Posts Tagged "Geography"

New Product Reviews: Glynlyon’s Odysseyware High School Social Studies Courses

Learning List has reviewed five of Glynlyon’s Odysseyware comprehensive social studies courses for Texas high schools. Each course addresses the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and supports instruction in self-paced and credit-recovery programs and blended learning environments. Content incorporates instructional videos, grade-appropriate texts, games, and interactive learning activities. A brief description of each course is provided below. [Read more…]

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New Review: Jarrett Publishing’s World Geography

[Source: Jarrett Publishing]

[Source: Jarrett Publishing]

Jarrett Publishing’s Mastering the TEKS in World Geography is a supplemental test preparation resource for the STAAR end-of-course exam in world geography available in print format. Content provides complete coverage of the high school world geography TEKS. Instruction addresses physical, human, and political geography, as well as globalization. Learning List has recently published an alignment report and editorial review of this resource.

The first unit of Mastering the TEKS in World Geography addresses test taking, geography, and problem solving skills. Test taking instruction provides guidance in answering different types of questions (e.g., multiple choice, data analysis) and introduces the three-step “E-R-A” strategy: (1) Examine the Question, (2) Recall What You Know, and (3) Apply What You Know. Instruction in geography skills teaches students how to use and interpret different types of maps (e.g., thematic, historical, political). Instruction in problem solving outlines a set of steps to help students make informed decisions.

Video Courtesy of Jarrett Publishing

[Source: Jarrett Publishing]

Subsequent units cover physical, human, and political geography; geographic change(s) over time; and issues in globalization. Each chapter begins by identifying the TEKS and geographical terms addressed in instruction. Chapter openers list the “Important Ideas” students will learn and pose several essential questions to guide students’ thinking. Chapters include application exercises in which students apply their learning to new situations and “Acting as an Amateur Geographer” activities in which students complete short research projects.

Chapters end with Study Cards, “Checking Your Understanding” questions, and Concept Maps that help students prepare for the STAAR test. Study Cards summarize the key concepts and vocabulary covered in the chapter. Students are encouraged to illustrate the back of each card with a picture that visually represents the concept or term. Study Cards support student review individually and in groups. “Checking Your Understanding” presents a set of practice questions formatted to reflect the STAAR end-of-course exam.

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New Reviews: WorldView Software – Online Social Studies

[Source: Worldview Software]

[Source: Worldview Software]

WorldView Software provides a set of comprehensive, online social studies courses for use with middle school and high school students. Course resources support instruction in self-paced educational programs and may be used to supplement instruction for students in need of remediation or credit recovery. Courses do not include print materials, although some online content may be downloaded as PDFs. Learning List has recently completed editorial reviews for the following TEKS-based instructional materials, some of which are state-adopted.

For students in grade 8, WorldView provides Basic American History I, which covers the historical period spanning the arrival of the first native people in North America to Reconstruction. High school courses include:

  • World Geography: An Interactive Approach: An exploration of each of the world’s major regions that considers how geography shapes the economies and cultures of the countries in each region.
  • World History A: A one-semester survey course covering the Neolithic period, early civilizations, medieval monarchies, the nation states of Europe, the development of Japan, the Ming Dynasty in China, and the Ages of Exploration and Revolution.
  • World History B: A follow up, second-semester course that begins by examining the effects of nationalism on Western Europe and surveys recent world history through the Cold War and the post-World War II changes felt in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.
  • Basic American History II: Post Civil War: An examination of the historical period spanning Westward expansion through the Obama presidency.
  • Economics: An Interactive Approach: A course that introduces students to key concepts in economics, including scarcity, economic theories, supply and demand, the business cycle, and the role of the consumer.
  • U.S. Government: An Interactive Approach: A course that covers the branches of American government and includes chapters on political culture, political parties, campaigns and voting, and state and local government.

For each course, content is presented in chapters, but may be reorganized by activity type (e.g., Case Studies, Maps, Tutorials) or by social studies themes (e.g., civics, globalization, immigration). Each chapter begins with a short introductory overview that includes a computerized audio reader to support struggling readers and ELLs.

Chapters include case studies, primary source documents, and essay prompts. Case studies provide in-depth coverage of important figures and key events and include short-answer questions. Primary source documents have a short introduction that provides the context for the document and information about its author(s) and are followed by document-based questions. Essay prompts are provided in two formats: Guided and Non-guided. Guided prompts provide support in for writing a five-paragraph essay, including hints about main ideas and example paragraphs. Non-guided prompts do not include supports. Each chapter includes a glossary; links to related artwork, maps, and graphs; opportunities to conduct projects and Internet research; and multiple choice questions to support test preparation.

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