What to Expect From and Look For When Buying Comprehensive Materials

Comprehensive Materials Checklistcomprehensive material is designed to support students in learning all of the knowledge and skills for a grade and subject. Thus, a comprehensive resource should be highly aligned to the standards for the grade level and subject. It should provide both direct instruction and practice opportunities to support students in achieving the depth of knowledge and understanding the standards expect by the end of the grade level.

Comprehensive materials differ in their level of rigor, coherence, adaptions provided for special student populations and instructional resources included for students and teachers. For example, more robust comprehensive materials contain resources to support direct instruction, guided and independent practice, formative and summative assessment, re-teaching and progress monitoring. Teacher’s guides may include resources for planning differentiation and intervention. [Read more…]

Many comprehensive materials include assessments to help educators evaluate their students’ learning, gauge their progress, and design remediation and/or extension activities as needed. Increasingly, we are seeing technology-based products that provide prescriptive feedback that enables teachers to identify learning gaps, group students for re-teaching, and suggest extension activities for students who have mastered content. A robust set of assessments in a comprehensive material may obviate the need for additional test prep materials.

Comprehensive materials are the backbone of most teachers’ instructional program.  In order to support instruction successfully, districts should look for materials that are aligned to a high percentage of state standards, are sufficiently rigorous to prepare students for the state assessments, provide adaptions for as many special students populations as possible, provide rigorous assessments meaningfully placed during the instructional process, and optimally, contain monitoring tools that provide data to help teachers gauge student progress.

Comprehensive materials differ significantly in both features and price, with no discernable relationship between the price of a material and the percentage of standards to which it is aligned. Thus, districts can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by comparison shopping for comprehensive materials. Learning List’s product information comparison tool makes that process easy. Included in the product comparison information is the price of each material selected. Thus, Learning List allows district staff to obtain and document three price quotes instantaneously to support each instructional material purchase as required by EDGAR, the federal purchasing regulations.

Contact us to learn more about how to use Learning List for comparison shopping.

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