Posts Tagged "ELAR"

McGraw Hill’s Thrive™ powered by Time To Know®

[Source: McGraw Hill]

[Source: McGraw Hill]

McGraw Hill’s Thrive™ powered by Time To Know® is a comprehensive, online resource to support English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science instruction in 1:1 computer-based learning environments. Resources support teacher-led, data-driven instruction in classrooms that integrate technology. Learning List has reviewed Thrive ELA resources for grades 3-8.

Thrive presents content at grade level in five or six thematic units (e.g., Personal Discoveries) made up of Reading Modules and a Writing Module. Each grade also has a set of “Literature Study” works to extend classroom instruction or for students to read independently.

Reading Modules focus on authentic literary and informational texts. Each module begins with a “Model Reading” activity that guides students through a text, posing questions to help students develop reading and comprehension strategies (e.g., “What is the narrator’s problem, or conflict?”). After Model Reading lessons, students reread the text in a “Close Reading” activity in which they answer text-dependent questions. Most Reading Modules contain a second “Anchor Text” followed by another Close Reading activity. Writing Modules address the writing process, planning and drafting, editing and revising, and publishing and presenting. Writing Modules include opportunities for peer review and instruction in grammar and usage.

About Thrive ELA*

Improving student engagement with reading, writing, and speaking is at the core of the Thrive English language arts program. Guided reads, model reads, and anchor text selections—with a 50/50 balance of fiction, literary nonfiction, and informational texts—provide students with context for learning at their own levels and paces to build close reading and writing skills.

Structured lesson plans deepen students’ understanding of texts, while genre‐specific writing tutorials reflect the shifts in ELA instruction, for which the Thrive English language arts program is designed. An emphasis on analytical writing and writing to sources affords students opportunities to practice and apply foundational literacy skills, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies as they foster a lifelong

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


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New Review: Learning A-Z’s Raz Plus

[source: Learning A-Z]

[source: Learning A-Z]

Learning A-Z’s Raz Plus is a supplemental program that supports reading instruction in grades K-5. Resources are available online and may be downloaded and printed or displayed using classroom projection devices. Instruction focuses on developing proficient readers using texts that match students’ individual reading levels. Learning List has recently completed reviews of Learning A-Z’s Raz Plus grades K-5.

Reading A-Z content is organized in 27 reading levels (i.e., aa to Z2) that gradually increase in difficulty. Levels are identified using Learning A-Z’s proprietary “Text Leveling System.” This system considers qualitative indicators (e.g., author’s purpose), quantitative measures (e.g., word count), and reader and task considerations (e.g., student interest and skill) to provide a rounded measure of text complexity. Learning A-Z provides a “Level Correlation Chart” aligning its complexity levels with other widely used measures (e.g., Lexiles, Fountas & Pinnell).

At each level of text complexity, Reading A-Z provides two “Benchmark Books” that assess students’ readiness for instruction. Core instruction is presented through the use of more than 1,400 leveled texts and their associated “Guided Lessons.” Texts include a balance of fiction and non-fiction selections. Lessons address fluency, comprehension, writing, vocabulary and foundational skills, such as letter recognition, phonological awareness, and phonics. Each leveled reader is accompanied by a set of instructional resources, including worksheets and quizzes.

Teachers may enable individual students and/or classes to access the online “On Your Own Book Room.”  The Book Room contains a variety of independent reading materials in eBook format, including Spanish-language books, poetry, and texts that emphasize high frequency vocabulary.


About Learning A-Z*

Learning A-Z is an education technology company dedicated to expanding literacy through thoughtfully designed resources. Learning A-Z provides research-based PreK-6 products that enhance instruction and improve learning.

This content is provided by or adapted from Learning A-Z.


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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.

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New Reviews: LearnZillion (OER) – ELAR

Click image for video [Source: LearnZillion]

Click image for video [Source: LearnZillion]

LearnZillion is an online, open educational resource (OER) that provides supplementary English language arts and reading (ELAR) instructional materials for grades 2-12. Resources are free and address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Instruction focuses on developing students’ close reading, writing, and language skills and supporting teachers’ understanding of the CCSS. Content is presented in short video lessons that include detailed lesson plans that focus on a particular standard or set of standards. Learning List recently completed reviews of their materials for grades 2-12.

Lessons are organized in three overarching categories: (1) Close Reading: Informational Text, (2) Close Reading: Literary Text, and (3) Writing. Close Reading instruction is presented in units focused on particular text (e.g., The Diamond Necklace) and made up of five lessons (i.e., about a week’s worth of instruction). Writing instruction focuses on writing skills (e.g., write opinions that can be supported with facts) and language skills (e.g., recognize and correct run-on sentences).

Click Image for Video [source: LearnZillion]

Click Image for Video [source: LearnZillion]

About LearnZillion*

LearnZillion is dedicated to championing teachers and supporting their ongoing professional development. Teachers develop expertise and insights while working with students, and have exceptional ideas for how to improve classroom learning. However, they have never been able to integrate that expertise into a curriculum that keeps getting better. LearnZillion believes that empowering teachers to collaborate and share best practices creates new possibilities for students, and the profession.

LearnZillion Content Philosophy: It’s hard to teach a lesson. It’s harder to teach it well. And it’s particularly hard to teach it in a way that resonates and sticks with students. Teachers not only have to understand their content, they have to know the best way to teach it. This idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) – knowledge of the content and the way to make it accessible to students – is at the heart of LearnZillion. PCK has become even more important with the depth that is now required by the Common Core State Standards. Their offerings are meant to help get teachers started with lessons that were designed with PCK in mind. The resources on their site were built by a talented group of hundreds of practicing teachers (a.k.a. the LearnZillion Dream Team) for teachers everywhere. Collectively, as a community, LearnZillion will continue to improve upon these lessons, building more practical resources and PCK as they move forward.

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*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from LearnZillion.

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Buyer Beware (Part 3): Believing that the Alignment Percentage Is Consistent Across All Grade Levels

[Source: Griffith Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ]

[Source: Griffith Elementary School, Phoenix, AZ]

According to a recent article published on PBS Newshour, 90 percent of districts in Common Core states said that developing or identifying Common Core curricular materials has posed a challenge. Yet even when instructional materials can be identified, how do districts know what the alignment percentages may be across grade levels?

Alignment percentages can vary greatly from grade level to grade level – independent of the standard  [CCSS (Common Core State Standards), TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills),  etc.] and instructional materials subjects being reviewed [Math, ELA/R, etc.].

Here are a few examples:



Bottom line: Do not assume that the alignment percentage at one grade level is representative of the product’s alignment at all grade levels, or even at all grade levels within a single grade span. Learning List helps identify alignment percentage differences across grade levels and can assist you in selecting supplemental materials that can Fill-in-the-Gap™.

Solution: If your district is going to purchase multi-grade level material, look at the alignment of the material at each grade level. If the material is not consistently aligned, check why. Does the product not attempt to align to a particular domain/strand (i.e., it only addresses information text)? Did the product not align well to a particular domain/strand? If the answer is “yes” to either of these questions, it will be easy to supplement with another material that specializes in the non-aligned domain/strand. However, there simply may not be a logical pattern of non-alignment from grade-level to grade-level. To effectively prepare your students to master the standards, your teachers must know which standards the material is or is not aligned to in each grade level so that they can adjust their instructional strategies accordingly.

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