The Science of Reading and Early Reading Instruction

The reading wars continue. If your teachers are debating the best way to approach reading instruction, we offer the articles below to inform the discussions in your district. 

The Hechinger Institute’s article “Four Things You Need to Know About the New Reading Wars,” discusses phonics instruction, balanced literacy, and reading comprehension, referencing additional articles including some of those listed below.

The Center for the Collaborative Classroom recently interviewed Dr. Louisa Moats, who shares her thoughts on the Common Core State Standards, the need for explicit instruction in foundational skills, and her understanding and background on the science of reading.

Read more

Print Versus Digital Materials: What the Research Says

If your district is gearing up for an adoption this year, part of your selection calculation likely will be whether to purchase print or digital/online materials.  An article in the Hechinger Report  titled, “A Textbook Dilemma: Digital or Paper?” may be useful.

The article discusses Patricia Alexander’s review of research on this topic. Ms. Alexander is an educational psychologist and a literacy scholar at the University of Maryland. Despite numerous (878) potentially relevant studies on the topic, Ms. Alexander pointed out that “only 36 [studies] directly compared reading in digital and in print and measured learning in a reliable way.” Despite the need for further research on this topic, Ms. Alexander found that numerous studies affirm the finding that: “if you are reading something lengthy – more than 500 words or more than a page of the book or screen – your comprehension will likely take a hit if you’re using a digital device.” This pertained to college students as well as students in elementary, middle, and high school.    

Read more

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…]

Read more

New Review: The University of Chicago’s Information Now: A Graphic Guide to Student Research

Learning List recently reviewed Information Now: A Graphic Guide to Student Research from The University of Chicago Press. This supplemental resource is available in print and eBook formats and provides an introduction to information literacy and research. Learning List recently reviewed print resources for their support of instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) Research and AP Seminar courses. … [read more]

New Review: The University of Chicago’s The Craft of Research

Learning List has reviewed The University of Chicago’s The Craft of Research –a supplemental print resource for Advanced Placement (AP) Seminar and AP Research courses. The book helps students identify and frame research questions, construct and support logical arguments, and draft and revise effective written reports. … [read more]

New (Free) Whitepaper: Why Alignment Matters

Has your district ever purchased instructional materials that fail to live up to their claims? If so, you’re not alone. Learning List has reviewed over 500 instructional materials, and only half (54%) of those that claim to be aligned to 100% of the state standards, actually are. Ever wondered why that happens?

Is Handwriting Better Than EdTech in the Classroom?

As 1-to-1 and BYOD* initiatives proliferate in K12 education across the country, keyboarding skills increasingly are taking precedence over handwriting instruction in elementary school classrooms. In June, Scientific American cited a 2014 study by psychologists at the University of California Los Angeles and Princeton found that college students who took notes using longhand had better retention and understanding of lecture information than students who took notes on laptops. In light of these findings, educators may want to seek a balance between instruction in keyboarding and handwriting skills, particularly in the elementary grades.

©2022 Learning List
Privacy Policy | Methodology

Learning List, 3575 Far West Blvd. Ste. 29571
Austin, TX 78731 | PH: 512.234.4458