Qualities of Instructional Materials

Six Trends in the Materials Reviewed for Health

Learning List recently completed reviews of all materials as listed on the Proclamation 2022 Pre-Adoption Samples documents, made available by the Texas Education Agency, for Health in grades K-12.  

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We reviewed the materials from six publishers. Two publishers provided materials for elementary grades, two publishers middle school grades, and two publishers span middle and high school.

Learning List reviewers noted six trends in the materials reviewed for health. These trends represent what educators can expect to see with most materials, but they do not represent all materials: 

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New Product: Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes Math for Florida

New Product: Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes Math for Florida

Does your district need math materials to support the Florida B.E.S.T. Standards? Take a look at Learning List’s review of Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes Math for Florida.

Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes Math is a comprehensive mathematics program for grades K-5. The materials are primarily digital, with a supplemental student print version and Teacher Print Kits available.  Learning List recently reviewed the materials, designed specifically for Florida. 

The program makes intentional connections to math concepts as they are found in the everyday world.  Scopes support student learning through a clear reflection of the Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) model. Lessons require students to think critically, reflect, and collaborate. The goal of the program is to provide meaningful learning experiences that focus on 21st century skills and support student success in STEM careers.

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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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Will Students See Themselves in My Materials?:

8 Features of “Culturally Responsive” Materials

Image by Heejin Jeong from Pixabay 

As schools are tackling all of the demands of educating students during Covid-19, teachers continue to focus, and re-focus, on building relationships with students and providing supportive environments. Part of providing a safe, supportive learning environment is providing a culturally responsive classroom. “Culturally Responsive” is a term frequently heard in educational circles today. It goes beyond building relationships to ensuring academic growth for all students. While culturally responsive teaching is a complex topic, there is one piece of it that does not have to be challenging. Consider how you would answer this question: “Do students see themselves in the instructional materials I am using?” In formulating your answer, think about the following factors:

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January 2022