What to Look for in Instructional Programs
The Next Generation Learning Standards (NGLS) will be implemented for Back to School 2020, and new standards means a shift in instruction. When evaluating new programs aligned to the NGLS, be sure all major shifts are addressed and thoughtfully incorporated into student instruction and teacher books. Here are some of the important shifts to look for:
Next Generation English Language Arts (ELA) Learning Standards
- 1. Lifelong Practices of Readers and Writers (LPRW) have been introduced as part of the standards.
This shift aims to reflect the changing expectations of what it means to be literate today. These practices form the basis of the NGLS for ELA, so all instruction is expected to be developed with these practices in mind.
- 2. Most Reading Information (RI) and Reading Literature (RL) standards have been combined into single RI/RL standards.
The purpose of this shift is to reduce redundant standards and streamline instruction. It is also intended to encourage a mix of reading for information and reading for literature across all grade levels.
- 3. Language standards are now organized by grade bands.
The NGLS for ELA have been organized into three grade bands: Pre-K–2, 3–5, and 6–8. This change is meant to create flexibility for educators and respond to the standards only being taught in certain grade levels. It also emphasizes building on prior knowledge more strongly.
- 4. The new R9 standard prioritizes making connections to other texts, ideas, and cultural perspectives.
Educators should search for programs whose content features culturally responsive passages and encourages students to draw connections between the text, their lives, and the world at large.
Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards
- 1. Some mathematics topics have been moved to different grade levels.
This change is meant to increase the focus on major content and skills for each grade level and provide more time for a deeper understanding. For example, Grade 7 probability standards have been moved to Grade 6. In addition, box plots and interquartile ranges were both moved from Grade 6 to Grade 7.
- 2. Critical thinking has become more important.
New mathematics standards demand more critical thinking across all grade levels. For example, Grade 1 students must now be able to draw shapes using defining attributes and assign numeric values to mixed groups of coins. Grade 3 students must be able to classify all polygons instead of just quadrilaterals and be able to understand place values up to four digits.
- 3. New mathematics standards are in place across grade levels.
This shift is intended to improve focus and reduce repetition across grade levels. For example, Grade K students must now know ordinal numbers in addition to cardinal numbers. They should also be able to recognize shape patterns, explore coins, and understand the value of pennies and dimes in relationship to place value (ones and tens). In Grade 2, students must now be able to distinguish between polygons and nonpolygons.
When Evaluating New Programs, Make Sure To:
Consider ELA programs’ ability to support instructional flexibility, differentiated instruction, and changing expectations about literacy, such as the new LPRW.
- Look for ELA lessons that include culturally responsive passages to address the new R9 standard.
- Check to see if mathematics lessons still address content that was removed. For example, in Geometry standards, the rhombus was specifically removed from the list of shapes students should identify. If this shape is still being taught, it could be a clue that the lessons may not have been updated as robustly to meet the NGLS.
- Ensure mathematics programs address the need for students to build relationships between prior knowledge and new knowledge.
- Pay special attention to the content that addresses the Grade 5 mathematics standard for measurement and data, which was revised as late as June 2019.
Why Ready New York, Next Generation Learning Standards Edition?
Ready NY, NGLS Edition was designed to provide instruction that responds to the new standards and connects material between grade levels.
Ready NY, NGLS Edition for ELA includes 31 new, high-quality, complex texts to engage learners with diverse cultures, backgrounds, and needs. Each lesson encourages thoughtful integration of reading, writing, thinking, and speaking skills.
Ready NY, NGLS Edition for Mathematics features the Think–Share–Compare routine to encourage discourse and allow students to build understanding through real-world problem solving. Lessons also include embedded Standards for Mathematical Practice to help students develop strong habits of mind.