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:
Aligning to Standards
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.
Learning List’s three professional reviews provide a multi-faceted perspective of each material:
- 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.
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.
Learning List has reviewed Corwin Press’ Puzzle Piece Phonics (PPP), which is a supplemental product that supports word study in grades K-2. Content is available in print format. Across grades, the program provides systematic and explicit instruction in spelling and phonics patterns. Instruction incorporates puzzle piece manipulatives that help students recognize sound and spelling patterns and their connections to word structure.
PPP’s core content is organized in units, or “Concepts.” Each Concept is broken into instructional weeks that include a weekly focus. Content follows a logical sequence that builds on similarities in concepts and patterns. The pacing of instruction is deliberately measured to ensure that students have adequate time to master patterns before moving on to the next concept. [Read more…]
Learning List recently reviewed Decker & Associates’ Real Life Personal Finance (RLPF), which was submitted for state adoption in Texas in response to the Texas Education Agency’s Proclamation 2019 call for high school Personal Financial Literacy products aligned to the new PFL Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). RLPF is a comprehensive resource that supports instruction in Texas high school Personal Financial Literacy courses. Content is available online. Resources support independent study and are appropriate for students in self-paced and credit recovery learning environments. Instruction emphasizes the importance of post-secondary education in achieving career goals.
RLPF is aspirational in tone. Instruction asks a student to consider the lifestyle they would like in the future, the earnings needed to support that lifestyle, and how current decisions may affect their ability to achieve their goals. Instruction helps students identify career interests and addresses the importance of post-secondary education in pursuing career choices. [Read more…]