New Product Review: ThinkCERCA

Learning List recently reviewed ThinkCERCA, 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). ThinkCERCA is a supplementary online learning platform that helps students in grades 3-12 develop literacy and critical thinking skills across the core subject areas. Instruction focuses on developing close reading and academic writing skills. ThinkCERCA’s Texas Edition addresses the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for English language arts/reading (ELAR) and supports instruction in blended learning environments. Learning List reviewed materials for grades 6-8.

ThinkCERCA focuses on developing students’ ability to read texts and produce written responses using the CERCA framework: (1) make Claims, (2) support claims with textual Evidence, (3) explain their Reasoning, (4) recognize Counterarguments, and (5) use language that appeals to a particular Audience. Core instruction is presented in modular “CERCA Sets” that cover content from across the core subject areas (i.e., English/language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies). Many CERCA Sets are not grade specific. [Read more…]

Instruction addresses specific topics (e.g., Genetics) and related essential questions (e.g., “How do your genes contribute to who you are?”). CERCA Sets are organized in a consistent structure that includes Direct Instruction, Applied Lessons, and Additional Reading Practice lessons. Reading selections are drawn from a variety of engaging informational and literary texts and include visual elements, such as photographs and illustrations, to support understanding.

About ThinkCERCA*

ThinkCERCA’s personalized literacy platform helps educators teach critical thinking skills through argumentative writing. With students and teachers using its platform in all 50 states and 130 countries, the company has partnered with prominent leaders in education, including Follett Corporation, and has been featured by The Atlantic and EdSurge. In a recent controlled study of 26 ed-tech tools by LEAP Innovations, ThinkCERCA was proven to help students achieve two years of academic growth per year on average. A 2016 SIAA CODiE Awards finalist in the Best Learning Capacity-Building Solution and Best Reading/English/Language Arts Instructional Solution categories, ThinkCERCA has also been named one of the best tools in ed tech by Common Sense’s Graphite. In July 2013, ThinkCERCA was the recipient of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Literacy Courseware Challenge grant, and in December 2012, graduated from the inaugural class of Impact Engine’s social impact accelerator.

*Information in this section is provided by or adapted from ThinkCERCA.