A Seismic Shift in Science Materials

Over the last several years, we have reviewed hundreds of science materials aligned to state standards, Advanced Placement frameworks, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Over the last two years, we have observed a significant design shift in science products. Using the 5E model and Project Based Learning (PBL), publishers are designing science instruction to engage students in doing science, rather than learning about science. Where traditional instructional materials might present information and ask students to respond through short-answer or multiple-choice questions, newer materials provide teachers with resources to facilitate inquiry-based science instruction. 

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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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“Bundling” Citations to Achieve Alignment

Do your teachers ever tell you that the material you have just purchased is not aligned to the standards? If so, breathe deeply and read on…

At Learning List, we have learned the scope of the citations listed in the publisher’s correlation can be determinative of whether a material is aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or Advanced Placement (AP) standards.

What do we mean? Some publishers’ correlations consist of citations that cover one or two pages. Those citations are “narrow” in scope. Other publishers’ citations are broad in scope, consisting of a range of pages, a wholeBook module, a chapter, or a 15-minute video.  Both types of citations have their merits; broader citations are most likely to incorporate all of the knowledge and skills dense standards require; narrow citations can be useful instructionally, because they pinpoint more precisely where certain content or a skill is addressed in the text. [Read More …]

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Publishers: Meet Learning List (Part 2)

Earlier this week, we began our series on the 15 questions that are most commonly asked of Learning List by those who develop and deliver content. The series began with the answers to five of those questions. In this installment, we’ll address five more.

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