WARNING – Poor Instructional Decisions Cause Failure

This is the time of the year when all hands are on deck to help struggling students achieve. We, as educators, have a tendency during the crunch time before state testing to work harder and faster but not always smarter. Due to this sense of urgency, teachers often give students stacks of worksheets designed in the same format as the state tests, thinking that more practice is better.  Computer labs are booked solid with students needing additional help on specific skills.  When instructional technologists ask the teachers what the students need to work on in the lab, the answer many times is, “Just pick whatever lesson you can on that particular skill.”  Now, what is wrong with this scenario?

One reason that many struggling students are not more successful each year is that the provided instruction is not aligned closely with the academic standards.  If the practice worksheets or online lessons that the teacher assigns do not address standards completely, the student may not be learning a skill or concept or may be learning it wrong repeatedly. That type of damage is difficult to rectify.

When a classroom teacher or instructional technologist arbitrarily assigns a lesson without first reviewing it, students may not achieve the intended learning outcome.  Not all instructional materials are aligned closely to the standards, so it is very important to check the alignment first.

Learning List’s alignment reports are designed to save teachers time and effort in this process.  Each report lists multiple citations (e.g., lessons, activities, pages) that our subject matter experts have reviewed for alignment to the content, context, and cognitive demand of each standard (or breakout in Texas). If a district purchases a product Learning List has reviewed, teachers can assign the reviewed citations with confidence that they are providing their students with instructional materials that are aligned to the standards.

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