidance in differentiating instruction. They explain the professional development opportunities in the material and note when a product contains additional supports for novice teachers, such as comprehensive discussions of the required content knowledge and pedagogy, and detailed lesson plans to support instruction.
Learning List’s alignment reports guide educators in their selection and use of standards-aligned materials. Our editorial reviews help educators understand the intended use and instructional components of each product so they can implement the product effectively. Together, these reviews empower educators to choose and use materials to fuel their students’ success.
A recent example highlighting the use of Learning List’s reviews to effectively implement instructional materials
An assistant superintendent of a subscribing district called to let us know that her high school math teachers believed that our reviews were too generous to a publisher by failing to mention the material’s lack of rigor. They felt the materials did not provide practice exercises to allow students to develop mathematical proficiency.
Rigor is an attribute we review materials for both in our alignment methodology and in the editorial review. After the call, we reviewed the alignment report for each applicable grade level and observed the following:
American Reading Company’s (ARC) Core is a comprehensive, project-based reading, writing, and research program for students in grades K-12. Resources are available in print and online formats and address the instructional shifts of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) (e.g., “Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction”). Instruction is organized in a workshop structure that provides opportunities for whole class, small group, and one-on-one instruction. Learning List recently reviewed resources for grades K-5. [Read more…]
A recent report from Curriculum Associates discusses the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) requirement that federal education funds be used for evidence-based programs, interventions, and products. “ESSA and Evidence Claims: A Practical Guide to Understanding What ‘Evidence-Based’ Really Means” provides a primer for educators in understanding the four levels of evidence recognized by ESSA (e.g., moderate evidence), the type of study that exemplifies each level (e.g., quasi-experimental), and the five questions educators should ask when evaluating research-based evidence (e.g., “When was the study conducted?”).
One of five questions for evaluating evidence, in particular, caught Learning List’s attention: “Was the study based on current content and standards?”
ESSA assumes that the evidence base for a product, program, or service is based on the state’s current standards, but it is possible that the research is grounded in prior state standards or another state’s standards, altogether. It is the district’s responsibility to vet information to ensure products purchased with federal funds and the evidence supporting the products’ effectiveness are based on the appropriate standards.
A tall order but Learning List can help.
Learning List’s alignment reports clarify which set of standards a product addresses, such as the Common Core State Standards or the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Our alignment reports evaluate the product’s alignment, determining whether the material fully addresses the content, context, and cognitive demand of each of the relevant standards. Thus, Learning List’s alignment reports provide strong evidence about whether a product is grounded in the relevant standards. [Read more…]