Posts Tagged "instructional materials"

Strategies for Reviewing Adaptive Materials

Over the last year, many of our subscribing districts requested reviews of adaptive materials. The concept behind adaptive materials is admirable: different content is presented to each student based upon the student’s performance on each task or assessment. In essence, these products offer the promise of an individualized instruction for each student.

However, districts should not assume that “adaptive” means “aligned to standards.” Many adaptive materials assign content based on skill mastery rather than mastery of the standards. Based on our experience, districts would be advised to carefully review the alignment of adaptive materials to the standards they are needed to support before using them.

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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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Why Teachers Need More Planning Time

Why Teachers Need More Planning Time

This article discusses “Four Ways State Leaders Can Help Teachers Implement High Quality Curriculum.” One of the author’s suggestions is that leaders provide time and space for educators to plan. One of the reasons educators need more planning time is that online preK-12 materials have become increasingly complex to use. Here’s why.

Learning List reviewers have reviewed thousands of PreK-12 instructional materials. Our team is adept at learning how to navigate through online materials. These days, reviewing online materials is taking longer because materials often consist of different components to remediate, enrich and extend students’ learning.  Sometimes, each component uses a different online platform; more commonly, the assessments component uses a different platform from the material’s instructional components.  Thus, merely learning how to navigate through online materials takes longer than it used to.

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Finding Materials to Support English Learners Successfully

Finding Materials to Support English Learners Successfully

Districts increasingly are reaching out to us for assistance in finding materials to support English Learners (ELs).  Some districts are seeking comprehensive materials with strong support for ELs; others are seeking materials specifically designed to support EL students’ language acquisition. Learning List has reviewed both types. In January, we wrote about seven trends we have observed in materials’ support for ELs. This article discusses the types of supports to look for when seeking materials to support ELs successfully.

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How Can Instructional Materials Support Growth Mindset?

How Can Instructional Materials Support Growth Mindset?

Growth Mindset, a term coined by Carol Dweck, addresses the beliefs and resulting actions that people have about learning. People with a growth mindset believe that their abilities, intelligence levels, and skills will improve over time and as a result of effort. They believe they can learn.

Much of what is written about growth mindset and the strategies to develop it focuses on pedagogy. While establishing a growth mindset culture in the classroom is primarily dependent on the teacher’s behavior, expectations and instruction, the design and contents of the instructional materials can also support or hinder the development of growth mindset.

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