Teach With INFOhio

Quality Instructional Materials from INFOhio: Capstone Interactive eBooks

Author // Sarah Mowery Tuesday, 01 February 2022

Quality Instructional Materials from INFOhio

Instructional materials matter and looking closely at the materials you use in your classrooms is important. Every Ohio student deserves the opportunity to learn from high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society (Each Child, Our Future).

Studies have shown that using high-quality, coherent curriculums and instructional materials leads to student growth in learning and achievement. We also know that students gain months of learning when teachers use high-quality instructional materials.  

While securing coherent curriculum and professional development for teachers is the first step in ensuring equity in Ohio’s classrooms, identifying high-quality supplemental materials at grade level for all learners can be helpful in increasing student engagement, meeting diverse needs, and filling instructional gaps.

For over 20 years, INFOhio has been providing Ohio schools and districts with quality supplemental resources available at no cost. INFOhio’s resources provide educators and students with premium, vetted content such as eBooks, videos, lesson plans, instructional web tools, and training and support materials that can be used for teaching and learning. When paired with a high-quality curriculum, these resources can provide additional engaging and innovative materials for student growth and achievement and can scaffold student learning if there are gaps.

While the criteria for high-quality instructional materials is broad, key indicators can be applied to materials to determine their effectiveness for student learning. For this Teach With INFOhio blog series, the premium content provided by INFOhio will be shared, highlighted by its

  • Standards alignment/Research-based strategies
  • Inclusive teaching
  • Usability
  • Flexibility and Adaptability

These are the categories of criteria for the RemotEDx Instructional Materials Rubric, developed by INFOhio's Instructional Team in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education. EdReports' and Achieve's EQuIP rubrics were models for this tool. You can feel secure knowing that using the instructional materials from INFOhio will provide students with the quality materials they need to be successful and grow as learners.

Capstone Interactive eBooks

Through RemotEDx funding, INFOhio is excited to license new resources and expand features with previously licensed resources offering Ohio parents, educators, and students access to quality content. Capstone Interactive eBooks is one of these newly acquired resources.

Not only does Capstone Interactive eBooks have more than 800 quality, unlimited use, informational eBooks aligned with Ohio Learning Standards for grades 3-6, it also includes engaging features such as themed music, images, and read-aloud capabilities. 

Educators can feel secure in using Capstone Interactive eBooks for quality content to supplement curriculums and scaffold learning. EBooks and features meet the criteria set by the RemotEDx Instructional Materials Rubric and support rigor and acceleration in classrooms.

Using the rubric's individual criterion and applying its indicators to instructional materials can help determine the best content to use with students. Read more about how Capstone Interactive eBooks align with the criteria and indicators for quality materials.

Standards Alignment/Research-Based Strategies

These criteria and indicators help educators identify instructional materials that are aligned with the rigor of the Ohio Learning Standards and rely on research and scientific thinking for best results in the classroom. 

Uses Technology and Media to Deepen Learning and Engage Students

In Capstone Interactive eBooks, technology enables students to have control over their learning. Students are able to browse books to make their own reading choices. The resource features a visual search, making it easier for all students to find titles of interest. 

 

Visual Search categories include nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels, recreational reading, and favorite characters. 

Content Includes Options for Differentiation to Meet Needs of All Learners

EBooks can be filtered by Lexile level and each title features a read-aloud option that can be turned on or off providing flexibility in cognitive capability and supports for complex grade-level text

Filtering by grade level or Lexile level can be found in the menu on the left side. 

 

Open the eBook to use the read-aloud controls at the bottom of the page. Students can choose to turn the read-aloud on or off by clicking the Audio button. When the read-aloud feature is turned on, students can also choose if they want each word highlighted as it is read by clicking the Word button.

 

Instructional Approaches Used are Reflective of Best Practices and Research on What Works in Education

To find Capstone Interactive eBooks aligned to Ohio's Learning Standards, use Capstone Connect. This specialized tool allows educators to search by standard to find Capstone Interactive eBooks and instructional materials to use in lessons. 

For example, a search for Ohio's Learning Standards for Science for 4th grade, 4.ESS.1: Earth’s surface has specific characteristics and landforms that can be identified, provides results of Capstone materials to support classroom teaching.  Remember the content in Capstone Interactive eBooks is focused on 3-6 grade science and social studies content.

Search results can be filtered by choosing a content type at the top. To limit results to eBooks only, click the eBooks box. The first result in the list is an eBook titled Anatomy of an EarthquakeEducators can directly share each eBook by clicking the link icon on the right side of each title. This link will provide a persistent URL that when clicked, will open the title in the Capstone Interactive eBooks platform. 

 

Capstone Interactive eBooks also provide features that support Best Practices for Digital Reading. Studies show that adults should interact with readers when using digital text and that digital text should be used in lessons and instruction. Capstone Interactive eBooks could be easily shared by the educator in a whole-group setting by projecting the book on a screen or in individual or small-group settings for instructional purposes.

Inclusive Teaching

Inclusive teaching emphasizes the strategies and practices educators can use in the classroom to leverage the strengths and tools students of color bring for learning. The criteria and indicators for this category focus on how instructional materials recognize, define, and contribute to the growth and understanding of these strengths. 

Content Creates Student Experiences that Enable all Children to Reach Empowering and Rigorous Learning Outcomes Regardless of their Race or Income

Grade-level appropriate text is important to give all students the opportunity to develop as readers. Capstone Interactive eBooks has more than 800 eBooks at various levels and provides an option for Lexile Level or Grade Range. Educators choose the option best for them.

For example, when limiting the library to the Lexile range of 770-980, 371 books can be found in the results. Using this Lexile Grade Level Chart educators can determine what Lexile ranges would be on target for specific grade levels. This chart allows educators to filter by the specific grade level they teach as well as what time of year it is (beginning, middle, or end). When limiting the result on this chart to 4th grade at the beginning of the year, the grade-level appropriate text would be in the Lexile level range of 735-1060. The 371 eBooks in the results could be used as appropriate all-class texts for a 4th-grade classroom. 

 

Content Cultivates an Awareness and Acceptance of a Variety of Ages, Cultures, Races, Religions, and Gender Roles and Identities

Many of the series available in Capstone Interactive eBooks represent many cultures, races, religions, and genders providing an opportunity for students to see themselves in the content. These series include Graphic Biographies, People You Should Know, Cultures and Customs, and Immigration Today. Doing a keyword search for any of these series' titles will populate them in the search results.

Here are the books from the Cultures and Customs series.

 

Capstone Interactive eBooks include nonfiction titles that use multiple perspectives in text and examples. Educators can share titles of eBooks that provide all students with the opportunity to read more about people, places, and cultures both like and unlike themselves, broadening knowledge and understanding.

Flexibility and Adaptability

The criteria and indicators for this category ensure that instructional materials provide students and educators with what they need for learning in any form—in person, hybrid, blended, or remote. 

Teacher Supports, Documentation, and/or Guides for Effective Use are Present

Capstone Interactive eBooks provide educators with guides, supporting instructional materials, and methods for personalizing learning based on student needs. Each title within this collection has a corresponding Lexile level. Open the book to view the Summary tab. The Summary tab provides a brief description of what the book is about. The persistent URL at the bottom gives a direct link to this eBook.

The Book Information tab provides more detailed information about the eBook. The details include Grade Range, Lexile, Series, Runtime, and additional information. The More titles from this series tab provide additional titles from the Great Civilizations series. 

For additional training and support, INFOhio has created information pages for each resource. Click the INFOhio "i" button before opening Capstone Interactive eBooks to find supporting materials.

 

On INFOhio's information page for Capstone Interactive eBooks, digital teacher guides, examples, and/or templates are available for the materials to use in different delivery modes. In the Training & Support materials a short, 30-minute webinar sharing an overview of the resources, See What's New: Capstone Grades 3-6 Resources is available.

 

Capstone Connect, the educator database created by Capstone, includes instructional materials that support specific Capstone Interactive eBooks. Notice in this example for the Anatomy of an Earthquake, the objectives include teaching with grade-level text, interpreting text features, activating prior knowledge, doing a close read, using academic vocabulary, and summarizing the content. The PDF format is easy to download, save, or print.

Many eBook titles include Critical Thinking Using the Common Core Questions to help guide discussion about the text.

Capstone also provides additional teaching guides on their website. Guides that will help support using Capstone Interactive eBooks include: What is Close Reading? and What is Independent Reading?

 
Usability

High-quality instructional materials are accessible. These criteria and indicators will help determine how well materials meet the needs of all learners.

Materials follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Images present within the eBooks include alternate text or captions describing what can be seen within the image.

The Visual Design of Materials is Clean and Coherent, Lending Itself to Ease of Learning

Capstone Interactive eBooks are easy to navigate with an inviting platform. Within each title Capstone highlights key elements in text with highlighted vocabulary words. These words are pulled out from the text and include the definitions, as seen in the image below.

 

Many of the titles also feature a timeline providing dates of significant events that occurred throughout the text.

Try it Out in Your Classroom!

Capstone Interactive eBooks is intended for use by students in grades 3-6 and it contains content to support science and social studies. Try the quality instructional materials available at no cost in your classroom. Be sure to share how #INFOhioWorks for you on social media.

 

About the Author

Posted by: Sarah Mowery

Sarah Mowery is a Professional Instructional Specialist with INFOhio. She has worked in education for 16 years as a school librarian and technology coach in elementary and middle school settings. While in these roles, she's been an integral part of the building leadership teams working as a curriculum connector and integrating web-based tools. She earned a BA in Sociology from Bowling Green State University and an MLS with a specialization in PK-12 schools from East Carolina University. Sarah was one of the original INFOhio ICoaches when the program first began in 2013 and has a passion for sharing how INFOhio resources can transform teaching and impact learning for students and educators across the state of Ohio. 

Sarah Mowery
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