About Learning List

Trends in Advanced Placement: Increasing Supports for Students and Teachers

Increasing the available instructional supports for Advanced Placement (AP) teachers and students is one of the key themes that emerged from College Board’s AP Annual Conference 2017.  At the conference, the College Board announced that in 2019-20, it will roll out a new dashboard that enables AP teachers to create instructional materials tailored to their students’ individual needs. The dashboard will provide access to AP assignments, benchmark tests, unit guides, and related unit tests, as well as other materials to help teachers prepare their students for AP exams.

Learning List applauds the increased emphasis on supporting teachers in the College Board’s plan for new services. As our subscribers know, any material included on the College Board’s “Recommended List” must have been reviewed by Learning List. Our AP reviews consider how well each product is aligned to its respective course framework; the product’s instructional content and design, including supports for teachers; and the product’s technology specifications.  Taken together, our reviews provide a holistic view of a product that enables educators to understand whether a product will meet their students needs. [Read more…]

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What We’ve Observed: Trends in AP Materials

The College Board is engaged in several related initiatives to help teachers prepare a broader, more diverse group of students to succeed in AP courses.   AP courses in several disciplines are being redesigned and new courses are being introduced to create AP courses that strike a balance between depth of understanding and breadth of content coverage.

A critical next step in supporting AP teachers is ensuring that the instructional materials for AP courses address the knowledge and skills articulated in the new course frameworks.  To that end, the College Board partnered with Learning List™ to provide educators with independent, professional reviews of AP materials[1]. [Read more…]

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Use Learning List to Identify Gaps When Standards Change

As standards are revised, you may have to purchase new or supplemental instructional materials to align to 100% of the new standards.

When standards change, Learning List will review the alignment of materials already featured on our site against the new standards. The Learning List alignment reports will highlight changes in the standards to help you identify gaps in your current materials.

As publishers submit an updated correlation (i.e., identifying citations in their existing materials that align to the new standards), Learning List will verify those correlations, and the alignment reports will show citations in your existing materials that align to the new standards, as shown below.

Revised Standards

Contact us to find out how reviewing Learning List’s alignment reports for your current instructional materials helps to determine whether gaps exist before purchasing new materials.You may find that you can save a lot of money!

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Professional Goal Setting

Set GoalsDuring the first weeks of school most teachers and principals are working together to document learning plans that support continuous improvement in areas such as planning, instruction, assessment, and learning environment. Regardless of where you teach, these plans are likely to include:

  • Designing lessons that are aligned to standards
  • Using formal and informal methods to measure student progress
  • Using student progress data to adjust instruction
  • Using data to design lessons that are appropriate for diverse learners
  • Planning lessons that encourage higher order thinking
  • Creating opportunities for student engagement

Formal professional development is a great resource for learning, but you may have limited time and opportunity for attendance during the school year.  Job-related experiences and interactions with colleagues are often just as valuable as formal professional development because these just-in-time learning activities provide just what you need when you need it.

Speaking of which, as you focus on your learning plan for the 2016-17 school year Learning List can assist you in achieving goals for standards-based planning and instruction.  Learning List has reviewed almost 2500 of the most widely used instructional materials. As a subscriber using these reviewed materials you can access detailed alignment reports to use in PLCs, peer mentoring and coaching, and individual planning and research whenever you need it.

Training resources to help you use the alignment reports for the areas listed above are located next to your “Library” once you have logged into LearningList.com. These resources include short videos and step-by-step guides that put learning at your fingertips. Subscribers can also request webinar training on any of the topics listed.

Use your Learning List subscription to support your professional learning goals.


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Whether to Renew Online Material Subscriptions


Are you considering whether to renew a subscription of an online material? If so, the two-step process featured in this blog will help you analyze potential connections between student assessment results and the online resources you are using.

Jackie Lain, President of Learning List, has recently been featured on the “Getting Smart Blog” as a Guest Author.



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Learning List and EdReports: Differing Reviews of CCSS-Aligned Mathematics Materials

EdReports recently released their reviews of four publishers’ instructional materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics: Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics (K-5), McGraw Hill’s Everyday Math (K-6), Kendall Hunt’s Math Innovations (6-8), and Origo’s Stepping Stones (K-5). Reviewing the materials for alignment to the instructional shifts of the CCSS, EdReports found only one material, Bridges in Mathematics, to be fully aligned and sufficiently easy to use.

At Learning List, we were surprised by these findings. In contrast to EdReports, we found Bridges in Mathematics, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones to be aligned to 100 percent of the CCSS at each grade level the material addressed.

For each material, we provide three distinct reviews, including: (1) an overview of the material’s key academic attributes and technology requirements; (2) a detailed verification of the material’s alignment to each CCSS; and (3) an in-depth review of the material’s instructional content and design.

For the alignment review, multiple experienced and certified teachers review the citations (i.e., pages, video, lessons) listed in publisher’s correlation to verify that they address the content, context, and cognitive demand of each standard. For CCSS math products, we also review the material’s alignment to each of the eight Mathematical Practice Standards (MPS), the CCSS-identified habits of mind that students should develop as a result of mathematics instruction (e.g., reason quantitatively).

Our reviewers found that Bridges in Mathematics, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones address 100% of the CCSS at each grade level. This does not mean that every citation we reviewed was aligned to the relevant standard; rather, it means that our reviewers found that every standard was fully addressed in at least one location in the text. We also found that the MPS are fully integrated in Bridges in Mathematics and Everyday Math. Origo did not submit an MPS correlation for Learning List to verify.

Beyond alignment, our editorial reviews provide an in-depth analysis of each material’s instructional content and design, including multiple indicators of rigor, focus, coherence and ease of use.  For example, our editorial reviews for each of these three materials found that: distracting or extraneous content is limited, instruction is grade appropriate and the material develops critical or higher order thinking skills. While Bridges for Mathematics and Stepping Stones contain inquiry-based activities; Everyday Math did not.  All three materials provide assessments at appropriate instructional points but contain different types of navigation tools and different instructional resources for teachers and students, as elaborated upon in each review.

Reviewing materials is an inherently subjective analysis. Both EdReports and Learning List provide rigorous reviews of each material for educators to use as a baseline for their internal review and selection process. In contrast to EdReports, we found that Bridges, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones deeply addresses the CCSS.  Our editorial reviews further highlight each material’s attributes of rigor, coherence, focus and ease. Whether each of the materials is rigorous, focused or coherent enough for their students is a decision we leave for schools and districts to make for themselves.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for these materials.

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