About Our Blog

Things ALWAYS Happen for a Reason

I attended Westwood Elementary School in Friendswood, Texas during the late 1970’s. The school had a traffic signal light in the cafeteria.  When the light was green, students could talk; yellow meant students  could whisper;Traffic Light but when it was on red, no one dared to speak.  Unfortunately for me, I was known as a motor mouth and would always talk to my friends no matter what color the light.  I finally had my day of reckoning when I was in fourth grade.  I will NEVER forget this infamous day!  The light was red  and as usual, I was jabbering away to my friends.  Little did I know there was a teacher, wearing a cream and green crocheted wide-striped sweater, watching me the entire time.  After she had seen enough, she approached me, grabbed my arm and said, “Follow me young lady!”. All the way, she scolded me for not following the rules in the cafeteria.  She then told me my punishment was that I had to sit on the stage in front of the student body for the remainder of the week.  I was mortified! [Read More…]

Read More

Two Educators Who Changed My Life

I am forever indebted to my third grade teacher, Mrs. Adams, and principal, Dr. Woodward at Spring Creek Elementary School in Richardson, Texas. The compassion and empathy these women exhibited changed the course of my life.

My family moved to the United States when I was eight years old.  Though I spoke English, it felt like a different language than “American” (and particular “Texan”).  I had an accent which my new classmates had difficulty understanding.  I used different words to describe things which my classmates ridiculed.  And, I spelled words differently which lead me repeatedly to fail spelling tests. [Read more…]

Read More

New Product Review: Mentoring Minds Total Motivation Reading

Mentoring Minds' Total Motivation Reading

Mentoring Minds’ Total Motivation Reading is a supplemental product that supports targeted remediation and preparation for Texas’ STAAR English language arts (ELA) exams in grades 6-8. Resources are available in print and online formats. Content is organized using a clear structure that focuses on active reading strategies, critical thinking skills, and practice assessments. Instruction supports Response to Intervention programs as well as test preparation. [Read more…]

Read More

New Product Review: Zulama AP Computer Science Principles

Zulama's AP Computer Science PrinciplesLearning List has reviewed Zulama’s AP Computer Science Principles. This comprehensive product supports instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles courses. Content is fully online and includes printable resources. Instruction develops students’ understanding of computer science and coding skills through the lens of game design. The course requires the installation of GameMaker Studio 2 software; GameMaker Studio 2 requires a Windows operating system. [Read more…]

Read More

Computer Thinking: Part One

A recent article in the New York Times describes the increased enrollment in computer science courses at the university level, and highlights how primary education has addressed the importance of abstract thinking and computer programming skills for students in grades K-12.

The article explains how the College Board reshaped its Advanced Placement (AP) computer science course to more closely reflect trends at the college level. In addition to the popular AP Computer Science A course, which teaches the Java programming language, the College Board has introduced the broader AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) that allows teachers to use any programming language and focuses on transferrable skills, such as data analysis and problem solving.

As part of our partnership with the College Board, Learning List has reviewed each of the products on the College Board’s 2017 “Example Textbook List” and several of the “Endorsed Courses” for CSP.  We reviewed each product’s alignment to the College Board’s course framework for AP CSP and conducted a review of each product’s instructional content. A brief overview of each material or course is provided below. 

Cengage's Invitation to Computer ScienceCengage Learning’s Invitation to Computer Science is a survey of the fundamental concepts of computer science, including social and ethical issues. Instruction progresses sequentially through six “Levels.” Concepts build upon one another and increase in complexity.  An accompanying Laboratory Manual provides 20 lab activities that complement instruction and clarify concepts presented across Levels 1-5.

 Cengage's New Perspectives on Computer ConceptsCengage Learning’s New Perspectives on Computer Concepts 2016, Comprehensive, begins with an introduction, “The Digital Revolution,” that provides the history of digital technology and its role in social, political, and economic change. Subsequent instruction is presented in 11 units that address digital content, digital devices, networks, the Web, social media, software, digital security, the ICT industry, information systems, databases, and programming.

 CodeHS's AP Computer Science PrinciplesCodeHS’s AP Computer Science Principles covers the fundamentals of computer science and supports instruction in blended learning environments. Students have access to an interactive “JavaScript Library” that explains coding language, including parameters, and provides examples. “Challenge” problems extend students’ learning and the CodeHS “Sandbox” enables students to explore concepts that interest them.

UMBC's CS Matters (AP)CS Matters in Maryland is an open educational resource (OER); resources are available at no cost at www.csmatters.org. Students learn about internet data; processes for managing, analyzing, and interpreting data; and the use of data to solve real world problems. The course uses the Python programming language; Python 3.4 and PyCharm Community Edition IDE software may be installed at no cost.

harvard_cs_blog_imageHarvard University’s CS50 AP introduces students to the basics of computer science and computer programming languages. Students use their learning to solve real-world problems that are relevant to them. CS50 AP content is video-based and facilitates student self-study and instruction in flipped learning environments. Most CS50 AP resources are available at no cost at https://ap.cs50.net.

Mobile CSPMobile CSP is a project-based online course that teaches the principles of computer science using MIT’s “App Inventor” visual block language for Android devices. Students create “socially useful” apps that address problems they have identified in their schools or communities.

zulama blogZulama’s AP Computer Science Principles is an online course that develops students’ understanding of computer science and coding skills through the lens of game design. Instruction requires the installation of GameMaker Studio 2 software, which requires a Windows operating system. Instruction asks students to create new games and build a digital portfolio of their creative work.

This table shows the range in the degree to which each course or material aligns to the CSP course framework Learning List’s alignment reports show which standards each material is/is not aligned to and specific citations in each material that have been verified to be aligned to each standard.

Alignment LO

In addition to reviewing computer science courses aligned to the College Board’s CSP course framework, Learning List has also reviewed of each of the state-adopted materials that support career and technical education (CTE) Information Technology courses, including computer programming and digital media products. Visit our blog next week for Computer Thinking: Part Two, in which we discuss CTE computer science products.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and alignment reports for these materials and thousands of other widely used PreK-12 resources.

Read More

New Product Review: Pearson ReadyGEN

Pearson's ReadyGENLearning List has reviewed online resources for Pearson’s ReadyGEN.  This comprehensive product supports literacy instruction in grades K-6. Content is available in print and online formats and supports instruction in blended learning environments. Instruction is inquiry-based and focuses on developing independent readers and writers with strong reading and listening comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills.

Across grade levels, ReadyGEN content is organized in thematic units (e.g., “Finding Courage”), modules, and lessons. Each module is built around an anchor text, a set of “Text Collection” supporting texts, and “Sleuth” close reading selections. Instruction uses theme-related literary and informational texts that present diverse characters and themes that support tolerance and understanding of differences. “Sleuth” is a structured approach to developing close reading skills.

Each module includes writing workshops focused on a particular type of writing (e.g., opinion, narrative). Workshops provide direct instruction in the writing process, opportunities for independent writing, and a “Shared Writing” activity in which students share their work with the class. Daily lessons also include “Reader’s and Writer’s Journal” activities in which students practice new vocabulary, close reading, and writing skills.

About Pearson*

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Pearson’s mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning.

Bringing digital learning to school children worldwide, Pearson is helping to transform education with full-time online and blended schools, online courses, technology, and host of support services. With a focus on successful student outcomes, these programs deliver high-quality, highly personalized, and flexible learning experiences — students are able to complete schoolwork when and where they learn best, 24/7.

Information in this section is provided by or adapted from Pearson.

 

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for this material, and thousands of other widely used Pk-12 resources.

Read More

Subscribe!

Click here to subscribe for weekly updates.

Connect with us

Categories

Blog Calendar

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930