Instructional Materials

New Product Reviews: B.E. Publishing Personal Financial Literacy Products

New Product Reviews: B.E. Publishing Personal Financial Literacy Products

Learning List recently reviewed B.E. Publishing’s Personal Financial Literacy and GoVenture. Both products were submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2019 call for high school Personal Financial Literacy products aligned to the new PFL Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Personal Financial Literacy is a comprehensive resource that focuses on the skills students need to set goals and manage their work and personal financial lives. GoVenture is an interactive simulation game in which students set life goals, make decisions (e.g., purchasing a home), and experience the effects of decisions (e.g., good or poor credit ratings). GoVenture may be used as a supplement to another core PFL program or as a comprehensive resource for PFL courses that require 110 hours of instruction.

Personal Financial Literacy is organized in six units: (1) Plan, (2) Earn, (3) Manage, (4) Save & Spend, (5) Invest, and (6) Protect. Instruction emphasizes the importance of goal setting and the SMART goal framework; that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-focused, and Time-based. Course resources address Precision Exams’ standards for certification in General Financial Literacy and Personal Financial Management; Learning List has not verified alignment to these standards. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: EduSpark Lengua, Ritmo y Cultura

New Product Review: EduSpark Lengua, Ritmo y Cultura

EduSpark’s Lengua, Ritmo y Cultura is a Spanish language arts and reading (SLAR) program developed specifically for Texas students in grades K-5. Content is organized in print and online materials. Instruction supports the development of Spanish-language skills in dual language programs. Resources are designed to provide age-appropriate instruction in Spanish for students whose first language is not Spanish. Lengua, Ritmo y Cultura incorporates authentic reading selections from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries, as well as works written specifically for the program by Texans of Latino ancestry.

At each grade level, Lengua, Ritmo y Cultura is organized in kits that include print student materials (i.e., textbooks and workbooks), digital lesson resources, and a Teacher Guide. Student textbooks at each grade level are made up of 36 lessons. At grade K-2, textbooks are organized in 12 units made up of three lessons each and textbooks at grades 3-5 are comprised of 9 units made up of four lessons each. Across grades, the first lesson in each unit addresses foundational language skills (e.g., pronunciation). Lesson 2 covers phonological awareness (grades K-2), phonics, spelling, and vocabulary (grades 3-5). Lesson 3 focuses on reading comprehension skills using multiple genres of authentic Spanish texts, and Lesson 4 for grades 3-5 addresses writing skills. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Decker & Associates Real Life Personal Finance

New Product Review: Decker & Associates Real Life Personal Finance

Learning List recently reviewed Decker & Associates’ Real Life Personal Finance (RLPF), which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2019 call for high school Personal Financial Literacy products aligned to the new PFL Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). RLPF is a comprehensive resource that supports instruction in Texas high school Personal Financial Literacy courses. Content is available online. Resources support independent study and are appropriate for students in self-paced and credit recovery learning environments. Instruction emphasizes the importance of post-secondary education in achieving career goals.

RLPF is aspirational in tone. Instruction asks a student to consider the lifestyle they would like in the future, the earnings needed to support that lifestyle, and how current decisions may affect their ability to achieve their goals. Instruction helps students identify career interests and addresses the importance of post-secondary education in pursuing career choices. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Cengage Learning Managing Your Personal Finances

New Product Review: Cengage Learning Managing Your Personal Finances

Learning List recently reviewed Cengage Learning’s Managing Your Personal Finances, which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2019 call for high school Personal Financial Literacy products aligned to the new PFL Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Managing Your Personal Finances is a comprehensive resource to support instruction in Personal Financial Literacy courses. Materials are available in print format and include additional online components. Learning List’s review is of print resources only. Instruction addresses personal money management, career and retirement planning, saving and investment, and credit management.

Managing Your Personal Finances is organized in six units that address: (1) Managing Careers and Income, (2) Managing Credit, (3) Managing Resources, (4) Providing Financial Security, (5) Risk Management, and (6) Consumer Rights and Responsibilities. Units open with a short overview of each chapter’s content and a related “Net Link” that links students to related content on the text’s companion website. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Universal Publishing Universal Handwriting

New Product Review: Universal Publishing Universal Handwriting

Universal Publishing’s Universal Handwriting provides comprehensive handwriting products for grades K-5. Content is available in print format and includes interactive whiteboard tools (i.e., animations). This review is of print materials only. Instruction emphasizes correct letter formation and the importance of legibility. Teacher resources include corrective strategies to address handwriting problems.

Across grades, lessons use a three-stop process that includes: Model and Discuss, Practice, and Self-Evaluate. In Model, teachers model letter formation or use AlphamationPlus whiteboard animations of letter formations. Discussions center on the strokes used to form letters (e.g., undercurves) and students trace letters in the air or on their paper. During Practice, students complete related activities in their workbooks. Students identify their best work in Self-Evaluate and discuss what they did correctly and where they could improve. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Perfection Learning’s Benson Handwriting with Reading and Language Arts

New Product Review: Perfection Learning’s Benson Handwriting with Reading and Language Arts

Perfection Learning’s Benson Handwriting with Reading and Language Arts is a comprehensive handwriting product for students in grades K-5. Core content is available in print format and includes software-based and online resources. This review is of print materials only. Handwriting instruction emphasizes fluency and legibility. Students learn to print in grades K and 1, and to use cursive in grades 2 and 3. At grades 4 and 5, students apply handwriting skills in tasks related to English language arts and reading (ELAR). Learning List also reviewed Benson Escritura, the Spanish-language version of Benson Handwriting.

Benson Handwriting organizes content in grades K-3 in units that group letters based on the strokes used to form the letters. For example, in grades K and 1, the printed letters L, I, T, and F are grouped in a unit because they begin with same pencil stroke. Students transition from print to cursive in grade 2. Workbooks at grades 4 and 5 revisit handwriting basics (e.g., letter and number formation), but most instruction is delivered in lessons that address ELAR/SLAR content such as root words, subject/verb agreement, and approaches to text structure (e.g., compare/contrast). [Read more…]

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