Over the last several years, we have reviewed hundreds of science materials aligned to state standards, Advanced Placement frameworks, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Over the last two years, we have observed a significant design shift in science products. Using the 5E model and Project Based Learning (PBL), publishers are designing science instruction to engage students in doing science, rather than learning about science. Where traditional instructional materials might present information and ask students to respond through short-answer or multiple-choice questions, newer materials provide teachers with resources to facilitate inquiry-based science instruction.
Factors to Consider: IM Selection Process
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.
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.
Yesterday, my husband and I were discussing how to clean the exterior windows of our house. The house sits on the side of a hill, so many of the windows are too far off the ground to reach. I suggested standing on a ladder and cleaning them. But, given that we’re both short people, my husband thought that was a very bad idea.
So, I researched options online and discovered a spray solution that involves a plastic canister, garden hose and “specially formulated crystals” to wash exterior windows. I showed my husband the ad, and he immediately said, “Great, buy it.” The product cost between $10 and $31, depending on the seller.
However, I run a company that reviews PreK-12 instructional materials. I believe in and have avoided many expensive mistakes by reading product reviews. So, I started reading the online reviews. After five minutes, I realized that this product was not worth our time or money. I showed him the reviews, and he agreed. We saved $31.
At Learning List, we are often asked, “Which material is the best?” While some organizations rank and/or rate materials, we do not. We do not sum a review up in a number or set of numbers or tell you which materials will be best for your students, because many variables affect the efficacy of a material. For example, how the material will be used, whether the material has the adaptions your students need and whether the district’s technology will support the full implementation of the product are all variables that affect which product is “best” for your students.
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: