New Reviews: Sensible Solutions’ “A Common Sense Guide for Teaching Common Core Literacy”

Sensible Solutions’ A Common Sense Guide for Teaching Common Core Literacy is a resource to support grade 6-12 educators in transitioning to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for literacy. The print-based Guide clarifies the CCSS and the progression of literacy standards across grade levels. Learning List has completed reviews of the materials for grades 6-12.

Reason to Celebrate: Districts Gain More Freedom in the Instructional Materials Selection Process

In today’s EdWeek, Catherine Gewertz discusses how some states have relaxed their control over instructional materials and are providing districts with more freedom in choosing their classroom resources. The increased freedom in selecting instructional materials has been a reason to celebrate in many districts. But administrators are quick to acknowledge that the new freedom comes with some challenges…

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?

Weird Al’s “Instructional Material”

People often ask what is the definition of “instructional material.” Though we’ve adopted an expansive definition of “instructional material, ” you won’t find this video reviewed on even though it is one of the more popular lessons about grammar with over 14 million views. However, we thought we’d just share it to ease your transition back into the school year.

To Be or Not to Be: Are Publishers Aligned to Standards?

Today, Learning List released market insights drawn from hundreds of alignment verifications we have completed.  Although Learning List reviews both comprehensive and supplemental instructional materials, this analysis only included materials that publishers claimed to be aligned to 100% of the relevant standards.  Learning List’s Subject Matter Experts (experienced educators) found that, on average, those materials were aligned to: 87% of Common Core …

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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.

Teachers Credit Positive Classroom Culture to Bridges in Mathematics

  The Math Learning Center recently released the second edition of Bridges in Mathematics for grades K-5, and Learning List has just reviewed the new set of products.  Bridges is a comprehensive, inquiry-based program that creates a cooperative community of learners in the elementary mathematics classroom by blending teacher-led instruction, structured investigation, and open exploration of math concepts. The Bridges …

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May Texas School Districts Use Instructional Materials Aligned to the Common Core Standards?

Today, the Texas Attorney General issued the much-anticipated opinion GA 1067, addressing “Use of the Common Core State Standards Initiative by Texas school districts to teach state standards.” We were among the sources asked whether the AG’s opinion prohibits Texas school districts from purchasing instructional materials aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The Austin American-Statesman has a brief article …

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Content in Context: What’s New for the Instructional Materials Review/Adoption Process?

During June 2-4, several hundred representatives from publishing companies, EdTech companies and other educational service providers will be gathering for the Content in Context (CIC) Conference in the Capital Hilton in Washington. D.C. ; as the learning resource industry changes at an exponential pace, CIC is the premier event for presenting preK-12 strategies and advice to develop quality education content …

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