Posts Tagged "ThinkCERCA"

The Role of Instructional Materials in Shaping Teacher Practice

In a recent op-ed appearing in The Hill, ThinkCerca’s founder and CEO, Eileen Murphy Buckley, describes the challenges she faced as a novice English teacher working at  Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, one of Illinois’ best high schools and Michelle Obama’s alma mater. Like many first-year teachers, she struggled with classroom management, planning relevant and engaging instruction, and mastery of her content area. She received sage advice from veteran colleagues, but she “confesses” that her strongest supports as an inexperienced teacher were the instructional materials she used in the classroom.

She writes:

So, there is my confession after all these years, but I make it to say that the products we use in schools matter. The quality of those resources matter so very much because they are what empower students, regardless of which teacher they end up with. The materials shape teachers and teacher practice, and they shape the teachers they raise through years of side by side work.

These products must answer to students and teachers as well as buyers — the admins and school boards who are the stewards of our future, our culture, our democracy. Products have material impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren — who will be caring for us and our country in the very near future.

Simply put, reading materials impact the quality of teaching in much more significant ways than you might know.

At Learning List, we understand the importance of high quality materials. We recognize that instructional materials influence how teachers teach as well as how and what students learn. And this understanding shapes how we review products.

Our editorial reviews examine the supports each material does or does not provide for teachers. Our reviewers explain whether teacher resources include background in content and pedagogy; provide pacing information, lesson plans, and guidance in differentiating instruction; and offer professional development opportunities and professional communities that facilitate collaboration and sharing with other teachers who use the same product. Our reviewers note when they feel a product is particularly appropriate for novice teachers. Such products include comprehensive discussions of the required content knowledge and pedagogy, and offer detailed, often scripted, lesson plans to support instruction. [Read more…]

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New Review: ThinkCERCA

ThinkCERCA-Literacy-Framework-Homepage

[Source: ThinkCERCA]

Learning List has reviewed ThinkCERCA materials for grades 6-8. ThinkCerca is an online learning platform that helps students in grades 3-12 develop literacy and critical thinking skills across the core subject areas. The supplemental program focuses on developing close reading and academic writing skills. Content addresses the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and supports instruction in blended learning, flipped classroom, and self-paced environments.

ThinkCERCA focuses on developing students’ ability to read a text and produce a written response using the CERCA framework: (1) make Claims, (2) support claims with textual Evidence, (3) explain their Reasoning, (4) recognize Counterarguments, and (5) use language that appeals to a particular Audience. Core instruction is presented in modular “CERCA Sets” that cover content from across the core subject areas (i.e., English/language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies).

Reading selections are drawn from a variety of engaging informational and literary texts and include visual elements, such as photographs and illustrations, to support understanding. Teachers may select texts that are leveled in terms of the complexity for a particular grade level, and may differentiate assignments for students reading at, below, and above grade level.

think cerca logo

[Source: ThinkCERCA]

About ThinkCERCA*

ThinkCERCA is an online platform designed to empower teachers to personalize literacy instruction across disciplines. ThinkCERCA helps whole school teams differentiate for engaging learning in classrooms of diverse learners. The CERCA Framework provides a common language for students, teachers, parents, and administrators to drive sustainable growth in student achievement.

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

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