Aligning to Standards

3 Critical Facts To Help You Get the Most Instructional Value from Your Materials

3 Critical Facts To Help You Get the Most Instructional Value from Your Materials

As you consider using unfamiliar materials, we offer these tips to help you get the most instructional value from your materials: 

  • If a material does not provide a correlation to your state’s standards, it probably was not designed with your state’s standards in mind. Thus, the material likely will not cover all of the content knowledge and skills your standards require students to learn. Using a material without a correlation will cause you more work in planning instruction to ensure that your students have the opportunity to learn everything the standards require. Consider using such resources for engagement or enrichment rather than as the primary resource for the course. 
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Trends in Materials Designed for NGSS

Trends in Materials Designed for NGSS

As of January 2020, twenty states have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are based on the National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education. An additional twenty-four states have adopted their own standards that are based on the National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education. Consequently, the standards are impacting science education for approximately 71% of United States students.

As teachers across the country have realized, NGSS changes the expectation for what science instruction looks like. NGSS moves students beyond just knowing science and demonstrating their knowledge through completing scripted science experiments and demonstrations to doing science and solving problems like scientists and engineers. This means the materials for science instruction have to change, too.

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Factors to Consider When Selecting Intervention Materials

Factors to Consider When Selecting Intervention Materials

When our Learning List team talks to district staff, we hear a variety of responses to the question, “How are you currently selecting resources to support Tier I intervention?” Answers range from systemic processes with district-wide solutions to teachers each selecting their own materials from multiple sources. The results of intervention are equally varied. Ensuring successful intervention requires consideration of multiple factors that can be addressed by answering the following questions:

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Mapping Resources to your District Curriculum

Mapping Resources to your District Curriculum

Districts invest significant time, resources, and money into the development of curriculum and the purchase of instructional materials. A lack of consistency between the sequence of the curriculum and the sequence of instructional materials can be a hurdle to implementation of both.

Mapping instructional resources to the district curriculum will support teachers with planning so that lessons and activities from instructional materials are in sync with the curriculum. 

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What Learning List’s Reviews Tell Educators

Learning List’s three professional reviews provide a multi-faceted perspective of each material:

Three Reviews
  • Spec Sheet – provides an overview of the material’s key instructional features and technology compatibility.  We test the key instructional components of each material to identify which devices and operating systems the material works on, as well as other interoperability information. This review helps educators eliminate from consideration products that clearly will not meet their students’ instructional needs or work with the district’s technology infrastructure and hardware.
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What Alignment Means

During our many conversations with publishers regarding instructional materials we have found that the statement “aligned to standards” means different things to different people. For example, the marketing director of a publishing company recently told us that “aligned to standards” in their marketing material means that their material generally addresses the concepts contained in the standards. In contrast, when we ask educators what they understand when they read that a material is “aligned to standards,” they repeatedly tell us they expect the material to address the content knowledge and skills the standards require students to learn.


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