Learning List recently reviewed McGraw Hill’s Texas StudySync, which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2019 call for K-8 English language arts and reading (ELAR) products aligned to the new ELAR Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). StudySync is a comprehensive product that supports English language arts/reading (ELAR) instruction in grades 6-12. Content is available in print and digital formats and is intended for blended learning environments. Learning List reviewed online resources for grades 6-8. Instruction centers on the close reading of a set of thematically-related texts with integrated lessons in reading comprehension, writing, and speaking and listening skills.

StudySync’s content is organized in six, 30-day thematic units at each grade level. Each unit focuses on an essential question and a genre. Most units address personal topics (e.g., “No Risk, No Reward”) and include content that relates to other subject areas, particularly social studies. Units integrate authentic literary and informational texts and culminate in an overarching project that requires students to respond to what they have read in either written or spoken format. Across middle school grades, texts vary in length and genre and address diverse individuals and cultures. [Read more…]

Videos are integral to StudySync’s instruction. Each unit opens with a video preview of reading selections and their relationship to the unit’s essential question. Lesson-specific video segments, known as “StudySyncTV” are integrated throughout content. Close reading instruction is carefully scaffolded, often beginning with “Skills” lessons that introduce the close reading strategies students will use for each text. Subsequent to the Skills lesson, students complete a “First Read” using the reading strategy to build comprehension. Second readings, or “Close Reads,” focus on analysis of elements of the text and on developing a formal written response. Skills lessons between the first and second readings, address the close reading, analysis, and writing skills students will need for the Close Read and the related written response (e.g., using figurative language, analyzing and using graphic features).

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Information in this section is provided by or adapted from McGraw Hill Education.