Courseware Summer 2021 Enhancements Sneak Peek
Courseware Summer 2021 Enhancements Sneak Peek
The 2020-21 school year has been a year of innovation, adaptability, and perseverance and we are proud to partner with districts across the nation as they have modified the where, when, and how of learning to ensure that all students have access to quality educational experiences.
We’re grateful for the requests, pain points, and successes you’ve shared with us and we’ve released a variety of enhancements to the Courseware platform and curricula over the past year in response to that feedback and the expanded use of Courseware as a primary curricular resource.
Before we dive into this summer’s enhancements, let’s take a look back at what has been released this school so that you can take advantage of all the features that are currently available.
One of the most important things that educators need from their digital curricula is alignment to standards and educational best practices. This July you can expect new Geometry, U.S. History, and English 9 courses that are built to national and state standards using the latest pedagogy and instructional design best practices.
Over the last two summers, we released brand new Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 courses. This summer, we are releasing the last installment in the traditional pathway for high school math: Geometry. Not only will the new course have a practice component with every lesson, but it also includes Clarifying Big Ideas sections to provide clear and explicit instruction on commonly misunderstood concepts that are foundational to success in high school mathematics.
Here are a few other features you will notice in the new Geometry course:
- Reduced concept and reading load
- Increased high-quality visuals
- More interactivity and practice
- Custom videos aligned to investigation activities
This new course will give students opportunities to engage with the content in meaningful ways through a variety of instructional models so that they can build conceptual understanding and procedural fluency of geometry for lifelong application.
Our new U.S. History course employs an inquiry-based model that integrates multiple perspectives and focuses on both analytical thinking and historical content. The content centers underrepresented voices and presents information through multiple experiential lenses. In the early stages of course development, we sought and implemented input from external diversity, equity, and inclusion reviewers on both the course scope & sequence and targeted lessons. The course also includes media and images to ensure appropriate representation so that every student can see themselves in the course.
Each lesson in the new U.S. History course begins with an inquiry question to guide student thinking. These questions are revisited throughout the lesson to provide a seamless learning experience. We are also developing historical thinking skills lessons that provide instruction and modeling of crosscutting concepts contextually, such as making historical comparisons, understanding continuity and change, and analyzing quantitative data. Historical thinking skills lessons serve as an introductory lesson for each unit with skills integrated into each subsequent lesson of the unit.
The way content is presented in the new U.S. History course supports the learner’s experience and comprehension of concepts. The look and feel of the content is carefully formatted to intentionally use hierarchical headings, bullets, and boldface text to make parsing text easier. Additionally, the reduction of text on screen, chunking of information, and inclusion of a wide variety of technology-enhanced interactions result in a reduced concept load, increased student engagement, and a more successful student experience.
The new English 9 course is designed to meet the needs of credit recovery as well as Tier 1 instruction. It provides ways to differentiate for a range of learners, take advantage of teacher and peer interactions, and engage synchronously. We built the content to make sure the experience worked well for all students whether the course was taken in a teacher-full learning environment or by a student working independently.
One major change you’ll notice in the new English 9 is the transition from a skill-centered to a text-centered approach to instruction. The course contains quality, full-length, authentic texts that incorporate a variety of voices to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are achieved in both authorship and character experience. Care has been taken to ensure that texts are of adequate length as well as engaging and relevant.
Themes and Connections
Each unit in the English 9 course is built around a central theme, encouraging students to identify connections among the texts. Each thematic unit has a guiding question, and all lessons and activities work together to address that guiding question. Additionally, lesson activities contain a new feature called “Connect and Reflect” which provides opportunities for students to apply skills and concepts from the lesson to the work they will do in the culminating unit activity performance task. Through themes and connection activities, students leave each unit with a greater understanding of the world around them.
Unit Teacher Guides
The English 9 course also includes new unit teacher guides. These guides are designed to help teachers integrate Courseware into their daily instruction by providing detailed teacher supports for every activity within the unit. Each guide includes the key concepts for each unit and notes on how to teach them, opportunities to elevate listening and speaking standards and assess conceptual understanding through discussion, and relevant vocabulary. The guide also includes supports for all types of learners such as ideas for differentiated instruction and strategies for English Language Learners (ELLs).
We can’t wait for you to get a firsthand look at the new courses coming this summer, and we look forward to hearing your feedback on how we can continue to improve our content and platform to ensure it meets the needs of educators and students.
To stay up-to-date on current and future releases, check out the What’s New page and be sure to bookmark it for future reference.