Trends in Pre-Kindergarten Materials

Learning List recently completed reviews of all materials submitted for state adoption under Proclamation 2021 for Prekindergarten. We reviewed materials from fourteen publishers, ten of which provided both an English and a Spanish version for consideration.

As you prepare to start reviewing these programs, below are six trends Learning List’s reviewers noted across the Pre-K materials:

  • Most of the materials have designed the core instruction using a thematic approach. The strongest materials reflect an intentional integration of themes across the majority of lessons.
  • To varying degrees, the materials are developmentally appropriate. The strongest materials support developmentally appropriate practices, as defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Educators should note that some materials include developmentally appropriate components or are designed based on developmental progressions for specific skills, but may not be fully developmentally appropriate.
  • Of the ten products offered in Spanish, most, but not all, provide sufficient resources to support bilingualism, dual language programs, and/or use of the home language as a foundation for English acquisition, as required by the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (TPGs).
  • Some of the publishers have distinguished their materials by capturing the TPGs’ emphasis on educating the whole child and focusing on social and emotional learning (SEL). The strongest of these materials consistently provide lessons focused on SEL. A few provide entire programs for this purpose.
  • The majority of materials provide a level of rigor appropriate for most students by including questions and activities at all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy or DOK; by providing a variety of opportunities for students to make connections to their lives and to the world; and, by empowering students to ask questions, solve problems, and take ownership of their learning.
  • Most of the materials provide assessments in the form of observational checklists. Only a few provide formal, normed, standardized assessments, such as screeners or diagnostic assessments.

Educators can expect to see these features in varying degrees in the materials submitted for state adoption.

Learning List’s editorial reviews provide a qualitative analysis of each program’s strengths, instructional model, instructional content, rigor, ease of use, adaptions for student populations, and teacher resources. A technology review accompanies the editorial review to show with which devices and operating systems each material is compatible and provide other critical interoperability information.

All of Learning List’s reviews of the PreK materials submitted for state adoption will be published by the end of October. At their next meeting (November 17-20, 2020), the State Board of Education will take action regarding the adoption of materials submitted under Proclamation 2021. The List of Instructional Materials adopted Under Proclamation 2021 will be posted on the TEA website by early December.

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