New Reviews/Reports

Career and Technical Education: Anatomy and Physiology

Learning List has reviewed each of the career and technical education (CTE) courses submitted in response to the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2017 call for products to support instruction in Anatomy and Physiology. The Texas Education Code (TEC) specifies that Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) is a one-credit course that satisfies high school science graduation requirements and that students participating in A&P courses must meet the 40% laboratory and fieldwork requirement (TEC § 130.224). Medic

Six publishers submitted comprehensive A&P products in response PROC 2017. Each course introduces students to the systems, processes, and functions of the human body, and how systems interact to maintain homeostasis. The courses are summarized briefly below.  Given the importance of vocabulary development, lab experiences, and preparation for further education and careers in A&P course work, the summaries focus on these components of each product.

  1. E. Publishing: Understanding Anatomy & Physiology: A Visual, Auditory, Interactive Approach, 2nd Edition: Materials are available in print and eBook formats with additional online components.
  • The course is divided into five parts, or units: (1) The Organization of the Body, (2) Covering, Support, and Movement of the Body, (3) Regulation and Integration of the Body, (4) Maintenance of the Body, and (5) Continuity.
  • Each unit is made up of chapters that address the organs, systems, and processes related to the functions covered in the unit.
  • New vocabulary is highlighted in the text and defined in context. The text does not include phonetic spellings or a glossary; however, online resources include an audio glossary that defines and pronounces new terms.
  • Online resources, including animations, podcasts and interactive exercises, support independent study.


  1. Cengage Learning’s Body Structures and Functions, 13th Edition: Resources are available in print format and include additional online components.
  • The course begins with an overview of the instructional resources included in the course and guidance in how to use them (e.g., “Visually highlight important material and a brief history of anatomical science).
  • Subsequent chapters introduce the body’s structural units (e.g., cells, tissues), its systems and their functions (e.g., the circulatory system), and the components of each system (e.g., blood, heart).
  • New vocabulary is highlighted in the text, defined in context and in the text’s glossary, and spelled phonetically.
  • Chapters end with a “Medical Terminology” feature, a set of review exercises, a case study, and several lab activities. Medical Terminology provides lists of prefixes and suffixes and their roles in creating medical terms (e.g., intra: inside; intra/cellular: inside the cell).
  • A “Career Profiles” feature describes careers in the medical field.
  • A “One Body” feature describes the interactions between body systems (e.g., skeletal and muscular).


CEV Multimedia’s Anatomy & Physiology: Materials are available online and include some print components.

  • Instruction begins with a set of lessons addressing general topics (e.g., Professional Communication, Scientific Reasoning), followed by lessons addressing the body’s systems (e.g., the circulatory system) and human development (e.g., fetal and infant, adolescent male).
  • Lessons addressing medical equipment and how the body’s systems interact are provided.
  • Most content is presented in bullet-points on PowerPoint slides.
  • Additional instruction is presented using print materials and closed-captioned videos.
  • Instruction clarifies the definitions of new terms; each lesson includes a printable vocabulary sheet with definitions.
  • Lessons include video interviews with professionals working in related fields (e.g., registered nurse) and accompanying research activities.
  • Print materials for PowerPoint and video lessons include vocabulary worksheets, activities (e.g., “Labeling Homeostasis Components”), and projects (e.g., create an informational poster about blood type).
  • An accompanying “Human Body Lab Book” is required for some activities; Learning List’s reviewers did not have access to the Lab Book.


Goodheart-Willcox’s Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology: Resources are available in print and eBook formats and include additional online components. 

  • The course begins with a chapter titled “Foundations of Human Anatomy and Physiology” that provides an introduction to vocabulary, basic physiological processes, the effects of force on the body, the scientific method, and individuals who advanced the field (e.g., Leonardo da Vinci).
  • Subsequent chapters address unique body systems (e.g., The Nervous System) and are organized in self-contained lessons that progress in a logical order, culminating in a lesson about diseases and disorders common to the body system (e.g., “Injuries and Disorders of the Nervous System”).
  • Key vocabulary is highlighted in the chapter, defined in context, in a “Mini Glossary” at the end of the lesson, and in the glossary at the back of the book.
    • Other important terms are italicized in the text and defined in context and in the book’s glossary.
    • Terms that are difficult to pronounce are spelled phonetically.
    • Online resources include an “Audio Glossary” that pronounces new terms.
  • Vivid full-color illustrations and diagrams include accompanying critical thinking questions.
    • eBook illustrations contain links to associated animations and labeling activities on the course’s companion website.
  • Each chapter includes a Mini Glossary of key terms, a short “In the Lab” investigation, and a “Career Corner: Anatomy and Physiology at Work” feature that explores careers related to the body system covered in the chapter and contains activities in which students research the education, skills, and personal traits (e.g., teamwork and collaboration skills) required for related careers.
  • A “Student Workbook and Lab Manual” has enrichment activities for each lesson and a hands-on lab investigation and practice test for each chapter.


McGraw-Hill’s Hole’s Human Anatomy & Physiology, Texas Edition: Resources are available in print and eBook formats with additional online components.

  • The course’s first unit addresses the levels of organization in the human body (e.g., cell, tissue, organ). Subsequent units address the specific functions of the body’s organ systems (e.g., Support and Movement, Reproduction), and chapters cover the systems and processes involved in the function (e.g., the skeletal system; pregnancy, growth, and development).
  • Chapters reference the TEKS addressed by instruction.
  • New vocabulary is presented in bold font and defined in context and in a glossary.
    • Terms that are difficult to pronounce include phonetic spelling.
    • Each chapter includes a “Understanding Words” feature that examines the word forms, such as stems, prefixes, and affixes, that make up the chapter’s vocabulary (e.g., “ren-, kidney: renal cortex—outer region of a kidney.”).
  • Illustrations and figures include questions that require students to analyze what they see (e.g., “What is the distance from the tongue to the duodenum, in English units?”).
  • A “Career Corner” feature introduces students to careers in anatomy and physiology (e.g., anesthesiologist assistant).
  • “InnerConnections” figures are included in some chapters and highlight how the different systems of the body interact.
  • The “High School Laboratory Manual for Human Anatomy & Physiology,” while not specific to the Hole’s course, contains 34 complementary hands-on lab activities.

Pearson’s Anatomy, Physiology, & Disease, 4th Edition: Resources are available in print and eBook formats with additional online components.

  • The course frames instruction as a journey through a foreign land (i.e., the human body).
  • The text’s first chapter addresses learning the specialized “foreign” language of medical terminology and abbreviations, and the second chapter, “The Human Body: Reading the Map,” introduces students to body positions, cavities, and regions.
  • Subsequent chapters explore the organization of the body (e.g., cells and tissue), its systems (e.g., the skeletal system), and their functions (e.g., movement).
  • The course’s final chapters address basic diagnostic tests (e.g., blood tests), the scientific method, the role of anatomy and physiology in day-to-day life (e.g., personal choices and wellness), and careers and career planning.
  • Chapters begin with a list of new vocabulary with phonetic spellings.
    • New vocabulary is highlighted and defined in context, margin notes, and in the text’s glossary.
  • A variety of features help students integrate their learning and understand the real-world application of content. For example:
    • “Clinical Application” describes the real-world applications of what students are learning (e.g., sensible use of antibiotics).
    • “Applied Science” frames topics in anatomy and physiology in the context of other sciences (e.g., Forensics and Hair).
    • “Pathology Connection” describes diseases and disorders related to the concepts students are learning (e.g., diabetes mellitus).

For each of these state-adopted materials, features three professional reviews to inform your selection decision:

  • Spec Sheet – an overview of the material’s key academic attributes and technology requirements;
  • Editorial Review – an in-depth analysis of the materials instructional content and design, and
  • Alignment Report – the state panel’s report showing the citations that where reviewed for alignment to the each TEKS.
Read More

The Mind Research Institute’s ST Math


[Source: Mind Research Institute]

Mind Research Institute’s ST Math is a supplemental, online program that supports Common Core State Standards (CCSS) instruction in grades K-12. Students learn through engaging, interactive math games and puzzles. The highly visual program develops students’ ability to use spatial-temporal (ST) reasoning to understand math concepts and become proficient problem solvers. Learning List recently reviewed resources for grades K-6.

ST Math defines spatial-temporal reasoning as “the innate ability to visualize and manipulate images through a sequence of steps in space and time.” To develop spatial-temporal reasoning skills, the program presents visual representations of math concepts in the form of animated, interactive math games. Each game requires that students manipulate visual models to help JiJi (i.e., an animated penguin) overcome or bypass obstacles that block his way. For example, in one first-grade game, students are introduced to the concept of a number line. JiJi cannot continue on his way across the computer screen until students are able to match the number of birds on telephone wire from with the numeral that appears at the top of the screen (e.g., the number 3; three birds).

Learning games are organized in several levels. The first level introduces the mathematical concept and the game’s format and is completely visual. That is, the game does not include symbolic and/or verbal representations of concepts. Subsequent games build on the concept, providing greater complexity and extending students’ reasoning skills. When students have mastered content in the visual format, symbolic and verbal representations of concepts are introduced. This structure creates learning paths that scaffold instruction, foster conceptual understanding, and build fluency for each student.


About The Mind Research Institute*

The Mind Research Institute’s mission is to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Institute staff believe every child has the potential to be a powerful learner and to acquire the problem-solving and math proficiency needed to compete in a knowledge-based economy. Through a uniquely visual, non-language-based approach to teaching math — delivered through the ST Math instructional software — students across the country are deeply understanding math, developing perseverance and problem-solving skills, and becoming life-long learners prepared for success.

*This information is provided by or adapted from The Mind Research Institute.


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

Read More

New Review: McGraw Hill’s StudySync California


[Source: McGraw Hill]

Learning List has reviewed McGraw Hill’s StudySync California. This comprehensive resource addresses California’s English language arts (ELA) and English language development (ELD) standards for grades 6-12. Materials are provided in online and print formats and support instruction in blended learning environments. The core literacy program provides integrated instruction in the close reading of complex texts, writing for specific purposes (e.g., argument), and research skills. Content is structured around the five key themes of the California Framework: Making meaning, language development, effective expression, content knowledge, and foundational skills.

At each grade level, instruction is presented in four 45-day thematic units that include 10-12 short texts for students to analyze, integrated writing and research activities, and a recommended longer “Full Text Study.” Core instruction is presented in each unit’s “Instructional Path” for each of the literary and informational texts contained in the unit. Built on the work of Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey (i.e., “Rigorous Reading”), the Instructional Path begins with a “First Read” lesson followed by several “Skills Lessons” and concludes with a “Close Read” lesson that revisits the text.

Each unit includes an “Extended Writing Project,” a “Research Project,” and a recommended “Full-Text Study.” The Extended Writing Project provides core writing instruction and allows students to explore the unit’s theme more deeply, by drawing on the texts read, through research, and students’ own experiences. Research Projects provide opportunities for students to develop research and presentation skills by examining a topic related to the unit’s theme in greater depth. The recommended Full Text Study for each unit suggests an additional full-length work for student to read and study.

About McGraw Hill*

McGraw Hill’s mission is to accelerate learning through intuitive, engaging, efficient and effective experiences – grounded in research. McGraw-Hill Education believes that its that our contribution to unlocking a brighter future lies within the application of a deep understanding of how learning happens and how the mind develops. It exists where the science of learning meets the art of teaching.

* The content in this section is provided by or adapted from McGraw Hill Education

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

Read More

New Review: Compass Learning’s Pathblazer

[Source: Compass Learning]

[Source: Compass Learning]

Compass Learning’s Pathblazer is a supplemental online program that supports intervention and remediation in English language arts/reading (ELAR) and mathematics across grades K-8. Adaptive screening and diagnostic tools identify individual student’s learning gaps and prescribe a customized plan that addresses gaps and moves students toward on-grade level instruction. Learning List has reviewed Pathblazer’s ELAR resources for middle school students (i.e., grades 6-8).

Pathblazer uses an “Initial Screener” and a “Proficiency-Level Diagnostic” to identify each student’s learning needs. Based on combined assessment results, students are prescribed an individualized, standards-based instructional path that addresses gaps, accelerates learning, and moves students toward on-grade level instruction. Learning paths are made up of thematic, text-based lessons designed to build students’ vocabulary, fluency, reading comprehension, and writing skills.

Lessons are engaging and balance entertaining instruction with high-quality content. Direct instruction is provided through animated, interactive videos that clarify learning objectives, vocabulary, and literary terms and devices. Instruction focuses on building foundational skills and reading fluency and includes frequent quizzes that check for understanding.

About Compass Learning*

Compass Learning purpose-builds K–12 learning acceleration software for blended learning, intervention, high school, and inquiry-based personalized learning. Compass® software helps pinpoint and close skill and concept gaps and move students forward academically with:

  • Explicit instruction
  • Supported practice
  • Independent practice
  • Ongoing formative assessment

Compass Learning’s award-winning content is rigorous, yet fun, so students remain engaged and motivated to learn.

* The content in this section is provided by or adapted from Compass Learning

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

Read More

New Review: CPM Educational Program’s Core Connections


[Source: CPM Educational Program]

Learning List recently reviewed the CPM Educational Program’s Core Connections comprehensive courses for Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2.
Resources are available in print and eBook formats and address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Instruction is problem based; students work in “Study Teams” to deepen their understanding of problem-solving strategies and solutions.

Study Teams develop students’ responsibility for their own learning. Teams work together to answer questions, justify their reasoning, and identify multiple solution strategies. Through ongoing discussion, teams support one another and ensure all members understand problems and solutions. Teachers encourage students’ teamwork, facilitate discussions, and provide support when teams encounter questions they are unable to answer. Teacher resources include background and strategies to support the implementation of Study Teams.

The “Teacher” tab in course eBooks provides pacing information and suggested lesson, closure, and homework activities. Lessons include “Mathcasts”—recorded podcasts in which an expert teacher walks users through the lesson providing background information and suggesting teaching strategies. Students have access to interactive math tools, including algebra tiles and Desmos graphing calculators, and course resources are available in Spanish.

About CPM Educational Program*

CPM Educational Program is a California nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to improving grades 6-12 mathematics instruction. CPM’s mission is to empower mathematics students and teachers through exemplary curriculum, professional development, and leadership. We recognize and foster teacher expertise and leadership in mathematics education. We engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication.

* The content in this section is provided by or adapted from CPM Educational Program.

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

Read More

New Review: Math Teachers Press’s Moving with Math: Connections

Moving with Math

[Source: Math Teachers Press]

Math Teachers Press’s Moving with Math: Connections is a comprehensive resource to support mathematics instruction for students in grades PK-2. Resources are available in print with additional manipulative components. Instruction is manipulative-based and ensures students are able to understand and apply fundamental math concepts. Learning List recently reviewed materials for grades PK and K.

Based on the work of Jean Piaget, Moving with Math organizes instruction in three progressive stages: Concrete, Pictorial, and Abstract/Symbolic. In the Concrete stage, students work with manipulatives (e.g., base ten blocks) and other objects to model concepts (e.g., three blocks). In the Pictorial stage, students draw representational pictures (e.g., three circles), which creates a foundation for the transition to the Abstract, or Symbolic, stage where they learn to associate concepts with symbolic, or algebraic, representations (e.g., 3).

Instruction addresses visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles and emphasizes in the precise use of mathematics vocabulary. Students discover new concepts through hands-on activities that incorporate manipulatives (e.g., base ten blocks), models, and role play. Each lesson includes “Story Time,” a list of recommended children’s literature that supports the concepts taught (e.g., “The Three Little Pigs”). “Skill Builder” activities extend learning and may be used to support instruction at home.

About Math Teachers Press*

Since 1980, Math Teachers Press has continually refined its learning objectives to address the instructional needs of school districts nationwide. Moving to the Common Core State Standards and CCSS-aligned assessment represented a continuation of this process of refinement. Despite all of the changes across the landscape of math education, the mission of Math Teachers Press has remained unchanged: to help all students succeed in math––especially those who struggle most––while making the job of the teacher easier with handy organizational tools, user-friendly lesson plans, and web-based assessment and reporting to monitor student progress and provide accountability.

* The content in this section is provided by or adapted from Math Teachers Press.

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

Read More


Click here to subscribe for weekly updates.

Connect with us


Blog Calendar

January 2017
« Dec