Posts Tagged "state standards"

The Importance of Using Standards-Aligned Materials

In a recent article titled, “Four Ways State Leaders Can Help Teachers Implement High Quality Curriculum,” the author discusses how state policymakers can support the reopening of schools for a successful school year. She encourages policymakers to “Provide clear and simple guidance to ensure all content is standards-aligned and offer examples of what that may look like for in-person and virtual settings.” 

Tablet computer

As districts searched for new online materials to support at-home learning, technology compatibility may have driven their purchasing decisions. Now that they are having to use the materials, alignment should be an important consideration. Here are three reasons why understanding the standards alignment of materials being used for at-home learning is critical to students’ academic success.

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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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The Three Cs of Alignment

One of the topics we are often asked to present at conferences is how to align a material to state standards. Before you begin the hard work of aligning materials, you must ensure that teachers understand the knowledge and skills each Student Expectation requires students to learn.

Each Student Expectation contains three parts, which we call the “Three Cs of the Standard”: the content, context and cognitive demand.

  • The Content of the Expectation states what students are required to learn. The content is typically the noun(s) of the Student Expectation.Three Cs
  • The Context of the Expectation is where/when the learning should be taking place.
    • In the Common Core State Standards, the context may be articulated in the Expectation itself, or the Cluster or Domain may articulate the context for the Expectation.
    • In the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the context may be articulated in the Student Expectation or in the Knowledge and Skills Statement.
    • In ELA, for example, the context of an Expectation is a particular genre. In social studies, the context for an Expectation is often the time period or type of history (e.g., US history, World history, Texas history, etc.). For science, the context is where the learning should be taking place (e.g., in the laboratory, in field investigations, on the Earth’s surface).
  • The Cognitive Demand is what the Expectation requires students to be able to do. The cognitive demand is typically the verb(s) of the Student Expectation.

To determine whether a citation (i.e., a page, unit, lesson) in the material is aligned to a Student Expectation, you have to make sure that the citation addresses all three Cs of the Student Expectation. This may be more difficult than it sounds, because Student Expectations are often both compound and complex sentences. Thus, an Expectation typically contains several nouns and several verbs.

If a single citation does not address all of the nouns and verbs contained in an Expectation, teachers must be aware of the citation’s deficit or else their students may not learn all of the knowledge and skills the Expectation requires. Teachers can adjust their instruction to make up for the material’s deficit or assign multiple citations that align to different portions of the Expectation to ensure that students are exposed the entire Expectation.

 

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New Review: Edgenuity’s Algebra II

[Source: Edgenuity]

[Source: Edgenuity]

Learning List has reviewed Edgenuity’s online mathematics program for Algebra II. The comprehensive course supports instruction in blended learning and self-paced environments. Video-based lessons focus on developing students’ understanding of advanced algebraic concepts and the application of learning to real-world problems.

Prescriptive, diagnostic pre-tests identify the concepts students have already mastered and route them to relevant, personalized content. Instruction is presented in video-based lectures with accompanying whiteboard notes and demonstrations. Each lesson begins with an interactive warm-up that frames the lesson topic, establishes learning goals, connects to prior learning, and introduces new vocabulary and concepts. Core instruction is presented in video lectures by engaging teachers, with accompanying white board demonstrations of concepts and skills.

The course includes read-aloud tools in seven languages and translation tools in 17 languages, including Spanish. Students have access to audio readers, a searchable glossary, a set of calculators (e.g., graphing, matrix, statistical), and online highlighting and note taking tools.

About Edgenuity*

Edgenuity provides engaging online and blended learning education solutions that propel success for every student, empower every teacher to deliver more effective instruction, and enable schools and districts to meet their academic goals. Edgenuity delivers a range of Core Curriculum, AP®, Elective, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and Credit Recovery courses aligned to the rigor and high expectations of state, Common Core and iNACOL standards and is designed to inspire life-long learning.

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

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

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