**Essay**

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Instructional Materials Evaluation Checklist

Reviewer: Beverly Price Date: 4-14-09___________________

Resource: Kane, K. (2009). #244 Multiplication Facts. Teachers.net. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/244.html

This resource is a brief explanation of different strategies which can be employed by a teacher in introducing and allowing students to master the whole process of basic multiplication. Although this is not very formal, this is primarily concerned in the mastery of multiplication through different engaging activities. Materials and activity time are also provided.

Instructional Adequacy: The instructional adequacy component evaluates the extent to which instructional curriculum materials provide the necessary support for learning and meeting the instructional objectives. There are four areas of instructional adequacy that may be addressed: design, procedures, clarity, and efficiency. Use the table below to assess these areas.

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Design

Content is accurate.

ü

Content is logical and well organized.

+

The strategies mentioned in the resource are arranged in a well-ordered manner.

Objectives are clearly defined.

–

The objectives are not directly mentioned.

Content helps to achieve the necessary objectives.

ü

However, the resource is still able to provide strategies for students’ mastery of multiplication.

Examples are meaningful and helpful.

+

Specific examples/activities are given and are proven effective in school (Fourth Street Elementary, Atlanta, USA).

Questions are presented clearly.

N/A

Important points are emphasized.

+

Amount of information presented is comfortable.

+

The strategies are great.

Instructional material is free of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity bias.

+

Media elements fairly represent composition of career fields in terms of gender and race.

N/A

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Design

Information is complete and current.

+

Facts come from reliable sources, which are clearly identified.

–

There are no specific sources identified, although it was mentioned that it is the school which came up with the indicated strategies.

Content moves learners beyond the basics and encourages higher levels of thinking.

+

Students are engaged in applying what they learn.

+

The activities really call for high student involvement and thinking.

Layout is consistent.

ü

Content is culturally diverse.

+

Product accommodates unique learning styles and various ability levels.

–

Although the strategies are great, other specifications are not made for ESL learners, etc.

Assessment methods are challenging, appropriate, and suited to learning goals.

+

Teachers can easily assess students’ progress by evaluating the outcomes provided within the product.

+

Reading level is appropriate for target audience.

ü

Product is suitable for the age and grade level.

+

Procedures

Number of interactions in each lesson makes learning easier.

+

There are a lot of student-teacher interactions in each activity presented in the resource.

Lesson requires learners to become actively engaged in order to learn.

+

Lesson motivates learners to continue to learn and master concepts.

+

Directions are clear and complete enough for students to perform required tasks.

+

Clarity

Text is clear and easy to read.

ü

Text is clear and easy to read, but it lacks formality considering that it is a methodology of a lesson plan.

Text is easy to understand.

+

However, this lack in formality makes it easier to understand.

Course lessons are attractive to look at.

–

The resource is not attractive to look at because it simply looks like an e-mail. Some texts are all caps.

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Clarity

Graphics make lessons easier to learn.

N/A

Layout is clear and intuitive; learners can find what they need.

N/A

The lesson plan is merely a guide to the instructor as she employs the lesson and the activities.

Content is easy to navigate through to find necessary features.

+

The strategies can be clearly seen.

Paragraphs and sections have clear and accurate information headings.

ü

Clear and clean fonts are used consistently.

ü

The texts written in all caps are somehow unpleasant to the eyes.

Efficiency

No unnecessary information is included in the lessons.

+

Sufficient numbers of examples and practice items are included in the lessons.

+

Lessons help students learn the material.

+

Flash cards are used for the daily drills.

Instructional Materials Evaluation Checklist

Reviewer: Beverly Price Date: 4-14-09___________________

Resource: Cannon, M. (2001). Division Lesson Plan. College of Education: Athens State University. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from http://www.athens.edu/vinsobm/lesson_9.htm

This resource is a complete lesson plan of basic division for third graders. The components of this lesson plan are behavioral objective; instructional method including anticipatory set, statement of objective, instructional input, modeling, checking for understanding, guided practice, independent practice which has strategies for exceptional children, activities which value cultural diversity, activities which foster active inquiry, critical thinking and problem solving, and closure and summary; assessment techniques; and materials. This full blown lesson plan also includes a brief definition of division and its equation components.

Instructional Adequacy: The instructional adequacy component evaluates the extent to which instructional curriculum materials provide the necessary support for learning and meeting the instructional objectives. There are four areas of instructional adequacy that may be addressed: design, procedures, clarity, and efficiency. Use the table below to assess these areas.

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Design

Content is accurate.

+

Content is logical and well organized.

+

The lesson plan has well-specified and well organized components.

Objectives are clearly defined.

+

Behavioral and specific objectives are clearly defined/stated.

Content helps to achieve the necessary objectives.

+

The whole content is adequate.

Examples are meaningful and helpful.

N/A

Questions are presented clearly.

N/A

Important points are emphasized.

+

Amount of information presented is comfortable.

+

Aside from the basics, references are included.

Instructional material is free of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity bias.

+

Media elements fairly represent composition of career fields in terms of gender and race.

N/A

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Design

Information is complete and current.

+

Facts come from reliable sources, which are clearly identified.

+

Materials include books.

Content moves learners beyond the basics and encourages higher levels of thinking.

+

There are various strategies given.

Students are engaged in applying what they learn.

+

There are a lot of activities provided.

Layout is consistent.

+

Well-outlined.

Content is culturally diverse.

+

One strategy is specific to cultures.

Product accommodates unique learning styles and various ability levels.

+

Assessment methods are challenging, appropriate, and suited to learning goals.

+

Teachers can easily assess students’ progress by evaluating the outcomes provided within the product.

+

Reading level is appropriate for target audience.

+

The starting activity is reading a particular book.

Product is suitable for the age and grade level.

+

The resource is light and simple but comprehensive.

Procedures

Number of interactions in each lesson makes learning easier.

+

There is a guided practice for the effective understanding of the lesson.

Lesson requires learners to become actively engaged in order to learn.

+

The independent practice will engage the students.

Lesson motivates learners to continue to learn and master concepts.

ü

Directions are clear and complete enough for students to perform required tasks.

+

Clarity

Text is clear and easy to read.

+

Text is easy to understand.

+

It uses the simplest words possible.

Course lessons are attractive to look at.

ü

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Clarity

Graphics make lessons easier to learn.

N/A

Layout is clear and intuitive; learners can find what they need.

N/A

This is a lesson plan which will be implemented by the teachers. Eventually, the learners will understand the lesson through the lecture and activities.

Content is easy to navigate through to find necessary features.

ü

This applies on the teacher’s perspective.

Paragraphs and sections have clear and accurate information headings.

ü

This applies on the teacher’s perspective. The resource is well-outlined.

Clear and clean fonts are used consistently.

+

Efficiency

No unnecessary information is included in the lessons.

+

Sufficient numbers of examples and practice items are included in the lessons.

N/A

The lesson plan is merely a guide to the instructor as she employs the lesson and the activities.

Lessons help students learn the material.

N/A

Same as the above.

Instructional Materials Evaluation Checklist

Reviewer: Beverly Price Date: 4-14-09___________________

Resource: Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility – Office of Science Education. (2009). Speed Math – Multiply and Divide. Jefferson Lab. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from http://education.jlab.org/smmult/index.html

This resource is an online or computer-based worksheet for students after the concepts of multiplication and division have been taught to them. This particular material uses both multiplication and division in a single equation by identifying the correct mathematical operation to arrive at a given answer. This activity will be “single player” with five questions [equations]. This will measure the mastery of the students. At the end of the activity, the duration of the whole activity will be posted and this will measure how fast a student can solve equations.

Instructional Adequacy: The instructional adequacy component evaluates the extent to which instructional curriculum materials provide the necessary support for learning and meeting the instructional objectives. There are four areas of instructional adequacy that may be addressed: design, procedures, clarity, and efficiency. Use the table below to assess these areas.

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Design

Content is accurate.

+

Content is logical and well organized.

+

Objectives are clearly defined.

+

Content helps to achieve the necessary objectives.

+

The game really allows the students to master both multiplication and division.

Examples are meaningful and helpful.

N/A

Questions are presented clearly.

ü

Aside from the given instruction, the teacher should provide examples for the success of the activity.

Important points are emphasized.

ü

Amount of information presented is comfortable.

+

Instructional material is free of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity bias.

+

Media elements fairly represent composition of career fields in terms of gender and race.

N/A

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Design

Information is complete and current.

ü

Facts come from reliable sources, which are clearly identified.

–

Sources are not identified. However, I personally think that it does not strongly need a source because it’s just a mathematics game.

Content moves learners beyond the basics and encourages higher levels of thinking.

+

The use of both multiplication and division to solve a given mathematical equation initiates higher level of thinking.

Students are engaged in applying what they learn.

ü

Layout is consistent.

+

Content is culturally diverse.

+

Product accommodates unique learning styles and various ability levels.

–

This activity, however, do not adapt to the different abilities of students.

Assessment methods are challenging, appropriate, and suited to learning goals.

+

The process of solving the given equations is really challenging.

Teachers can easily assess students’ progress by evaluating the outcomes provided within the product.

+

Since the activity is timed, the instructor can accurately measure the mastery of the students.

Reading level is appropriate for target audience.

+

The texts are easy to understand.

Product is suitable for the age and grade level.

+

Procedures

Number of interactions in each lesson makes learning easier.

N/A

Lesson requires learners to become actively engaged in order to learn.

ü

Students need to focus very well in order to complete the activity successfully.

Lesson motivates learners to continue to learn and master concepts.

ü

Once the students have completed this activity, they will think that they will need more practice in order to master the operations.

Directions are clear and complete enough for students to perform required tasks.

–

The activity needs examples provided by the teacher since there is none given.

Clarity

Text is clear and easy to read.

+

Text is easy to understand.

+

Course lessons are attractive to look at.

ü

Area

Criteria

N/A, +, ü, or –

Comments

Clarity

Graphics make lessons easier to learn.

N/A

Layout is clear and intuitive; learners can find what they need.

ü

Layout is good.

Content is easy to navigate through to find necessary features.

+

Students can easily access the site.

Paragraphs and sections have clear and accurate information headings.

ü

Clear and clean fonts are used consistently.

+

Efficiency

No unnecessary information is included in the lessons.

+

Sufficient numbers of examples and practice items are included in the lessons.

–

There is no example provided.

Lessons help students learn the material.

+

The activity greatly allows the students to learn effectively.

The lessons which will be introduced are multiplication and division for grade three students. These will cover the basic multiplication and division skills. I will provide different lesson plans for both lessons, and for mastery of the skills, will incorporate both mathematical operations in a single equation.

At the end of these lessons, the students are expected to (1) learn how to multiply, (2) learn how to divide, and (3) learn how to solve mathematical equations through combination of multiplication and division.

I have chosen three instructional materials which will contribute for the success of teaching these lessons to the grade three students. Two of these resources are lesson plans, each resource dealing with one mathematical operation, and the last is a computer-based activity which incorporates multiplication and division in one mathematical equation.

The first resource is a lesson plan from teachers.net entitled #244 Multiplication Facts. This is a brief explanation of different strategies which can be employed by a teacher in introducing and allowing students to master the whole process of basic multiplication. Although this is not very formal, this is primarily concerned in the mastery of multiplication through different engaging activities. The materials and activity time are also indicated.

I chose this source because this contains the best strategies in order to actively engage the students to learn elementary multiplication. Moreover, these strategies are proven to be effective, and offer flexibility to adapt to different learning styles of the students. This lesson plan, although it is not very detailed as regards to other components, has provided good methodologies which can be employed to different types of students. Therefore, if one strategy was not enough to motivate the students to learn the lesson, I can always proceed to the next strategy.

The second resource is another lesson plan focusing on division. The Division Lesson Plan is a work of the College of Education of Atlanta State University. In this resource, a complete lesson plan of basic division for third graders is provided for the teacher. Ideally, the instructor only has to follow the steps accordingly in order to meet the second learning objective. The components of this lesson plan are behavioral objective; instructional method including anticipatory set, statement of objective, instructional input, modeling, checking for understanding, guided practice, independent practice which has strategies for exceptional children, activities which value cultural diversity, activities which foster active inquiry, critical thinking and problem solving, and closure and summary; assessment techniques; and materials. This full blown lesson plan also includes a brief definition of division and its equation components.

I chose this source because it is a full detailed guide for teaching division to third graders. It specifies measurable learning objectives in division and has a complete instructional method. Moreover, it also has specific strategies which are also flexible to the different learning styles of the students. The suggested materials or references included in this source are also helpful for the students’ mastery of basic division.

The third resource is a computer-based activity from the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. It is called Speed Math – Multiply and Divide. This worksheet will measure the students’ mastery in both multiplication and division. This particular material incorporates both of the mathematical operations in a single equation by identifying the correct operation to arrive at the final answer. After the final answer has been submitted, the time the students took in order to answer all the five equations correctly will be displayed.

It is important, however, that all the chosen resources are checked against an evaluation checklist in order to find out if they would aid learning and meet the learning objectives of the lessons. There are different areas provided in the instructional materials evaluation checklist, and each of these areas is important pedagogically.

First is the design of the instructional material. This area highly focuses on the content of the material. In teaching lessons, accurate, logical and well-organized content is very important for the students’ mastery of the lesson. Objectives must be clearly defined and emphasized in order to guide both the teacher and the students regarding what they need to achieve by the end of the class period; and the content must achieve those necessary objectives.

Furthermore, the source must be free of any bias and culturally diverse so that all facts and examples can be conveyed to the students with fairness and clarity. It is important that instructional materials are sensitive to the needs and learning styles of the students so that there will be no pedagogical problems.

Finally, the source must be suitable for the age and grade level of the students. Any material will not be effective in conveying its content to the learners if it is not appropriate for them that is why this specific criterion in the design area is highly important.

Second is the procedure or methodology. Methodologies are important because these are the actual strategies or ways that will allow the students to effectively understand the lessons being taught to them by their teachers. The activities should make learning easier so that it will develop the skills of the learners. Moreover, these activities should require the students to be actively engaged in the lessons and even motivate them to continue to learn and master the concepts. It is only when the students feel that they are part of the whole learning activity that they will actually learn and be motivated to learn further.

The third area is clarity. It is not enough that the content is accurate, logical and well-organized. It should also be clear to the students. The content should be easy to navigate so that the students can easily find what they particularly need. When they encounter difficulties in finding the particular content they need, there is a possibility that they will be no longer interested a particular instructional material which is believed to aid in their learning. Moreover, the whole layout should be intuitive to give a spontaneous tendency that will allow students to learn and analyze.

The fourth and last area is efficiency. A resource material will not be effective in aiding the learning of the students if it is not at all efficient. There should be sufficient number of examples to give the students a bigger picture of the lesson. These examples will also pave way for the students’ mastery.

Aside from the areas specified in the instructional materials evaluation checklist, it is also highly important to choose culturally appropriate and linguistically sensitive materials. According to Abdal-Haqq (1994) in his Culturally Responsive Curriculum, such kinds of materials are authentic, child-centered and connected to the child’s real life. Therefore, if the student will realize those, he will be more interested and motivated to learn because he can see that learning is also related to experience.

Culturally appropriate and linguistically sensitive materials also recognize diverse learning styles (Abdal-Haqq, 1994). Teachers must understand the uniqueness of every child and the variations in their abilities in order to effectively teach the students.

With the instructional resources I have gathered, I strongly believe that they should be included in the lessons. The first resource highly focuses on multiplication while the second, on division. The last resource, although there are no examples included, the teacher can make the necessary adjustments. I find it important to allow the students practice or even master the use of two mathematical operations in a single equation because this will present if the students have really understood the lessons.

Reference List

Abdal-Haqq, I. (1994). Culturally Responsive Curriculum. ERIC Digest. Washington, DC.

Cannon, M. (2001). Division Lesson Plan. College of Education: Athens State University. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from http://www.athens.edu/vinsobm/lesson_9.htm

Kane, K. (2009). #244 Multiplication Facts. Teachers.net. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/244.html

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility – Office of Science Education. (2009). Speed Math – Multiply and Divide. Jefferson Lab. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from http://education.jlab.org/smmult/index.html

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