Instructional materials matter. While securing a 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.
When paired with a high-quality curriculum, INFOhio's quality eBooks, videos, lesson plans, instructional web tools, and training and support materials can provide engaging and innovative supplements to scaffold student growth and learning.
Education doctoral candidate Waneta Hebert recently teamed up with INFOhio's vendor partner Infobase. In her blog post Leveraging Supplemental Resources for K-12 Schools & Districts, Hebert plans for four outcomes when using supplemental materials in teaching and learning:
Using these "four Es," this blog series will explore how educators on teacher-based teams and curriculum adoption committees can use INFOhio's quality digital content and web tools to supplement teaching and support learning for diverse classrooms.
INFOhio licenses Infobase's The World Almanac for Kids for all Ohio schools and families. The World Almanac for Kids is a student-friendly reference resource and homework support. The digital content, videos, interactive learning games, and teacher resources make The World Almanac for Kids a natural supplement for curriculum in grades 6–8. Applying Herbert's 4 Es provides educators with a guide on how to use the licensed digital content available to meet the needs of each student.
Create opportunities for student choice and autonomy by using digital content from The World Almanac for Kids to support Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in your classroom. UDL is a framework to optimize teaching and learning using scientific insights into how people learn. The guidelines for UDL can be used in any classroom to break down barriers that keep students from learning. The first guideline is engagement where student choice is optimized. The World Almanac for Kids features a kid-friendly interface perfect for students as they select text, video, and interactive learning games to learn more about a topic and practice skills. The Topic Centers cover core content areas, as well as the arts, biographies, and health and wellness. Information organized by Topic Centers provides students with opportunities to learn and explore topics of interest.
Educators can provide structured options to help students become intentional in their choice of digital content to supplement the curriculum. The second UDL principle for engaging students includes offering alternatives for how information is represented by including auditory and visual options for accessing content. One way to provide guided student choice is with a choice board. Digital content from The World Almanac for Kids offers the following advantages for choice board content.
Learn how to use INFOhio's licensed digital content to create choice boards in 3 Tips for Using INFOhio in the Blended Learning Classroom.
When students feel as if their interests are important and part of learning, they are empowered to explore these topics even further. With an easy-to-use interface for students and a collection of graphic organizers for educators, The World Almanac for Kids can help educators implement a Genius Hour practice in the classroom. Inspired by Google's concept of 20 percent time, Genius Hour activities empower learning as students select a topic of interest and explore the topic using the digital content located from The World Almanac for Kids. Educators have adapted the practice to develop a plan for implementing creative and engaging research in the classroom. To solidify learning, ask students to create a new product using what they learned about the topic. INFOhio's GO! Ask, Act, Achieve supports students through the inquiry process as they select a topic, gather information, and create a new product based on what they learned. Consider pairing GO! and The World Almanac for Kids as you implement a Genius Hour practice in your classroom.
Educators often use supplemental resources in the classroom to help students master difficult content and skills. When a student perceives that the supplemental resource provides them with support, they will continue to use the resource. Many of these hard-to-master skills have real-world implications. Using the Topic Centers, students and educators can access a collection of skill-based interactive learning games, videos, and articles to provide just-in-time support to elevate student learning.
Classroom and state assessments can help educators identify skills and areas for improvement. Students and educators can work together to select the best content from The World Almanac for Kids targeted to elevate areas for improvement.
Educators can extend learning by challenging students to take their learning outside of the classroom. Engage parents and caregivers in the learning by incorporating the science projects from The World Almanac for Kids into your classroom practice. Science Projects correspond with topics taught in science classrooms in grades 6-8. Educators can extend the learning by asking students to complete science projects independently or create an opportunity for student voice and choice by allowing students to self-select a science project that aligns with their personal interests.
Students who master text at their level can extend their efforts when presented with a text at a slightly higher level. A text set is a collection of media curated to provide key background information and vocabulary to scaffold students for success when reading complex text. Text sets can be used to extend students' knowledge of a topic beyond the content provided in the textbook. Digital content from The World Almanac for Kids includes a record URL, allowing educators to link to the content selected to challenge and extend student learning. The INFOhio's Text Set: Teacher Guide provides helpful resources for creating your own text sets.
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). Using INFOhio's quality resources and web tools like The World Almanac for Kids to supplement learning can engage, empower, elevate, and extend students for success.
Do you have a great way to share how you use The World Almanac for Kids to supplement your curriculum? Want to share your strategies with teachers on your team or around the state? Connect and collaborate with our The World Almanac for Kids and Elementary group in INFOhio's Open Space. Post your ideas or ask for suggestions in the Discussions tab once you join this group. Remember to create your account first. It's easy and available at no cost!