Posts Tagged "instructional materials"

New Product: Heinemann’s Units of Study in Writing

Which instructional materials is your district considering for writing instruction? Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of Heinemann’s Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing (Grades K-5) (Units of Study Writing).

Units of StudyUnits of Study Writing is a supplemental writing product for students in grades K-8. The program is primarily an instructional narrative for teachers and includes print and online teaching resources. Lucy Calkins’ workshop model underpins the framework for writing instruction in this series. Teachers without prior experience in teaching writing workshop will require significant professional development and time to study materials and resources to ensure successful implementation.

Units of Study Writing dovetails with Heinemann’s Units for ReadingTM, which Learning List has reviewed. Both products use similar structures, instructional strategies, and vocabulary across grade levels and content areas. This provides seamless transitions for students from grade to grade. Learning List’s alignment reports show how the material’s vertical alignment of skills guide teachers in supporting students at all proficiency levels. [Read more. . . ]

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New Product Review: Pearson Stats in Your World

Learning List has reviewed Pearson’s Stats in Your World, which is a comprehensive product that supports instruction in high school statistics courses. Content is available in print and eBook formats and includes a variety of resources housed in Pearson’s “MyStatLab™” online platform. Instruction emphasizes the use of real-world data to introduce statistical concepts, develop statistical analysis skills, and enable students to “think statistically.”

Stats in Your World’s examples focus on real-world problems and applications of statistics that will be familiar to college-bound students (e.g., random assignment of students to dorms) and each chapter contains a discussion of common errors made in analyzing statistical data and interpreting results. [Read more…]

 

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Spanish Language Arts and Reading (SLAR) Product Reviews

students writing

Learning List has reviewed each of the five Spanish language arts and reading (SLAR) materials submitted to the Texas Education Agency in response to the Proclamation 2019. Below are brief discussions of each of the SLAR products. Learning List has reviewed each of the corresponding English language arts and reading (ELAR) products referenced in descriptions.

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Defining Roles: Standards vs. Curricula vs. Instructional Materials

FocusEducators and publishers often use the terms “standards,” “curriculum” and/or “instructional materials” interchangeably. Moreover, many educators consider their instructional materials to be their curriculum. However, each of these terms represents a distinct component of an educational program. In the sections that follow, we provide explanations of each of these terms to differentiate their meanings in the context of PreK-12 education.

Standards set out what students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of each school year. Standards are generally established at the state level. In fact, ESSA requires that each state create learning standards for public schools in three subjects—English language arts/reading, mathematics, and science—and many states go beyond ESSA’s minimum to set standards in social studies, career and technical education, languages other than English, and other subjects.

In contrast, the curriculum is developed at the district level, the product of local policy making. While the standards tell you what is expected, the curriculum provides the road map to get there. Often described in documents such as “scope and sequence” and “units of instruction,” a curriculum includes goals, instructional practices and pedagogical guidance, suggested resources and instructional materials, and methods of measuring student progress. [Read more…]

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Effective Implementation: A Key to Success

Effective Implementation: A Key to SuccessThe effective implementation of a material is as critical to student success as the material’s alignment to standards. Learning List’s editorial reviews empower districts with information they need to not only to select materials but also to implement materials more effectively. They provide a qualitative analysis of each material’s instructional content and design. They point out the critical components of the product and the value each provides in the instructional process. They highlight the supports available for teachers and point out deficits in the material’s offerings. For example, the editorial reviews explain whether teacher resources include background in content and pedagogy, provide pacing information and/or lesson plans, and offer guidance in differentiating instruction. They explain the professional development opportunities in the material and note when a product contains additional supports for novice teachers, such as comprehensive discussions of the required content knowledge and pedagogy, and detailed lesson plans to support instruction.

Learning List’s alignment reports guide educators in their selection and use of standards-aligned materials. Our editorial reviews help educators understand the intended use and instructional components of each product so they can implement the product effectively. Together, these reviews empower educators to choose and use materials to fuel their students’ success.

A recent example highlighting the use of Learning List’s reviews to effectively implement instructional materials

An assistant superintendent of a subscribing district called to let us know that her high school math teachers believed that our reviews were too generous to a publisher by failing to mention the material’s lack of rigor. They felt the materials did not provide practice exercises to allow students to develop mathematical proficiency.

Rigor is an attribute we review materials for both in our alignment methodology and in the editorial review. After the call, we reviewed the alignment report for each applicable grade level and observed the following:

The materials were aligned to a high percentage of the relevant state standards, meaning that we found at least one aligned citation for the majority of standards in each grade level. [Read more…]

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