Teach With INFOhio

Quality Instructional Materials from INFOhio: Storia

Author // Emily Rozmus Wednesday, 05 January 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.

Storia

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. Storia was previously provided for all Ohio 4th and 5th graders, but with RemotEDx funding, the resource is now available for Ohio students in grades 3 through 6.

Not only does Storia have more than 1,200 quality, popular eBooks aligned with Ohio Learning Standards, it also allows educators to monitor student use and interaction with text. Easy-to-use reporting features provide data on how long and frequently students read, how many words they click for a definition, and any notes they record. These reports can be shared with families to support engagement in literacy.

Educators can feel secure in using Storia 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 Storia aligns 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.

Content Provides for Authentic Learning, Application of Literacy Skills, Student-directed Inquiry, Analysis, Evaluation, and/or Reflection  

Storia's eBooks and instructional supports promote reading, writing, and discussion as well as other forms of communication for learning or sharing information. With more than 1,200 eBooks at all reading levels, Storia has titles that will appeal to children and meet them where they are. A variety of texts arranged by units and themes can be used across content areas.

variety

Many titles have Teaching Tip Sheets for educators that include activities for judicious practice and review of previously taught vocabulary through reading, writing, and discussion.

teachingtipcard

Every title has a formative assessment to check for understanding and provide immediate feedback

formativeassessment

Uses Technology and Media to Deepen Learning and Engage Students

Storia uses a variety of media for instruction and to show learning. Many eBooks contain videos and animations for student learning. Educators can use limiters to narrow results to titles that have videos, interactive activities, or read-aloud. Icons on the eBooks' covers signify what type of media is included in the text. 

activities 

These icons also appear on the page of the eBook. Students click to begin the activity or video. 

beetles

Other features included in the resource can be found on the menu in the top right corner. Here students can use the note feature to add comments, take notes, or ask questions. Students can also highlight text in the eBooks. Because Storia requires individual logins, these notes and highlights are available in student accounts for educator review.

toolbar

The read-aloud feature is also controlled in this area. Students can play, pause, and set the speed. 

 readaloud2

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

Storia's eBooks are aligned to standards and educators can search by Common Core Anchor Standards for Reading to find titles with Teacher Tip Cards that support it. 

themesstandard

standards

Storia also provides features that support Best Practices for Digital Reading. Storia uses evidence-based practice to support student achievement. Several studies show that annotation tools are important for student engagement and help build comprehension. The highlight and note tools in Storia will provide key foundations for students using digital text to learn background knowledge and develop as readers. 

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. Storia has more than 1,200 eBooks at various levels and provides an option for Lexile Level or Guided Reading. Educators choose the option best for them.

Lexiles

During core instruction, all students should read at grade level with scaffolds to support. Educators can search for titles for their grade using a filter.

Storia Close Reads are complex text at a slightly higher level and are also available to build strong readers. An example of these text options is available below.

closereads

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

More than 1,200 titles represent many cultures, races, religions, and genders providing an opportunity for students to see themselves in the content. 

cultures

Storia includes both fiction and nonfiction titles that use multiple perspectives in text and examples. With the Collection tool in Storia, educators can build collections 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. 

collections

diverse

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

Storia provides educators with tips, strategies, and opportunities for using the resource effectively. The eBooks in the Storia platform can be used for core instruction, intervention, and student choice. The Support and Resources section has Teaching Tips to help integrate research-based and evidence-based
practices when using the resource. These tips are collected from real teachers who share their expertise with other Storia users.

predictiontip

These are also helpful for personalizing learning based on student needs.   

fluency

Usability

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

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

Storia's eBooks are easy to navigate with an inviting interface. As noted previously, the special features in the eBooks are clearly labeled with words and icons in the menu. This may draw attention to critical features but does not distract with extraneous information. Students can navigate from one chapter or page to another using the tools in the main menu and full-screen removes any distractions such as other open tabs in the browser. 

usability 

Try it Out in Your Classroom!

Storia is intended for use by students in grades 3-6. It contains content to support all content areas. 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: Emily Rozmus

Emily Rozmus is a Senior Instructional Specialist at INFOhio. She has worked in education for over 25 years, first as a secondary English teacher and district librarian before starting at INFOhio in 2013. Emily has developed district growth plans, integrated technology, created instruction for information literacy, fostered teacher development, and worked on teams to implement curriculum. At INFOhio, she focuses on training educators to use INFOhio resources to improve early learning. She also works to share research and best practices for helping students be better readers of INFOhio's digital text. 

Emily Rozmus