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Important Considerations When Selecting Materials to Support Continuous Learning

Important Considerations When Selecting Materials to Support Continuous Learning

Last August, we published a blog post titled, “5 Things to Look for If Selecting Online Materials.”  If your district is, or will be, selecting online materials to support continuous instruction next fall, here are a few additional considerations to keep in mind: 

(1) Similarity of content. If you will be purchasing a product in print and digital formats, check the degree to which the core instruction is consistent in both editions. The online version will likely contain videos and tools to enhance students’ learning experiences beyond the capabilities of the print edition, but the core instruction in both editions must be substantially similar to provide an equitable learning experience for students who are not able to access the material online.

(2) Delivery of core instruction. If you are considering a material that relies on digital content or is only available in digital format, consider whether the core instruction (e.g., lessons, practice and quizzes) is printable or accessible offline. Criteria 2 on the second page of our Spec Sheet reveals whether the core instruction of the product is accessible online only or whether it is also printable, downloadable, and/or accessible offline. In order to ensure that the material will support all students, including those that do not have reliable internet service or device access at home, the core instruction must be downloadable or printable. 

(3) Ease of Use. Online materials often contain many components. Before purchasing an online material or a material with online components, check to see whether your teachers and students will be able to use it. Have a few tech-savvy and non-tech-savvy teachers (1) login to the material, (2) teach a lesson with the product, and (3) access progress monitoring reports. If possible, have a few students login to the product and access an assigned lesson. Note the issues each group encounters. Finally, check to see what type of online training and support the material includes for teachers, students and even for parents. Allow teachers time to complete that training with support before the school year begins.

Student using computer

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New Product: Get More Math for TEKS

New Product: Get More Math for TEKS

Would your teachers like to have more math practice problems for their students? Take a look at Learning List’s review of Get More Math.

Get More Math is a supplemental online math program for grades 4-8, Algebra I and Geometry. This adaptive program provides sets of practice problems based on assignments made by the teacher, along with a cumulative review that provides spiraled practice of skills previously taught. It is designed to work as part of the instructional cycle, generally as part of guided or independent practice. Instruction, remediation, and assessment are not part of the program.

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7 Trends in Materials’ Supports for English Learners

Districts increasingly are contacting us for assistance finding high quality materials to support ELs. Whether, and if so, how materials support ELs is part of Learning List’s quality review rubric. Having reviewed thousands of materials, we have observed seven trends in how instructional materials address the needs of ELs:

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New Product: Mentoring Minds ThinkUp! Math for TEKS

New Product: Mentoring Minds ThinkUp! Math for TEKS

Do you need a product to support student mastery of the TEKS for math? Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of Mentoring Minds ThinkUp! Math.

Mentoring Minds ThinkUp! Math is a comprehensive mathematics product that supports TEKS-based instruction in grades K through 8. Content is available in print with an online pre-assessment. Learning List recently reviewed the materials for grades 4 and 5.ThinkUp! Math is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and connect math to real world situations.  The material  also supports instruction in the 9 traits of critical thinking as defined by Mentoring Minds.

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5 Considerations When Selecting Credit Recovery Materials

5 Considerations When Selecting Credit Recovery Materials

The goal of credit recovery programs is to help students recover credit and increase the likelihood of on-time high school graduation. Credit recovery is challenging to schedule and manage and is frequently a significant expense for districts. State requirements for credit recovery vary, but one element they have in common is the need to provide quality instructional materials that meet the needs of the students.

Learning List has reviewed numerous credit recovery materials. We share the following 5 factors to consider when selecting instructional materials for credit recovery.

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New Product: StrongMind’s Texas English Language Arts for Texas Proclamation 2020

New Product: StrongMind’s Texas English Language Arts for Texas Proclamation 2020

Is your district looking for digital instructional materials for high school English?  Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of StrongMind’s Texas English Language Arts.

StrongMind’s Texas English Language Arts is a comprehensive English language arts program for grades 9-12 (English I-IV). The materials are fully digital. StrongMind Courseware focuses on delivering a powerful and engaging learning experience.  Materials are organized topically and/or thematically in a logical sequence. 

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