Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review: Mentoring Minds Common Core Aligned Resources

This post is sponsored by Mentoring Minds, although the opinions of the product are mine.

(Motivating Reading - Common Core Aligned - Level 2  • Published by Mentoring Minds)


Hello Everybody,

I was recently introduced to an educational publishing company called Mentoring Minds. Mentoring Minds is a company that was founded by former educators, and is developing research based learning resources that are Common Core Aligned.  The goal for the products is to meet the needs of both the students and teachers!

Mentoring Minds has developed Math, ELA, Reading, and Science Resources.   I chose to review the Motivation Reading Level 2 product.  You can read more about it, and purchase here.

When I agreed to review this product, I didn't know anything about the company or product.  I was pleasantly surprised when I received a package in the mail and saw that it included both a student and teacher copy of the resource.  This gave me a broader preview of what Mentoring Minds has to offer.

STUDENT EDITION

The Motivation Reading Student Edition includes 24 reading passages.  Along with each reading passage are assessments, critical writing passages, extended practice, and parent assessments.
At the back of the book, there is a reading glossary, and a chart intended to mark off student success as they master the skills in the book.

The passages in the book are age appropriate, and aligned with common core!  The activities that go along with each passage are intended to assess the student's comprehension of the material that they read, and be able to answer (writing practice) questions based upon what they read.

By itself, the Motivation Reading Student Edition is a useful resource to gauge student comprehension. Having the reading passages and assessments included in the book altogether would save the teacher a lot of extra time writing their own and trying to figure out how to cover all of the Common Core Standards required.  Combined with the Motivation Reading Teacher Edition, it is a complete package.


Sample Reading Passage from Motivation Reading (Common Core Aligned) Level 2
To read more about and purchase the book click here!

TEACHER EDITION

The Motivation Reading Teacher Edition, in my opinion, is a valuable tool. At the front of the book, is a list of content that is included in the Motivation Reading Student Edition.  This is particularly helpful because it explains in detail how the Student Edition should be used. 

Included in the book are instructions for use, a break down of the Common Core Standards applied, vocabulary focus, suggestions for instruction of the standards, and suggested books for read alouds, student lead reading, and for research projects.

For each of the 24 passages in the Motivation Reading Student Edition, the Teacher Edition details out how to teach the skills, as well as provides assessments, interventions, answer keys for the activities, and a break down of the standards.  

What I like the most about this book is that it explains the Common Core standards, and then breaks them down with suggestions how to teach the skills.  This in particular is something that is lacking in a lot of the resources on the market. Teachers are expected to align their lessons to Common Core Standards, but don't always have the resources necessary to do this. The methods and activities included in the Teacher Edition are supported by research that is made available on the Mentoring Minds website, here.

Mentoring Minds ONLINE

Mentoring Minds has an online portal that allows the teacher to access the Teacher Edition, assessments, and other helpful tools.  The teacher has the options to utilize the books, use the online portal, or a combination of both.  For schools that are going paperless, this would also be a positive for purchasing the product.

I came away from the online experience thinking that Mentoring Minds had thought of everything that I would want to have available to me.  Every step of the way there is support.

Mentoring Minds  has prepared a section of Webinar Resources (click the image for the link). On November 10th, 2015,  Mentoring Minds will be hosting a webinar "Integrating Critical Thinking into Math, Reading, Science, and Writing with Total Motivation"  You can register through their link here.  The previously hosted webinars are also available to view on the webinar page.



PROs:  

• Motivation Reading is Common Core Aligned
• Research Based
• Very detailed with instructions, and suggestions for teaching the specific skills based on the
     Common Core Standard.
• Teacher Edition is available with the Student Edition
• Assessments
• Online resources for added flexibility and resources.
• Suggested intervention for students that are needing additional assistance.
• Support

CONs:

The only drawback to this product that I have found is that due to the copyright restrictions. Permission is not granted to copy pages from the book for classroom use.  Multiple copies of the book would need to be purchased.  Many schools and teachers won't have a problem with this,  but some schools with limited resources may find it difficult to provide a set for each student.


Other Products by Mentoring Minds....

Math Products
ELA Products
Reading Products
Science Products
Critical Thinking
Professional Development





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