Posts Tagged "Writing"

New Product Review: Pearson Words Their Way: Word Study In Action Developmental Model

New Product Review: Pearson Words Their Way: Word Study In Action Developmental Model

Pearson’s Words Their Way (WTW): Word Study In Action Developmental Model is a supplemental product that supports reading and language arts instruction in grades K-5. Content is available in print and digital formats. Learning List recently reviewed WTW’s print and CD-ROM/DVD resources. The program uses the word study instructional model to teach phonics, spelling, word recognition, and vocabulary skills.

WTW organizes content in terms of five spelling stages: (1) Emergent-Early Letter Name, (2) Letter Name, (3) Within Word Patterns, (4) Syllables and Affixes, and (5) Derivational Relations.  Across stages, instruction is centered on sorting words. That is, students learn to group words according to a set of categories that facilitate comparing and contrasting. For example, students learn to sort words or pictures by concept (e.g., fruit not a fruit), sounds (e.g., beginning sounds), letter recognition, word families (e.g., mixed vowels), and roots (e.g., Greek vs. Latin). [Read more…]

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New Product Review: McGraw Hill Texas Wonders

New Product Review: McGraw Hill Texas Wonders

Learning List recently reviewed McGraw Hill’s Texas Wonders, which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to 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). Texas Wonders is a comprehensive reading and language arts program for students in grades K-5. Materials are available in print and digital formats. At each grade level, instruction incorporates a balance of literary and informational texts to build close reading, analytic writing, and speaking and listening skills. Wonders also emphasizes the development of social and emotional learning. 

Across grades, Wonders is structured to “Teach the Whole Child.” Instruction emphasizes the habits of learning (e.g., thinking critically, solving problems), social and emotional skills, and a positive classroom culture. At each grade level, Texas Wonders student resources include a “Reading/Writing Companion” and a “Practice Book.” The Reading/Writing Companion is at the center of instruction. The Companion addresses close reading skills, collaborative conversations, analytic writing, and foundational skills (e.g., phonics). Instruction focuses on the reading and rereading of authentic literary and informational texts for specific purposes, and the use of textual evidence to support conclusions and opinions in spoken and written communication. Students learn to discuss what they read and to produce written products that use textual evidence to support a particular view or response. [Read more…

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New Product Review: ThinkCERCA

New Product Review: ThinkCERCA

Learning List recently reviewed ThinkCERCA, which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to 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). ThinkCERCA is a supplementary online learning platform that helps students in grades 3-12 develop literacy and critical thinking skills across the core subject areas. Instruction focuses on developing close reading and academic writing skills. ThinkCERCA’s Texas Edition addresses the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for English language arts/reading (ELAR) and supports instruction in blended learning environments. Learning List reviewed materials for grades 6-8.

ThinkCERCA focuses on developing students’ ability to read texts and produce written responses 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). Many CERCA Sets are not grade specific. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: The College Board’s SpringBoard English Language Arts and Language Workshop

New Product Review: The College Board’s SpringBoard English Language Arts and Language Workshop

Learning List recently reviewed the College Board’s SpringBoard English Language Arts and Language Workshop middle school resources (i.e., grades 6-8), which were 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). Both resources 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.

Core content is presented in SpringBoard’s English Language Arts resource. Content at each grade is organized in four thematic units. For example, at grade 6, reading selections address the theme of change. Students explore the concepts of change and growth in their own lives and in the lives of real and imagined characters. Each unit includes a balance of literary and informational texts and opportunities for students to respond to non-print texts, such as photographs and clips from audio recordings and films. For the most part, units incorporate reading selections that present the experiences of diverse individuals and cultures. [Read more…]

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New Product Reviews: KAMICO STAAR Connection Diagnostic Series: Writing and Math

New Product Reviews: KAMICO STAAR Connection Diagnostic Series: Writing and Math

KAMICO’s STAAR Connection Diagnostic Series: Writing and STAAR Connection Diagnostic Series: Math are test preparation products designed to help students in grades K-12 prepare for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) writing and mathematics exams and high school end-of-course exams. Content is available in print format. Resources include practice tests that address specific Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Practice tests consist of multiple-choice questions that reflect what students will see on the STAAR exam, and the writing product includes writing prompts. Learning List recently reviewed writing resources for grades 1-4 and math resources for grades K-2 and 4.

Writing practice tests present short reading passages followed by 8-12 multiple-choice questions that address editing and revising skills. Reading passage sentences are numbered to facilitate ease of reference in students’ responses, and many passages include black and white illustrations. Some questions include charts and diagrams for students to consider. Students in grades 3 and 4 respond to multiple-choice questions using a bubble answer sheet. Each test has a writing prompt that generally asks students to respond to short quote (e.g., “Practice makes perfect.”). [Read more…

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