Aligning to Standards

What to Expect from Supplemental Materials

A supplemental resource is designed to complement and support comprehensive materials. Publishers design supplemental resources for different purposes, including to:

  • help students learn the content and practice the skills contained in all of the standards for a particular grade and subject;7th Grade Supplemental Math
  • offer some of the same resources as comprehensive materials to support students in learning a specific subset of standards (e.g., writing standards, Personal Financial Literacy, etc…);
  • target specific standards with which students typically struggle;
  • build skills addressed across grade level standards; or
  • support specific student learning needs, such as the needs of English language learners, students with disabilities, or advanced learners.

Supplemental materials vary in the percentage of standards they intend to address. Some intend to align to all grade-level standards, but most do not. Thus, a supplemental resource that is aligned to only 50% of the grade-level standards may be the best material to select if it is aligned to the standards you need it to teach.  Similarly, a resource that intends to build vocabulary may do so effectively but not teach the other content and skills the standards require. Thus, such a product may be a great addition to your district’s instructional arsenal, even though it is only aligned to less than 10% of the grade level standards. [Read more…]

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Updates to Advanced Placement Course Frameworks

College Board

The College Board recently updated the course frameworks for several of the Advanced Placement courses for which Learning List has reviewed materials. We have worked with the College Board to revise our alignment templates to reflect the following changes:

AP History Disciplinary Practices and Reasoning Skills

  • The Historical Thinking Skills were reorganized and renamed “AP History Disciplinary Practices and Reasoning Skills.” The number of practices and skills were reduced. There are now two practices and four skills. “Periodization” and “Synthesis” were eliminated as separate skills.
  • The revised “AP History Disciplinary Practices and Reasoning Skills” are part of the frameworks for AP US History, AP World History, and AP European History. [Read more…]
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Frequently Asked Questions About Learning List

As the school year shifts into high gear, we are getting a lot of questions about our service. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What is Learning List?
Learning List is a subscription-based instructional materials review service designed to help improve student learning by empowering educators to chooseand use instructional materials most effectively.

We created Learning List in 2013 to help districts become better informed consumers of instructional materials. Initially, districts used our reviews to facilitate their selection of materials. Over tiime, subscribers began telling us that our reviews also helped them identify the best parts of their exisiting materials to use to teach each standard. As one instructional coach explained, “We use your alignment reports as a GPS through our materials to ensure that we’re using the pages that teach each standard fully.”

What types of materials do you review?
We have reviewed over 2500 of the most widely used instructional materials, including:

  • Materials in the four core subjects, 12 Advanced Placement courses, Tech Apps and 85 CTE courses;
  • Comprehensive and supplemental materials, including RtI, testprep, criterion-referenced test banks, and professional development resources;
  • Publisher produced and free open educational resources (OERs);
  • State-adopted and non-adopted materials (i.e., materials that were not submitted for state adoption); and
  • English and Spanish versions of materials.

Subscribing districts get access to all published reviews and may request reviews of additional materials as part of the subscription. That’s why Learning List is a service, not just a website. [Read more…]

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The Importance of Developing Teachers: Part Two Using Learning List’s Resources to Support Teacher Growth

This is Part Two of a post in response to the recent report Leadership Perspectives on Public Education: The Gallup 2017 Survey of K-12 School District Superintendents.  As discussed in our first post, the superintendents who participated in the Gallup 2017 Survey identified teacher quality as the most important element in student success, but noted the difficulty in hiring talented teachers. In particular, superintendents said that the quantity and quality of new teachers is decreasing and that districts need to become more effective in training teaching staff.

In Part One of this post, we explored how districts can use the resources embedded in instructional materials to support teacher professional development. In this post, we examine how the tools on LearningList.com can facilitate training by enhancing teachers’ understanding of state standards and how standards shape day-to-day instruction.

Learning List features a detailed alignment report for each product we review.  The alignment reports reflect our independent verification of the alignment of citations listed in the publisher’s correlation. In order for Learning List to consider a citation to be aligned to the standard, the citation must address the content, context, and cognitive demand specified in the standard. [Read more…]

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Meeting Students’ Learning Needs: Alignment Information Supports Selection of Materials for Differentiation

Using Materials Effectively to Differentiate InstructionHave you ever been frustrated when attempting to plan differentiated lessons? Though “differentiation” is a rather simple concept, it is complex to implement successfully.

Most teachers understand that any resource used to differentiate instruction must have the requisite adaptions for the students being taught. For example, materials being used to teach ELLs should have multi-lingual glossaries, linguistic accommodations, and culturally relevant examples and activities to engage ELL students. Materials being used to engage Gifted and Talented students would have extension/ enrichment activities, higher-level questions, and options for inquiry-based learning.  And, for RtI, the materials should have options for each tier of intervention. [Read more…]

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5 Ways Learning List’s Alignment Reports Can Inform Your Instruction

When reviewing the alignment of a material, our subject matter experts review multiple citations (e.g., pages, lessons, videos) listed in the publisher’s correlation for alignment to each state standard. For some products, this means that Learning List will have reviewed all of the citations listed in the publisher’s correlation; for others, it means that Learning List has reviewed several but not all of the publisher’s citations.

We constructed our review methodology to balance subscribers’ need for a thorough review againstCalendar their need for a timely review. Some publishers list more than 20 citations as aligned to each standard. If we were to review all of the listed citations, it would take months instead of weeks to complete a review, and educators told us that the resulting alignment reports would be too cumbersome to use.

A subscriber once asked, “Do you think that the fact you don’t review all of the citations in the publisher’s correlation diminishes the usefulness of your service?”  Even though we have not reviewed every citation listed in the publisher’s correlation, our alignment reports help educators focus on the parts of the material that will give them the greatest instructional value. [Read More …]

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