New Curriculum Review: Savvas’ Elevate Science for NGSS

Elevate Science Grade 5 image: multi-colored hotair baloon with the word "Elevate" underneath

Does your district need instructional materials to support K-8 implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards? Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of Savvas’ (formerly Pearson) Elevate Science.

Elevate Science is a comprehensive science program for grades K-8. Materials are available in print and online. The program focuses on providing student-centered, three-dimensional learning. Elevate supports the development of critical and analytical thinking while developing literacy skills and an interest in STEM related activities.

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New Products: High School Science Dimensions for NGSS

HMH Science Dimenions Chemistry

Is your district looking for high school science materials to support implementation of the NGSS? Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Science Dimensions for Biology, Earth and Space Science, and Chemistry.

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Trends in Materials Designed for NGSS

Drop logo
NGSS: picture of a microscope

The Next Generation Science Standards are impacting science education for approximately 71% of United States students. As of January 2020, twenty states have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are based on the National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education. An additional twenty-four states have adopted their own standards that are based on the National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education.

As teachers across the country have realized, NGSS changes the expectation for what science instruction looks like. NGSS moves students beyond just knowing science and demonstrating their knowledge through completing scripted science experiments and demonstrations to doing science and solving problems like scientists and engineers. This means the materials for science instruction have to change, too.

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New Product: STEMscopes

STEMScopes NGSS 3D logo

Is your district looking for material to support implementation of the NGSS? Take a look at Learning List’s review of Accelerate Learning’s STEMscopes NGSS 3D.

STEMscopes is a comprehensive science program for grades K-12. Learning List recently reviewed the materials for K-8. Elementary content is organized by grade level, and middle school content is divided into three courses: Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science. The materials are digital, with the option of printing PDF documents for most program components.

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New Curriculum Review: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Science Dimensions for NGSS

HMH Science Dimensions

Does your district need instructional materials to support implementation of the NGSS? Take a look at Learning List’s reviews of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Science Dimensions.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Science Dimensions is a comprehensive science program for grades K-12. Learning List has reviewed the materials for middle school Life, Earth and Space, and Physical Science. Science Dimensions provides relevant, real-world opportunities for students to work and think like scientists and engineers. The material supports the intention of the Next Generation Science Standards by consistently providing students with three-dimensional learning experiences, integrating the Cross-Cutting Concepts and Science and Engineering Practices with the Disciplinary Core Ideas.

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New Product: Glencoe’s iScience for NGSS


Glencoe’s iScience is a set of comprehensive materials for middle school science. Materials are available in print and online. Each discipline of science (life, earth and space, physical) is a separate set of materials designed to encourage students to learn scientific concepts and apply those concepts to the real world.

iScience supports the intent of the Next Generation Science Standards with numerous opportunities for students to be scientists and do science. Materials encourage students to make connections between scientific concepts and real-world scientific phenomena. Units include a variety of labs that increase in complexity throughout the unit.  Consistent application of the 5E model as well as labs, questions, and lesson activities provide numerous opportunities for student to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

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How Learning List Helps Districts Comply with ESSA’s “Evidence Based” Requirement

A recent report from Curriculum Associates discusses the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) requirement that federal education funds be used for evidence-based programs, interventions, and products. “ESSA and Evidence Claims: A Practical Guide to Understanding What ‘Evidence-Based’ Really Means” provides a primer for educators in understanding the four levels of evidence recognized by ESSA (e.g., moderate evidence), the type of study that exemplifies each level (e.g., quasi-experimental), and the five questions educators should ask when evaluating research-based evidence (e.g., “When was the study conducted?”).

One of five questions for evaluating evidence, in particular, caught Learning List’s attention: “Was the study based on current content and standards?”

ESSA assumes that the evidence base for a product, program, or service is based on the state’s current standards, but it is possible that the research is grounded in prior state standards or another state’s standards, altogether. It is the district’s responsibility to vet information to ensure products purchased with federal funds and the evidence supporting the products’ effectiveness are based on the appropriate standards.

A tall order but Learning List can help.

Learning List’s alignment reports clarify which set of standards a product addresses, such as the Common Core State Standards or the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Our alignment reports evaluate the product’s alignment, determining whether the material fully addresses the content, context, and cognitive demand of each of the relevant standards. Thus, Learning List’s alignment reports provide strong evidence about whether a product is grounded in the relevant standards. [Read more…]

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Frequently Asked Questions About Learning List

As the school year shifts into high gear, we are getting a lot of questions about our service. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What is Learning List?
Learning List is a subscription-based instructional materials review service designed to help improve student learning by empowering educators to chooseand use instructional materials most effectively.

We created Learning List in 2013 to help districts become better informed consumers of instructional materials. Initially, districts used our reviews to facilitate their selection of materials. Over time, subscribers began telling us that our reviews also helped them identify the best parts of their existing materials to use to teach each standard. As one instructional coach explained, “We use your alignment reports as a GPS through our materials to ensure that we’re using the pages that teach each standard fully.”

What types of materials do you review?
We have reviewed over 2500 of the most widely used instructional materials, including:

  • Materials in the four core subjects, 12 Advanced Placement courses, Tech Apps and 85 CTE courses;
  • Comprehensive and supplemental materials, including RtI, testprep, criterion-referenced test banks, and professional development resources;
  • Publisher produced and free open educational resources (OERs);
  • State-adopted and non-adopted materials (i.e., materials that were not submitted for state adoption); and
  • English and Spanish versions of materials.

Subscribing districts get access to all published reviews and may request reviews of additional materials as part of the subscription. That’s why Learning List is a service, not just a website. [Read more…]

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New Product Review: Accelerate Learning STEMscopes

Accelerate Learning's STEMscopesAccelerate Learning’s STEMscopes is a comprehensive product that supports science instruction in grades PK-12. Content is available in print and digital formats and includes kits of hands-on materials for each K-5 grade level and middle school and high school course (e.g., physical science). Instruction provides hands-on investigations, activities that link science to other content areas, and collaborative learning experiences. Learning List recently reviewed resources for K-12. [Read more…]

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New Review: McGraw Hill’s Thrive Powered by Time to Know

Thrive Powered by Time to Know

McGraw Hill’s Thrive™ powered by Time To Know® is a comprehensive, online resource to support English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science instruction in 1:1 computer-based learning environments. Resources support teacher-led, data-driven instruction in classrooms that integrate technology. Learning List recently reviewed Thrive science resources for grades 6-8.

Thrive presents science content at each grade level in units that address concepts in life science, physical science, and earth and space science. Units open with a video or animation followed by discussion questions that introduce content. [Read more…]

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