Aligning to Standards

New Product Review: Learning A-Z Raz-Plus ELL Edition

New Product Review: Learning A-Z Raz-Plus ELL Edition

Learning List recently reviewed Learning A-Z’s Raz-Plus ELL Edition, 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). Raz-Plus ELL Edition is a supplemental program that supports reading instruction in grades K-5 with instructional materials designed specifically for English language learners (ELLs). Resources are available online and may be downloaded and printed and/or displayed using classroom projection devices. Instruction focuses on developing proficient readers using cross-curricular texts that match students’ individual reading levels.

Raz-Plus content is organized in 29 reading levels (i.e., aa to Z2) that gradually increase in difficulty. Levels are identified using Learning A-Z’s proprietary “Text Leveling System.” This system considers qualitative indicators (e.g., author’s purpose), quantitative measures (e.g., word count), and reader and task considerations (e.g., student interest and skill) to provide a rounded measure of text complexity. Learning A-Z provides a “Level Correlation Chart” aligning its complexity levels with other widely used measures (e.g., Lexiles, Fountas & Pinnell). Learning A-Z’s text complexity levels are not grade specific, levels; however, they may be matched to grade levels. For example, in terms of Lexiles, texts Q-Z2 range from 651L to 1,140L and support instruction across grades 3-5.  [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Perfection Learning Connections

New Product Review: Perfection Learning Connections

Learning List recently reviewed Perfection Learning’s Connections, which was 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). Connections is a comprehensive product that supports ELAR instruction in grades 6-12. Content is available in print and digital formats. Learning List’s review is of resources for grades 6-8.

At each middle school grade level, Connections is organized in four units that address cross-curricular themes and center on an Essential Question. For example, the fourth unit at grade 7 considers the following Essential Question: “What does history teach us about ourselves?” Units include literary and informational texts related to the theme. Lexile levels for each selection are provided in teacher editions.  [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading Texas

New Product Review: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading Texas

Learning List recently reviewed Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading Texas, which was 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). Into Reading is a comprehensive product that supports ELAR instruction in grades K-6. Content is available in print and digital formats. Learning List reviewed online resources for grades K-5. Instruction develops students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills using authentic texts from a variety of genres.

Across grades, Into Reading is organized in multi-week modules that provide access to a variety of authentic texts at varying levels of complexity. Modules are thematic and include cross-curricular topics, such as a “Global Guardians” module at grade 4 that integrates content from conservation science. Modules are organized around an essential question (e.g., “What does it take to meet a challenge?”). Reading selections include a variety of authentic, age-appropriate literary and informational texts related to the essential question. Selections include a variety of genres (e.g., historical fiction, narrative non-fiction) and representations of diverse cultures and characters. Each text has vivid illustrations that support comprehension and engage student interest. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Into Literature Texas

New Product Review: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Into Literature Texas

Learning List recently reviewed Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Literature Texas, which was 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). Into Literature is a comprehensive product that supports ELAR instruction in grades 6-8. Content is available in print and digital formats. Learning List reviewed online resources. Instruction develops students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills using authentic texts from a variety of genres.

At each grade level, Into Literature is presented in six units that center on an Essential Question that links reading selections, frames the unit’s theme, and connects to students’ experiences. For example, a grade 7 unit titled “Change Agents” considers the question: “What inspires you to make a difference?” Units address cross-curricular topics such as the Civil War in an eighth-grade unit titled “The Fight for Freedom” and space science in a sixth-grade unit titled “The Terror and Wonder of Space.” Units include literary and informational texts and a set of “Studios” (e.g., “Reading Studio”) that integrate activities in the domains of literacy (i.e., reading, writing, listening, and speaking) as well as vocabulary and grammar.  [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 Review: ECS Learning Systems STAAR Master Math and STAAR Master Reading

ECS Learning Systems’ STAAR Master Math and STAAR Master Reading are test preparation products designed to prepare Texas students in grades 1-8 for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) mathematics and reading exams. Content is available in print format. Instruction focuses on problem sets (math) and questions (reading) that address specific Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Problems and questions are formatted to reflect what students will see on the STAAR exam. Learning List recently reviewed “Student Practice Book” resources for grades 3-5.

Student Practice Books in math are organized in four sections that address each of the TEKS Reporting Categories for mathematics (e.g., Geometry and Measurement, Data Analysis and Personal Financial Literacy). Each section begins with the full text of the TEKS for the Category and whether the standard is a Readiness or Supporting Standard. Subsequent content is made up of practice exercises formatted to reflect what students will see on the STAAR exam (i.e., multiple-choice responses).  Each exercise includes the text of the TEKS addressed by the problem set and each problem in the set references the specific TEKS it addresses. [Read more…]

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