Factors to Consider: IM Selection Process

Strategies for Reviewing Adaptive Materials

Over the last year, many of our subscribing districts requested reviews of adaptive materials. The concept behind adaptive materials is admirable: different content is presented to each student based upon the student’s performance on each task or assessment. In essence, these products offer the promise of an individualized instruction for each student.

However, districts should not assume that “adaptive” means “aligned to standards.” Many adaptive materials assign content based on skill mastery rather than mastery of the standards. Based on our experience, districts would be advised to carefully review the alignment of adaptive materials to the standards they are needed to support before using them.

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Alignment: Intervention & Test Prep Materials

As we near the end of the school year, your focus may be on intervention and testing. We offer three suggestions to help you prepare your students for end-of-year success.
Make sure your intervention materials are aligned to the standards you are reteaching. Using tightly aligned materials will reduce your workload and make intervention more effective. Many intervention materials are not designed to align to 100% of state standards. Make sure the material(s) you are using for intervention are aligned to the standards you are re-teaching. Verify that the citations (e.g., lessons, activities, assessments) you plan to use address both the content and rigor of the standards your students need to learn.
 

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Do Your Instructional Materials Support Critical Thinking?

Critical thinkers ask questions, formulate and solve problems, use reasoning and evidence to reach conclusions, approach situations with an open mind, and so much more. School districts set goals designed to support students in becoming effective critical thinkers and problem solvers, but creating a learning environment that is conducive to the development of critical thinking rests with the teacher. Instructional materials can either greatly support or hinder teachers’ efforts.

Based on our experience reviewing thousands of instructional materials, this blog offers five considerations to help educators evaluate the degree to which an instructional material supports the development of critical thinking skills.

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Do the materials you are using for remote instruction support a high-quality learning experience for your students?

When implementing an instructional material during in-person instruction, teachers can adjust instruction, add instructional strategies, and differentiate instruction for their students. During remote instruction, however, teachers may not have as many opportunities to adjust instruction to meet their students’ needs. Therefore, the quality of instructional materials used for remote instruction is more important than ever.

Learning List has reviewed thousands of instructional materials, and we consider many factors in our qualitative reviews. In previous blogs we’ve written about considerations for selecting materials to support continuous learning and things to look for if selecting online materials.   This blog takes a deeper look at assessing the quality of instructional materials used for remote instruction.

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Assessing the Assessments In a Material

Assessing the Assessments In a Material

Having facilitated many districts’ adoption processes and listened to educators articulate what they are looking for in instructional materials, we have observed that assessments are often under assessed during an adoption/selection process. Assessments are a critical component of the instructional cycle. Therefore, as part of Learning List’s qualitative, Editorial Review of each instructional material, we evaluate the material’s assessments. Based on our review of thousands of instructional materials, we offer the following four key considerations to help you determine whether the assessments embedded in an instructional material will meet your needs.

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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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