K-12 Curriculum Reviews: What Sets Learning List Apart?

Learning List's Curriculum Review Service 10-Year Anniversary Image with gold baloons

Does the following scenario sound familiar? The state’s math standards recently changed, and your district purchased new instructional materials for mathematics. Teachers use the materials for a few months, but when students struggle to master the content, the teachers grow skeptical about the material’s quality. Increasingly, they turn to lesson resources they have developed themselves or borrowed from their colleagues. …

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Selecting Supplemental Materials? Here’s a Process to Help You Pick the Best Materials for Your Students

Supplemental materials on a laptop

In the first two blogs in this series, we offered guidance for planning an instructional materials adoption and customizing a rubric to reflect your district’s priorities. Generally, districts would use that information when selecting core materials. Supplemental materials are most commonly selected at the campus level, and campus leaders typically rely on word of mouth (Wang et. al., 2019) when …

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Customizing an Instructional Materials Rubric To Reflect Your District’s Priorities

Rubric rating scale - interval example

This is the second blog in the series about effective strategies for reviewing and selecting instructional materials. Our first blog discussed planning a successful adoption, which included distributing and aggregating the results of a needs assessment. Now it is time to develop a rubric for the adoption. Developing a rubric from scratch can be daunting. More often, educators look for …

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8 Steps to Planning a Successful Instructional Materials Adoption

adoption planning - four people sitting around a table looking at wall with post it notes

If your district or campus will be adopting new materials this year, someone in your campus or district is probably starting to plan the adoption process. Over the last decade, Learning List has assisted hundreds of districts, both formally and informally, with instructional materials adoptions. Based on research regarding selecting and implementing high-quality instructional materials and our own observations of …

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Are Teachers’ Doubts About The Alignment of Their K-12 Materials Correct?

Standards alignment percentage of supplemental materials

According to the 2021 Survey Results of the RAND Corporation’s American Instructional Resources Surveys, over 90% of the teachers surveyed consider standards alignment an important characteristic in their district-provided instructional materials (question 34). Yet, only between 36-41% of the surveyed teachers (depending on the content area) perceive that their district-purchased materials help their students master their state’s math, English language …

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Save Time with The Learning List

Instructional Materials Reviews

Over the years, numerous subscribing districts have contacted us for help finding instructional materials to consider for a new course they were planning to offer. We would contact other districts that subscribe to our service and compile a materials list for the relevant course. One day, a grateful curriculum director explained that the list we gave her had saved her staff weeks of work. That sparked an idea! We could leverage our relationships with districts and publishers alike to create a robust materials list for the range of subjects and courses schools offer.

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How Much Influence Do Principals Have When It Comes to Selecting and Using Instructional Materials?

What is the principal’s role in selecting and implementing materials? The RAND Corporation’s study titled, School Leader’s Role in Selecting and Supporting Teachers’ Use of Instructional Materials, answers that question. The study explored how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted school leaders’ perception of materials’ quality, as well as their role in selecting and implementing instructional materials. The study was based on qualitative, semi-structured interviews …

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Using the Publisher’s Correlation to Get the Biggest Bang-for-Your-Buck From Your Materials

publisher's correlation works like this image of a Google map with red pinsp is like google map with red pins

Whether you are reviewing the alignment of a material before you purchase it or are planning instruction with a material you already own, the publisher’s correlation can be an invaluable resource. The correlation identifies which standards the material has attempted to address and directs teachers to specific content in the material that addresses those standards.

Are Your Materials A Safety Net or a Sieve?

The mass resignation of teachers and resulting nationwide teacher shortages highlight the importance of having high-quality instructional materials. Prior to the pandemic, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Washington[i] were among the states experiencing severe shortages of fully-prepared, credentialed teachers. During the 2020-21 school year, nearly 20 percent of California’s K-12 classrooms were taught by underprepared teachers.[ii] And, according to the National …

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Teaching a New Course This year? If So, Some Advice…

Teaching from a textbook and sitting on a stack of texbooks

Are you teaching a new grade level or subject this year? If so, you likely do not feel like you have had enough time to plan. 

Three years into my teaching career I moved between campuses and inherited a book cart full of textbooks and supplemental materials for my new assignment. I had no idea whether the materials were current or well-aligned to the current standards for the course! To make things more difficult, I was a singleton teacher and had no one to ask.  It took me a long time to wade through what I had, and I am quite sure that I was missing components of the material that came with the original purchase.

If you are in a similar position, consider these suggestions to help you plan instruction efficiently with materials you have inherited.

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