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Sample essay on Resource Materials for Learning

By Brenda Zielinski

In this essay I am going to choose five educational resources for Grade 8 math students and evaluate their appropriateness and effectiveness according to respective categories. The resources picked are a software program helping children learn proportions and percentages; a regular Grade 8 Math textbook; a chart displaying ratios principles; a video visualizing proportion and percentages notions; a respective broadcast of a cable TV program dedicated to proportions and percentages learning. These resources were analyzed in respect to the following categories of students: learning disabled, hearing impaired, gifted and talented, limited sight, behaviorally challenged and English Learner/Multicultural. Below you will find a matrix with the analysis.

Software program Textbook Chart Video Cable TV program
Learning disabled O O O X X
Hearing impaired X X X O O
Gifted and talented X X X X X
Limited sight X X O O O
Behaviorally challenged O O O X X
English learner/multicultural O O X X X

Having conducted the analysis now we can explain the results obtained. We see here that software program is not acceptable for learning disabled and behaviorally challenged because it cannot grasp their attention, and it is also not suitable for English learners because it may be incomprehensible for them.

Textbook is not recommended for the three abovementioned categories as well – learning disabled, behaviorally challenged and multicultural – for the same reasons. In my opinion, even though textbook is the most traditional source, it is also the mostly disliked by students. Not every textbook is able to hold their interest for a long time even if the students do not have attention deficit problems. And of course, textbooks are not acceptable for those students who do have such a disability.

Charts are not recommended for learning disabled, behaviorally challenged and those with limited sight. They do not grab the attention of the first two categories of students and do not have any effect for the vision impaired.

Videos are not acceptable for those with hearing and visual impairments. It is fairly obvious as a video is a source of audio-visual information, which has to be perceived in the right way. However, videos have proved to be an effective tool for other categories, including learning disabled and behaviorally challenged. They are also effective for English learners because information is presented in a visual way.

Cable TV programs have the same influence. They do not work for students with hearing and visual impairments but produce good results for the other categories.

Summing it all up, I should say that this analysis clearly demonstrates that the teacher should take into account student needs when choosing materials for classroom learning. By combining different ways and media he/she can assure that all students learn the necessary material in a way most convenient and suitable for them.


  1. Math standards – 8th grade student performance skills. Last updated: March 3, 2007. Date accessed: April 21, 2007. <http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_8th_math.htm#number>
  2. Grade 8 Math Exams. Last updated: August 25, 2005. Date accessed: April 21, 2007. <http://www.nysedregents.org/testing/mathei/math8.html>

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