Posts Tagged "Common Core State Standards"

New Product Review: MATHia

New Product Review: MATHia

Are you looking for a digital math program that supports students’ independent learning? Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of MATHia®.

Carnegie Learning’s MATHia® is a digital math program for students in grades 6-12. The MATHia® program is an online, adaptive tutor that provides instruction and practice, personalized to meet students’ individual learning needs. The units and topics correlate to content in math textbooks published by Carnegie Learning; however, the program can be used to supplement other primary resources.

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New Product: National Geographic/Cengage Learning’s Big Ideas Integrated Math for CCSS

New Product: National Geographic/Cengage Learning’s Big Ideas Integrated Math for CCSS

Is your district in need of a new material for integrated high school math courses? Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning’s Big Ideas Integrated Math.

Big Ideas Integrated Math is a comprehensive high school math program, available in print and digital formats.  The design of the material is consistent with the Common Core’s Integrated Pathways and is provided in three levels. Each of the three courses integrates instruction in algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics at increasingly complex levels. Big Ideas Integrated Mathorganizes instruction around major topics in mathematics, such as solving linear equations or parallel and perpendicular lines.

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New Review: CPM Educational Program’s Core Connections MS and Integrated I-III

CPM photo

[Source: CPM]

CPM Educational Program’s Core Connections Courses 1-3 are a series of comprehensive resources that support mathematics instruction in grades 6-8 and Core Connections Integrated I-III is a set of comprehensive materials that support instruction for each of the Integrated Pathways high school courses identified in Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Learning List recently reviewed resources for each set of courses.

Core Connections Courses 1-3 provide a three-year sequence of math instruction to prepare middle school students for college-preparatory algebra courses. Core Connections Integrated I-III provide a rigorous three-year sequence of math instruction to prepare high school students for advanced college-preparatory mathematics courses (e.g., calculus). Instruction in both sets of courses focuses on developing students’ understanding of mathematical concepts through problem-based learning activities. Students work collaboratively to identify solutions strategies, the connections between concepts, and to develop critical thinking skills.

Core Connections courses emphasize the use of “Study Teams that work together to answer questions, justify reasoning, and identify multiple solution strategies. Through ongoing discussion, teams support one another and ensure all members understand problems and solutions. Teachers encourage students’ teamwork, facilitate discussions, and provide support when teams encounter questions they are unable to answer.

Core Connections courses address the CCSS and are available in print and eBook formats.

About CPM*

cpm logo

[Source: CPM]

CPM began as a grant-funded mathematics project in 1989 to write textbooks to help students understand mathematics and support teachers who use these materials. CPM Educational Program is now a nonprofit educational consortium of middle and high school teachers and university professors that offers a complete mathematics program for grades 6 through 12 (Calculus) designed to engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication.

CPM’s Mission:

CPM’s mission is to empower mathematics students and teachers through exemplary curriculum, professional development, and leadership. We recognize and foster teacher expertise and leadership in mathematics education. We engage all students in learning mathematics through problem solving, reasoning, and communication.

CPM’s Vision:

CPM envisions a world where mathematics is viewed as intriguing and useful, and is appreciated by all; where powerful mathematical thinking is an essential, universal, and desirable trait; and where people are empowered by mathematical problem-solving and reasoning to solve the world’s problems.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from CPM.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for this material.

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New Review: American Reading Company’s (ARC) Research Labs


[Source: American Reading Company]

American Reading Company’s (ARC) Research Labs is a project-based reading, writing, and research program for students in grades K-12. Resources are available in print format and address the instructional shifts of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) (e.g., “Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction”). Instruction is organized in a workshop structure that provides opportunities for whole class, small group, and one-on-one instruction. Learning List recently reviewed resources for grades 1-5.

Research Labs presents instruction in four 9-week modules that address narrative, argumentative, and informational writing and genre study (e.g., short story, novel). Each writing module frames a “Unit of Study” in social studies or science (e.g., Jobs in My Community, Plants) that integrates reading, writing, and research skills. Through a close reading of a complex “Central Text” for the unit, the class begins to explore and engage with the topic. Using leveled texts provided in the “Unit Research Library,” students independently investigate and decide on a research topic and a set of research questions. Each module contains “Writing Cards” that guide students in the writing process (e.g., drafting, revising, editing) as well as graphic organizers and rubrics that help students organize their thinking.

Lessons include opportunities for formative assessment through one-on-one conferences between students and teachers. Each module ends with a final project that students publish and present to the class. Rubrics are provided to help teachers evaluate students’ writing and to support students in assessing their own work.

About American Reading Company*

The history of American Reading Company (ARC) began with one powerful idea. CEO and founder Jane Hileman, then working as a reading specialist, challenged a group of second graders reading on a kindergarten level to read 100 books. By giving them the choice to read books leveled to their abilities—books in which they were interested—her 100 Book Challenge enabled students to experience reading success and encouraged them to read more. Ms. Hileman and her colleagues used daily conferencing and assessment sessions to coach each student and to ensure that the shared curriculum met their needs. They were offered inexpensive prizes as incentives for reading a certain number of books. Parents were supported in establishing the home routines essential to sustained reading and long-term academic success. As a result, even the most reluctant of students got hooked on reading through Ms. Hileman’s 100 Book Challenge, and soon, all the second graders had dramatically improved their reading scores.

Word of the 100 Book Challenge spread, and Ms. Hileman was invited to bring the program into Philadelphia city schools, where her ideas for reading improvement were put to use in several of the district’s poorest and poorest-performing schools. When two of the schools were recognized for doubling the percentage of students reading on or above grade level, 100 Book Challenge was cited as one of the reasons behind the schools’ successes. With the support of the William Penn Foundation, 100 Book Challenge spread to more than 70 Philadelphia schools. In 1998, the Abell Foundation of Baltimore asked Ms. Hileman to provide her program at ten Baltimore city schools. To fulfill that order, Ms. Hileman decided to establish 100 Book Challenge as a business.

Over time, the company’s core program, 100 Book Challenge, was expanded to include Research Labs (thematic, integrated, project-based learning units in science and social studies) and Action 100 (a response to intervention accountability framework for whole-school transformation). To reflect its national customer-base and its growing list of products and programs, the company changed its name from 100 Book Challenge to American Reading Company in 2004.

American Reading Company’s rapid growth and success in the classroom has not gone unnoticed. As one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, ARC has attracted minority investments from Random House and Ironwood Investments. It was recently recognized as one of the Top 500 Diversity Owned Businesses in the U.S. and is the recipient of the 2006 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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Learning List and EdReports: Differing Reviews of CCSS-Aligned Mathematics Materials

EdReports recently released their reviews of four publishers’ instructional materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics: Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics (K-5), McGraw Hill’s Everyday Math (K-6), Kendall Hunt’s Math Innovations (6-8), and Origo’s Stepping Stones (K-5). Reviewing the materials for alignment to the instructional shifts of the CCSS, EdReports found only one material, Bridges in Mathematics, to be fully aligned and sufficiently easy to use.

At Learning List, we were surprised by these findings. In contrast to EdReports, we found Bridges in Mathematics, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones to be aligned to 100 percent of the CCSS at each grade level the material addressed.

For each material, we provide three distinct reviews, including: (1) an overview of the material’s key academic attributes and technology requirements; (2) a detailed verification of the material’s alignment to each CCSS; and (3) an in-depth review of the material’s instructional content and design.

For the alignment review, multiple experienced and certified teachers review the citations (i.e., pages, video, lessons) listed in publisher’s correlation to verify that they address the content, context, and cognitive demand of each standard. For CCSS math products, we also review the material’s alignment to each of the eight Mathematical Practice Standards (MPS), the CCSS-identified habits of mind that students should develop as a result of mathematics instruction (e.g., reason quantitatively).

Our reviewers found that Bridges in Mathematics, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones address 100% of the CCSS at each grade level. This does not mean that every citation we reviewed was aligned to the relevant standard; rather, it means that our reviewers found that every standard was fully addressed in at least one location in the text. We also found that the MPS are fully integrated in Bridges in Mathematics and Everyday Math. Origo did not submit an MPS correlation for Learning List to verify.

Beyond alignment, our editorial reviews provide an in-depth analysis of each material’s instructional content and design, including multiple indicators of rigor, focus, coherence and ease of use.  For example, our editorial reviews for each of these three materials found that: distracting or extraneous content is limited, instruction is grade appropriate and the material develops critical or higher order thinking skills. While Bridges for Mathematics and Stepping Stones contain inquiry-based activities; Everyday Math did not.  All three materials provide assessments at appropriate instructional points but contain different types of navigation tools and different instructional resources for teachers and students, as elaborated upon in each review.

Reviewing materials is an inherently subjective analysis. Both EdReports and Learning List provide rigorous reviews of each material for educators to use as a baseline for their internal review and selection process. In contrast to EdReports, we found that Bridges, Everyday Math, and Stepping Stones deeply addresses the CCSS.  Our editorial reviews further highlight each material’s attributes of rigor, coherence, focus and ease. Whether each of the materials is rigorous, focused or coherent enough for their students is a decision we leave for schools and districts to make for themselves.

Subscribe to Learning List for access to the spec sheet, full editorial review and detailed alignment report for these materials.

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