System Overview

The Pearson System of Courses is a vertically and horizontally aligned system for teaching and learning. Built from the ground up for today’s teachers and students, the Pearson System of Courses integrates:

A coherent curriculum in mathematics K–11 and ELA K–12, with course objectives and outcomes that closely mirror the vertical progression of the Common Core State Standards.

Effective and engaging teaching based on years of real-classroom experience and years of real-world research on how people learn. 

A consistent classroom design that provides teaching supports for teachers, while at the same time leverages social collaboration and pushes students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.

A unique, easy-to-understand digital design created expressly to make use of digital tablets and the latest mobile and digital technologies that students use every day.

Course Structure

The Pearson System of Courses has been designed to ensure that students in every grade experience the same course structure and make use of the same key learning tools and supports.

In each grade—mathematics (K–11) and English language arts (K–12)—instruction is organized into units, which consist of thematically linked series of related lessons. Lessons in turn are made up of specific learning tasks that both encourage students’ conceptual understanding and develop their increasing mastery of essential skills.




Units, Lessons, and Tasks


Each math and ELA course comprises a series of related units. Units are deliberately related sets of lessons meant to be presented in sequence in the classroom. Common Core State Standards drive the logic and development of each unit. Related content explored by students across the unit connects and unifies their classroom work.  




Students and teachers can easily select the unit they want to explore from the Unit Selection screen.


Each math and ELA unit is comprised of a series of connected lessons. The exact number of lessons varies by grade and subject. Every lesson contains specific learning routines that help students develop the academic behaviors that provide the foundation for career- and college-readiness.

By design, students and teachers return to these routines repeatedly throughout the course of the academic year. In the process, once-new behaviors in time become familiar classroom habits.



Students and teachers can select the lesson they want to explore from the Lesson Selection screen.


Each lesson, in turn, consists of multiple tasks, each of which helps to engage students directly in their learning.

Lesson tasks are presented sequentially within each lesson. Students and teachers can quickly navigate to a specific task at any time by displaying the Lesson Task Selection Menu and then selecting the task they wish to view.


Students and teachers can quickly navigate to a specific task at any time by displaying the Lesson Task Selection menu and then selecting the task they wish to view.

Innovative Features

System Tray

Using the System Tray, students and teachers navigate to course materials, download and update content, view Notebook pages, find additional resources, and more.

Unit Library. Students and teachers navigate to course materials by subject, grade, and unit and download material for their grade.

Teacher Support. Teachers access professional development resources, lesson planning materials, and additional help.

Work Browser. Students and teachers manage Notebooks, which are organized by unit, lesson, and task. The Work Browser for teachers enables easy management of student work by section.

Settings. View information about the application, check for content updates, and view the status of updates.


Teacher Guide

In-line teacher support is available within every unit, lesson, and task. The Teacher Guide includes the Unit Overview, Unit Accomplishments, Lesson Overviews, the content standards addressed, tips for differentiation, and specific information to support each task. Content is expandable and can be viewed alongside student content.


Key Classroom Behaviors

Using the Notebook

Just as they do in any classroom, students who make use of the Pearson System of Courses need a notebook to collect, organize, and present their ideas.

To make things easy, the Pearson System of Courses offers teachers and students a fully integrated digital Notebook—one they can use at any time to capture what they know, collaborate with others, and share their working results with their class.

Teachers and students can open their own Notebook from anywhere within a lesson. The menu bar at the bottom of the Notebook window makes it easy to use a finger or stylus to write down ideas, add thoughts using a keyboard, and draw or integrate images—even pictures taken from the tablet.

Teachers and students can take notes, respond to lesson questions and writing prompts, and even compose documents right from their Notebook. Once saved, work can be accessed at any time and easily shared with others—right within the program.



Sharing and Receiving Notebooks

Recording your ideas is only one way of using the Pearson System of Courses’ Notebook. With appropriate classroom-based WiFi, teachers and students can dynamically share the contents of a Notebook whenever the Notebook is open.

Sharing Notebooks allows class members to work together—in pairs or in groups—and to broadcast their completed work to others.

Sharing a Notebook is as easy as tapping the Share icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and then selecting recipients from among eligible classmates. A small notification icon lets students know if their teacher—or another student—has shared their Notebook with them.


Using Annotation Tools

One essential classroom practice deliberately supported by the Pearson System of Courses is the practiced and repeated close reading of texts. In every grade, ELA students are introduced to “common reads”—key texts upon which a lesson’s independent and shared work are based.

 Teachers and students can read and review a text by tapping on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the lesson window. Once visible, texts can be annotated using text annotation tools integrated right within the text window.

Text annotation is a key classroom behavior. Students can make use of annotation tools to underline and highlight text and to add margin notes that help clarify and summarize their reading. Just as they are in the Notebook, text annotations and notes are automatically saved so that teachers can refer back to them—and even change them—at any time.

Like highlighter pens, text annotations are color coded. The color of the note shows its purpose in a lesson:

  • Gist: blue
  • New thinking: pink
  • New word: orange
  • Other: green

Additional Resources

More to Explore

More to Explore makes it possible for teachers and students to explore additional, supplemental learning materials that correlate with work presented within an ELA unit.

For each ELA unit, More to Explore collects and presents:

Topic Readings, which provide historical context and at the same time help students explore why and how their classwork is relevant today.

Independent Readings, which compile classic and contemporary books and book excerpts—texts recommended by educators and curated by grade level.

Claims & Quests, which invite students to respond directly to provocative statements or theses related to the unit work. Students are asked to prove or disprove a specific claim based on their own knowledge and understanding, or—in response to a Quest—to create something original of their own.

Games & Challenges, which encourage word play and—in higher grades—combine dynamic vocabulary games with a careful examination of grammatical concepts.

Beyond the Classroom, which connects students to an ever-growing array of hand-curated educational resources, productivity tools, games, and other apps available to them outside the Pearson System of Courses, via the web.

Concept Corner

Concept Corner makes it possible for teachers and students to explore additional written explanations, videos, and sample problems that correspond with the key mathematical concepts that shape their classroom work.

For mathematics, Concept Corner includes:

Concept Explanations, which present and illustrate specific math concepts addressed in classroom lessons through dynamic videos and written text.

A Glossary, which compiles illustrated, easy-to-understand definitions of math terms, presented by grade level.