Finding the right supplementary support for your state’s standards is essential. Regardless of whether your school is using PARCC, CCSS, or SBAC, there should be care given to ensure that teachers are provided with a variety of resources to supplement classroom learning.
While textbooks can still be a useful instructional tool, teachers need to have access to additional resources that make learning multi-dimensional. These other resources may be manipulatives, specific multimedia content, or online software platforms that are used to support learning. Given that The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers’ (PARCC), the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) are all assessments that seek to assess students’ mastery in reading and math, the use of supplemental resources to provide differentiated instruction is essential.
It is essential to assess technology resources before choosing technology-driven supplemental materials. For example, if a school does not have one-to-one access and High-Speed Internet access, using technology may not be possible. On the other hand, in schools where there are resources, consideration should be given in selecting resources that promote high levels of interactivity and promote discovery. Choosing an effective online program that provides learning activities that focus on the development of higher-order thinking skills can be a powerful tool. Furthermore, these activities may foster student expertise and cultural exposure. There is a definite correlation between technology use and learning activities that allow students to be in the driver’s seat. Stated – supplemental support that lets students be content creators instead of passive consumers is a powerful resource.
Before choosing supplementary support resources, some key assumptions should be pointed out. Selecting instructional materials, even if they are supplemental in nature, needs to be a multiyear program (K-5, 6-8, or 9-12). Equally important, any review of instructional materials should be based on standards; these materials must be specific to student learning goals. When previewing materials, applying standards to the process makes student learning of important concepts easier. A curriculum framework should correlate with the resources, as well as the standards before they are chosen. After identifying supplemental support materials, a group of experienced teachers should collaborate in the review process. The qualified teachers’ input will provide critical information about how children learn, how to utilize the resources in the learning environment, and the challenges that may occur.
One supplementary resource that will align with all state standards is the Lumos StepUp. The Lumos StepUp resource provides rigorous standards practice through standards-aligned resources. Targeted intervention, foundational skill skills, and videos and apps for each learning objective are included. Furthermore, the program provides an engaging and personalized reading approach that is engaging yet still grade-level appropriate. Each lesson has a standards correlation. If your school is seeking an efficient response to intervention, the Lumos StepUp works to pinpoint student’s areas of difficulty. There are customizable lessons and assignments with personalized instruction. For more information, check out this program at Lumos Learning.
Clearly, the most critical component of choosing supplementary support materials is to make sure that the lessons align with state standards. Correlation with learning goals that are part of the state curriculum provides insight as to how students will do on the end-of-the-year assessments. Don’t forget the importance of ensuring alignment before adopting any supplemental resource.