Posts Tagged "College Board"

New Review: McGraw Hill’s Biology (AP Edition) by Raven and Johnson

MH: Raven AP BiologyLearning List has reviewed the 11th edition of McGraw Hill’s Biology: AP Edition (Raven).  This comprehensive product supports instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) Biology courses. Content is available in print and digital formats. Instruction emphasizes evolution and scientific inquiry, while integrating concepts in cellular and molecular biology and genomics. A lab manual is not provided; teachers may access “AP Biology Investigative Labs: An Inquiry-Based Approach” from the College Board at no cost (

Raven Biology presents content in two types of chapters. “Essential Knowledge” chapters cover the essential content identified in the College Board’s course framework for AP Biology, and “Extending Knowledge” chapters extend students’ understanding using illustrative examples and applications of content. Chapters include critical thinking activities, such as “Inquiry Questions,” “Data Analysis” prompts, and “Scientific Thinking” textboxes. High quality visual elements, including three-dimensional illustrations, help students understand difficult concepts.

Course eBooks have highlighting, bookmarking, and note taking tools. Additional online resources for Raven Biology include SmartBook adaptive reading materials, ONboard interactive learning tools, and SCOREboard adaptive review resources. SmartBook and other online resources are housed in McGraw Hill’s Connect learning management system (LMS), which contains an online gradebook that enables teachers to create or import class rosters, create assignments, monitor progress, and communicate with students.

About McGraw Hill Education*

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

Educators have been and always will be at the core of the learning experience. The solutions we develop help educators impart their knowledge to students more efficiently. We believe that harnessing technology can enhance learning inside and outside of the classroom and deepen the connections between students and teachers to empower greater success.

By partnering with educators around the globe, our learning engineers, content developers and pedagogical experts are developing increasingly open learning ecosystems that are proven to improve pass rates, elevate grades and increase engagement for each individual learner while improving outcomes for all.

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


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New Review: Mobile CSP (Computer Science Principles)

Mobile CSPLearning List has reviewed Mobile CSP (i.e., Computer Science Principles), which is a comprehensive course that supports instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles courses.  Content is available online and includes some printable resources. Instruction is project based and teaches the principles of computer science using MIT’s “App Inventor” visual block language. Resources are available at no cost to users.

Mobile CSP organizes content in eight core units that address mobile applications; pair programming; graphics and images; animations, simulations, and modeling; computing innovations; algorithms and abstractions; the use and analysis of data and information; the internet; and preparation for the AP exam. Instruction includes a set of four performance tasks. Two performance tasks require students to work with a partner to create a “socially useful” app that addresses a problem students have identified in their schools or communities. Two tasks ask students to work individually to explore a computing innovation that has influenced the “social, economic, or cultural areas of our lives.”

A rich set of teacher resources support instruction, particularly for teachers who are new to computer science. Online teacher resources include an outline for each unit and detailed lesson plans. Teacher materials include a printable “Curriculum Overview” with pacing information for each unit and lesson and links to the College Board’s learning objectives, enduring understandings, and computational thinking practices for Principles of Computer Science. Sample syllabi, a webinar covering the AP audit process, and online professional development activities are also provided. Mobile CSP offers periodic “Hangouts” where teachers can share their experiences and learn about product updates.

About Mobile CSP*

Mobile CSP is recognized by the College Board as an endorsed provider of curriculum and professional development for AP® Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). This endorsement affirms that all components of Mobile CSP’s offerings are aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CSP assessment. Using an endorsed provider affords schools access to resources including an AP CSP syllabus pre-approved by the College Board’s AP Course Audit, and officially recognized professional development that prepares teachers to teach AP CSP.

*Information in this section is provided by or adapted from Mobile CSP.


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New Review: Bedford, Freeman & Worth’s A History of Western Society Since 1300, for the AP Course (McKay), 12th Edition

BedfordBFW's A History of Western Society (AP European History), Freeman & Worth’s A History of Western Society Since 1300, for the AP Course (McKay), 12th Edition, is a comprehensive product that supports instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) European History courses.  Content is available in print and digital formats. Instruction emphasizes social and cultural history and the experiences of ordinary people. Learning List has reviewed the product’s print resources.

Core content is organized in four periods that match the College Board’s approach to periodization (e.g., Period 3: c. 1815 to c. 1914). Each period opens with a short overview of the period, discussions of key concepts addressed by instruction (e.g., “Nationalism and Revolutions in a Changing Europe”), and a set of “Understanding AP Themes” questions to guide students’ reading (e.g., “Why did European countries create or expand empires overseas in the nineteenth century?”). The questions reference the relevant thematic learning objectives in the College Board’s course framework.

Periods 2 through 4 contain a “Life” chapter (e.g., “Life in the Emerging Urban Society: 1840-1914”) that explores everyday life and the experiences of ordinary people living during the period.  Life chapters include a “The Past Living Now” essay that explores connections between contemporary life and historical developments and events (e.g., the development of modern sewage systems).

About BFW*

BFW believes that what happens in the classroom matters, and that a good class, a good teacher, and good content have the power to change the world—one student and one idea at a time. BFW products have long been best-sellers for AP courses. Now, in response to the needs of teachers across the country, BFW offers materials for Common Core, elective courses, and on-level programs aligned to NGSS.

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


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.

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New Review: College Board’s SpringBoard English Language Arts: California Edition

[source: College Board]

[source: College Board]

Learning List has reviewed middle school and high school resources for the College Board’s SpringBoard English Language Arts: California Edition. The comprehensive program is designed for students in grades 6-12 and is available in print and digital formats. Courses have a consistent structure and focus on developing English language arts skills through active learning. At each grade level, instruction emphasizes the development of the knowledge and skills needed for rigorous coursework, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Content is organized thematically and includes fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and non-print media related to the theme (e.g., change). SpringBoard uses the “Understanding by Design” instructional model. Each unit begins with an overview that frames new content with essential questions. Units are broken into sets of activities made up of several daily lessons that address related concepts. Each lesson establishes learning targets in student-friendly language. Lessons include “Suggested Learning Strategies” (e.g., summarizing, close reading, marking the text) that meet different learning needs and facilitate student ownership of learning and a “Making Connections” feature that connects content to students’ lives.

Lessons focus on developing close reading skills. Students learn to analyze texts using graphic organizers and strategies applied before, during, and after reading. They learn to interpret what they read and to support their interpretations with evidence from the text. Instruction emphasizes the effective use of language and the development of writing skills. Each unit includes step-by-step guidance in the writing process. Writing activities include prompts for expository and narrative pieces as well as opportunities for students to develop arguments and incorporate research.

About the College Board*

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.

Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

The information in this section is provided by or adapted from the College Board.


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Why College Board is Redesigning the AP Course Frameworks

In case you missed the announcement at the APAC conference  last month, Learning List and the College Board have partnered to provide detailed, independent reviews of Advanced Placement (AP) materials. For each material, Learning List provides three independent reviews, including a detailed review of the material’s alignment to the Learning Objectives and Skills/Practices in the course framework.

The College Board will use Learning List’s reviews to select materials for the Example Textbook Lists for AP math, science and social studies courses.  A material’s inclusion on an Example Textbook List means that the material has some degree of alignment to the course framework; it does not mean that the material is aligned to 100% of the course framework.  This table shows the alignment of materials included on the AP Calculus, Computer Science Principles and World History Example Textbook Lists.

Alignment %s

Learning List’s detailed alignment reports help educators quickly identify (1) the specific Learning Objectives and Skills/Practices to which the material is and is not aligned, and (2) for standards to which the material is aligned, specific pages/lessons that present all the knowledge and skills the standard requires.

This blog post is the first of a series that Learning List will publish to help educators understand the underlying philosophy and components of the course frameworks, as well as trends observed from reviewing AP materials.

pullout of AP BlogIn 2009, the College Board began a 15 year process of replacing the amorphous “course descriptions” for AP courses with far more detailed course frameworks.  The goal of the course frameworks is to strike a balance between depth of understanding and breadth of content coverage.  

The frameworks reflect feedback from a diverse group of tenured college faculty and department chairs, AP teachers, Discipline Leaders, Academic Organizations, Cognitive Scientists and the public.  The Understanding by Design instructional model and Evidence-Centered Design research serve as the foundation for the new frameworks which specify what students must now and be able to demonstrate on the AP exam.

The courses integrate a set of skills and practices within the content, include a clear articulation of required learning objectives, and provide flexibility to include the kind of in-depth learning experiences that will prepare students for success in college coursework.  

Over the last several years, course frameworks have been developed for AP Biology, Chemistry, Physics I & II, US History, European History, Art History, Human Geography, Seminar and Research courses.  New frameworks for Calculus AB and BC, World History courses and a new Computer Science Principles course will be implemented for the first time this school year.

A subsequent blog post will explain the core components of the redesigned frameworks.


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