Every year, the Golden Lamp Awards from AAP name the best of the best in PreK-12 learning resources. Over this week, leading up to the 2017 AAP Celebrates ceremony where we will announce the Golden Lamp winners, we’ll be looking at the finalists for each category. Our final category: Whole Curriculum.
STEMscopes PreK-12 from Accelerate Learning, Inc.
Category: Science, Health, and the Environment
About: Founded in the lab by practicing teachers, STEMscopes grew from serving only Texas to now being a major player in the STEM, NGSS, and state-specific standards education throughout the United States. Serving over three million students, we believe in delivering high quality curriculum and professional development through digital, print, and kit resources while maintaining low costs and open ears to the needs of the communities we serve.
What the judges said: This is what active learning is all about. The material provides so many options for teachers to develop or supplement their program to ensure that students are engaged and ACTIVE! Yes, there are things to do on a screen, which ensures that students who enjoy this type of activity are engaged. But science is about the doing, touching, feeling, experimenting, etc. This program provides that without an abundance of costly materials, often a burden for a strapped teacher or school.
SpringBoard from the CollegeBoard
About: SpringBoard Digital Mathematics is an interactive, high-rigor college/career readiness curriculum with tools to personalize lessons and grade, track, and report student progress. SpringBoard Math includes editable lesson plans, pacing calendars, curriculum maps, and support videos. Student tools include virtual manipulatives, Desmos graphing calculator, GeoGebra apps, sticky notes, and metacognitive markers. Khan Academy videos are accessible and aligned to concepts. Multiple assessment opportunities allow teachers to use data to inform instruction.
What the judges said: The judges were very impressed with this product. Springboard provides the right blend of curriculum content, instructional design, and technology tools to create a truly good learning experience. Even though this was the first time some were looking at Springboard, they never felt lost in the system. The user experience design is well thought out, and overall the product is right up to the mark.
McGraw-Hill networks from McGraw-Hill Education
Category: Social Sciences and History
About: A Social Studies Learning System provides social studies instructional solutions and content for grades 6-12 with rich interactive content, graphics, and activities that are aligned to the standards. Customized instructional strategies are tailored to differentiate instruction for multiple learning styles. The online centers offer extensive professional development and support for teachers and include immediate feedback to drive students toward assessment success.Social studies content comes alive as students interact with content that is relevant.
What the judges said: This full curricular offering is exceptionally deep and rich. They were gratified to see how the emerging 'text book' instruction is moving to digital platform. The McGraw-Hill network interface is easy to navigate and the materials provided for each unit are appropriate and exhaustive. Teachers will have a variety of resources to draw from - many of them primary sources! These materials are interactive and engaging. The judges especially appreciated the effort to address different reading levels and assess the background knowledge of learners. Teachers will love the ability to communicate directly with students within the network.
Shmoop Online Courses from Shmoop
About: Our online courses are designed to give students the tools and skills they need to meet national and state educational standards and to help explore their academic and professional interests. We offer over 300 standards-aligned courses for middle school, high school, and college in a dozen subject areas: Business and Career Preparation English Health, Physical Education, and Counseling History and Social Science Humanities Life Skills Literature Math PBIS Science Technology and Computer Science and Writing.
What the judges said: This online community is fun and very engaging with so many places to explore. It is a very nice touch that there are ways for teachers to customize their own learning communities and have options within. From Test Prep to College Courses, this site offers more than enough chances for students to learn an assortment of subject matters. There is truly something for every type of learner on this site that will keep the student engaged.
TIME® Nonfiction Readers: Grade 6 from Teacher Created Materials
Category: Reading and Language Arts
About: TIME® Nonfiction Readers Grade 6 is specifically designed to engage middle school readers with multiple text features and captivating topics. Books provide appropriately complex texts that offer ample opportunities for analyzing nonfiction. This K–8 series includes standards-based lesson plans for the books, print and digital assessments, interactiv-eBooks, written and oral student activities, and more. Nonfiction Readers has the flexibility to fit into a variety of settings, while improving student comprehension and reading achievement.
What the judges said: Judges said this program is an effective supplement for any reading program, whether or not it includes nonfiction books. The topics are of high interest to middle grade readers, especially to reluctant male readers. This product is accurate, current, objective and rooted in credible research. It is clearly and deliberately designed and is respectful and inclusive of diverse learners and their experiences. There are many resources which are sensitive to differences and diversity of learning experiences, needs, and abilities. It is specifically designed to provide opportunities for differentiated learning.