Effective Practice

Why Teachers Need More Planning Time

Why Teachers Need More Planning Time

This article discusses “Four Ways State Leaders Can Help Teachers Implement High Quality Curriculum.” One of the author’s suggestions is that leaders provide time and space for educators to plan. One of the reasons educators need more planning time is that online preK-12 materials have become increasingly complex to use. Here’s why.

Learning List reviewers have reviewed thousands of PreK-12 instructional materials. Our team is adept at learning how to navigate through online materials. These days, reviewing online materials is taking longer because materials often consist of different components to remediate, enrich and extend students’ learning.  Sometimes, each component uses a different online platform; more commonly, the assessments component uses a different platform from the material’s instructional components.  Thus, merely learning how to navigate through online materials takes longer than it used to.

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Dear Mom and Dad, Welcome to Your 1st Year of Teaching!

Dear Mom and Dad, Welcome to Your 1st Year of Teaching!

Are you a first-time homeschool teacher or are you proctoring at-home learning while your child is attending school online this semester? Either way, you are likely out of your comfort zone and feeling (a little) overwhelmed. How are you ensuring that your child is learning what he/she is supposed to learn?  This blog post provides a few pointers and accompanying resources to help you keep your child on track during this school year.  

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Selecting Materials to Support Differentiated Instruction

As this school year resumes, teachers are going to need to differentiate and accelerate instruction to ensure that students are ready for their new grade level’s content. Whether you are selecting from your district/campus’ existing materials or purchasing new materials, we offer the following questions to help you identify materials that will support teachers in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of their students.

(1) Do the resources offer differentiated planning support for teachers?
Teachers need resources that will help them differentiate instruction to meet their students’ varied learning needs while simultaneously implementing the district curriculum. Here are three features to look for in teacher materials to support teachers in planning differentiated instruction.

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The Science of Reading and Early Reading Instruction

The Science of Reading and Early Reading Instruction

The reading wars continue. If your teachers are debating the best way to approach reading instruction, we offer the articles below to inform the discussions in your district. 

The Hechinger Institute’s article “Four Things You Need to Know About the New Reading Wars,” discusses phonics instruction, balanced literacy, and reading comprehension, referencing additional articles including some of those listed below.

The Center for the Collaborative Classroom recently interviewed Dr. Louisa Moats, who shares her thoughts on the Common Core State Standards, the need for explicit instruction in foundational skills, and her understanding and background on the science of reading.

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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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New Product Review: The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Science Dollars and Sense

New Product Review: The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Science Dollars and Sense

Learning List recently reviewed The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences’ (CCFCS) Dollars and Sense. The product 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). Dollars and Sense is a comprehensive online course that is designed for teacher use. The interactive syllabus contain links to printable student materials (e.g., worksheets). Stand-alone student materials (e.g., a textbook) are not provided.

Dollars and Sense includes clear links to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Texas high school PFL and Dollars and Sense courses as well as national standards (e.g., National Standards in Personal Financial Education). Content is organized in an online syllabus with topics such as the “Importance of Financial Planning,” “Consequences of Economic Decisions,” and “Careers.” Each topic is broken into one or more subtopics. For example, the topic titled “Big-Ticket Purchases” is broken into two subtopics: “Big purchases (other than houses)” and “Housing.” Most content is delivered in PowerPoint presentations; PowerPoint presentations and other teaching resources may be printed for student use. [Read more…]

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