Posts Tagged "open educational resources"

New Review: The Mathematics Vision Project, or MVP, Secondary Courses I-III


[Source: MVP]

Learning List has reviewed The Mathematics Vision Project, or MVP, Secondary Courses I-III. The courses are a set of a supplemental open-educational resources that support instruction for each of the Integrated Pathways described in Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics. Resources are available in print format and structure an inquiry-based approach to learning.

MVP is built on “learning progressions” that include a meaningful flow of classroom learning tasks that prompt students’ mathematical thinking, develop understanding, and foster intuitive approaches to problem solving. Each course provides sets of questions accompanied by visual elements (e.g., graphs) that guide students’ thinking.

Courses encourage multiple approaches to solving problems and connect concepts in algebra and geometry. Daily lessons are guided by teaching notes that describe “Launch” (whole class), “Explore” (small group), and “Discuss” (whole class) activities. Each lesson is accompanied by a “Ready, Set, Go!” homework assignment that helps students practice new skills and retain prior learning. Many homework assignments have corresponding video tutorials available through Khan Academy (

MVP’s courses are available at no cost from Additional materials, including answer keys for homework assignments, are available for purchase on the MVP website.

About MVP*

We enable educators to teach their students this truth through engaging, forward-thinking content. The MVP classroom experience does not look  like the traditional mathematics classroom. In the MVP classroom the teacher launches a rich task and then through “teacher moves” encourages  students to explore, question, ponder, discuss their ideas and listen to the ideas of their classmates.  In this way, the teacher connects the Eight Mathematical Practices to the content. All material is expertly-aligned with The Common Core standards.

Homework assignments are organized into three parts–Ready, Set, and Go!  As students mature mathematically, there are many math problems they should be able to do whenever they encounter them. The procedures for solving them become automatic. Students should be able to take off and Go! with them.

This is how students learn mathematics. They learn by doing mathematics. They learn by needing mathematics. They learn by verbalizing the way they see the mathematical ideas connect and by listening to how their peers perceived the problem.  Students then own the mathematics because it is a collective body of knowledge that they have developed over time through guided exploration. This process describes the Learning Cycle and it informs how teaching should be conducted within the classroom. MVP materials top the charts when it comes to Alignment, Rigor & Balance as well as Deeper Learning. All essential attributes of a focused, coherent and rigorous curriculum.

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

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New Review: LearnZillion’s Full Math Curriculum


[Source: LearnZillion]

Learning List has reviewed LearnZillion’s Full Math Curriculum—an open educational resource that provides comprehensive instruction to support the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for students in grades K-8. Resources are available online and include printable materials. Instruction develops students’ conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and ability to apply their learning.

Productive struggle is at the center of LearnZillion’s Full Math Curriculum. LearnZillion defines productive struggle as “the process of expending effort to make sense of important ideas, concepts, or connections that are within reach but require new understanding” (Math Overview). To ensure this process, the program defines and makes use of three curriculum strands, or “Threads,” that bind instruction across grades and provide coherence: (1) Operations Thread, (2) Number Thread, and (3) Equivalence Thread. In addition to coherence, the three strands, or ONE, link concepts within and across CCSS domains and clusters at each grade level and provide a foundation that supports the transition to algebra.

Instruction is presented in sequential units that address “Key Concepts” of the CCSS. Each unit includes a summative assessment that evaluates students’ understanding of the Key Concepts. Lessons develop students’ understanding of concepts, fluency and procedural skills, and ability to apply concepts and skills in new situations. Each lesson is presented using a slide show with detailed teaching notes. Slide shows focus on problem-solving activities that foster productive struggle. Each lesson’s teaching notes provide detailed guidance in implementing activities, including the purpose of each slide, pacing information, suggestions for discussion, common student misconceptions, teaching tips, and answer keys.

About LearnZillion*

learnzillion 3

[Source: LearnZillion]

The idea for LearnZillion began at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. where co-founder Eric Westendorf, was principal. After watching 6th grade teacher Andrea Smith teach her students what it meant to divide by fractions, Eric wondered, “could powerful learning experiences be captured so that teachers didn’t have to re-invent the wheel every time they taught a standard?” He decided to find out. Working with Andrea and a few other E.L. Haynes teachers, he created a homemade website that featured screencasts of high quality, Common Core lessons. The website worked. Not only could teachers find examples of high quality lessons, but parents and students also benefited from the explanations.

Thanks to a Next Generation Learning Challenge Grant, Eric was able to grow the idea. He teamed up with former classmate and teacher , Alix Guerrier, and together they recruited an initial corps of 20 Dream Team teachers from across the country. The Dream Team grew to 123 the following year. In 2015 over 1,000 teachers participated on Dream Teams across the country. The result is the world’s first open, cloud-based curriculum.

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

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New Review: OpenStax College’s College Physics for AP Courses


[Source: OpenStax College]

Learning List recently reviewed OpenStax College’s College Physics for AP Courses, which is a comprehensive, open education resource (OER) resource that supports Advanced Placement (AP) physics instruction at the high school level. Instruction covers two college semesters and addresses the content for AP Physics 1 and 2. The course is available online at no cost (; low-cost print and eBooks are also available.

The first half of College Physics for AP Courses covers material for AP Physics 1, including kinematics, Newton’s laws, motion, force, energy, oscillating motion and waves, electricity and currents. The second half addresses AP Physics 2, including fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics. Instruction is organized in terms of physics concepts and begins with detailed definitions of terminology and explanations of concepts. As lessons progress, students learn how concepts are relevant to real-world phenomena. Frequent example problems frame how concepts can be used to understand and solve every day problems (e.g., What acceleration can a person produce when pushing a lawn mower?). Example problems provide step-by-step guidance in identifying mathematical solutions and detailed discussions of problem-solving strategies. The text provides frequent opportunities for students to apply what they have learned and check their understanding using problems presented in textboxes (e.g., “Applying the Science Practices” and “Check Your Understanding”). Other textboxes highlight formulas, note important and/or interesting information, and identify frequent misconceptions.

College Physics for AP Courses is an open-source resource that encourages science educators to submit new information and course material to ensure instruction is accurate, up-to-date, and relevant to students’ lives. Content is math dependent; students will need a strong understanding of concepts in algebra and statistics in order to be successful. The course does not include a laboratory component, so a separate laboratory manual will be needed in order to fully address the AP Science Practices.

About OpenStax College*

OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Through partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax College is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.

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

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Review: CK-12 Math Concepts


[Source: CK-12]

The CK-12 Foundation’s Math Concepts is a series of comprehensive courses for middle school and high school students that are available free online. CK-12’s open-source digital textbooks, or “FlexBooks,” provide multimodal instruction that integrates textual information, video lectures, and online tools to support different learning styles. The series of Math FlexBooks cover middle school content and high school courses in Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precalculus. FlexBooks may be accessed in ePub and Amazon Kindle formats, and may be downloaded as PDFs.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 9.12.28 PM

[Source: CK-12]

CK-12’s Math Concepts
presents skill-based instruction. Chapters are organized in terms of key concepts and follow a logical sequence in which content builds across chapters. Each chapter is broken into short sections and includes an interactive outline with links to each section. Each section includes: (1) one or more embedded video tutorials that provide direct instruction in key content, (2) examples that provide step-by-step guidance in solving problems, and (3) sets of independent practice problems that closely mirror examples.

Video tutorials are presented as interactive whiteboard lessons with accompanying narration. Each chapter section includes problem sets that allow students to practice skills covered and each chapter concludes with a brief summary and a set of review problems. CK-12 does not include assessments, answer keys, or rubrics to support the evaluation of student work.

About CK-12*

The CK-12 Foundation was founded with the mission to enable everyone to learn in his or her own way. We pair high quality content with the latest technologies. We equip students, teachers, and parents with everything they need. For free.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from CK-12.

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New Reviews: Open Educational Resources (OER)


[Source:] provides free open-educational resources (OERs) to support social studies instruction in high school and home schooling environments. is owned by the Independence Hall Association, whose mission in providing OERs is to provide a forum for learning and discussing American history and values. The website provides comprehensive online textbooks for courses in American History, Ancient Civilizations, and American Government. Course authors are not identified.

Each course’s informational text is written at a level that most high school students will understand and includes relevant visual elements, including political cartoons, images of key documents and figures, and illustrations that clarify written content. Content is designed to engage adolescent readers; however, Learning List’s reviewers found explanations sometimes oversimplified the complexity and significance of historical events. For example, an opening paragraph to a section titled “The Colonial Experience” in American Government reads:



They created and nurtured them. Like children, the American colonies grew and flourished under British supervision. Like many adolescents, the colonies rebelled against their parent country by declaring independence. But the American democratic experiment did not begin in 1776. The COLONIES had been practicing limited forms of self-government since the early 1600s.

Each course includes unique features, such as “Share Your Thoughts,” which allows students to share their thinking on topics discussed in the text and read the thoughts of others—content is monitored by the site’s webmaster. The “Cite This Page” tool provides reference information for students using content as source material for a project or research paper. Sidebar resources include reader-suggested links to external resources that contain primary source documents, biographies of key figures, background information, and related activities (e.g., build a guillotine). Sidebar content also contains advertising targeted to individual users.

Courses do not include many features of a traditional textbook. For example, learning objectives, new vocabulary and terms, and essential questions are not clarified prior to instruction. There are no teacher resources or embedded opportunities to practice social studies skills (e.g., using maps, analyzing primary source documents). There are few checks for understanding, and no digital learning experiences, such as interactive timelines, video segments, and audio files. Further, there are no resources for students with special learning needs, such as English language learners and struggling readers. Although’s courses are comprehensive, Learning List’s reviewers indicated that they would be more effective when used as supplemental instructional resources.

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March 2021