Meet the Curriculum: Bookworms

On March 18th, Ashley hosted a webinar about the Bookworms curriculum featuring users of the curriculum.

Speakers included:

  • Ashley Giska, Asst. Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, Laurel School District (DE)
  • Kathleen Chaucer, Principal, Ballston Spa (NY)
  • Jolene Hansen, Literacy Coach, Ballston Spa (NY)
  • Sarah Kemp, ELL Specialist, Laurel School District (DE)

Each of the speakers shared a ‘hot take’ about the materials, and we’ve collected them below. We hope you will watch the recording, and enjoy our companion webinar, Understanding the Curriculum Landscape in 2021.

Our Hot Take on Bookworm:

“Getting to see the impact of high quality literacy instruction- even in year 1- has been outstanding. I am incredibly proud of the learning that our teachers and principal team have experienced and of our growing knowledge and understanding of how we can teach all students to read and write well.” – Kathleen Chaucer

“I feel that it has given teachers and specialists the opportunity to better collaborate with one another and target the student’s individual needs. The students seem to have a stronger foundation in decoding and phonics while their love for reading and interest in authentic texts has also improved.” – Sarah Kemp

“Bookworms has improved teacher efficacy, student knowledge building, and love of reading. It establishes a true culture of literacy in the school.”

– Ashley Giska

“Bookworms has given our students a structured high volume approach to meaningful literacy! The students are excited to have “real” high interest books in the their hands, which has increased their engagement. The consistency among grade levels, as well as, the simple, repetitive routine in all grade levels has really helped to streamline services to help our students be successful. Watching our students progress in their foundational skills has been truly amazing!” – Jolene Hansen

Watch a recording:

Meet the Curriculum: EL Education

On February 9th, Shannon hosted a webinar about the EL Education curriculum featuring users of the curriculum.

Speakers included:

  • Shannon Wheatley, Chief Academic Officer, Lighthouse Community Public Schools (CA) @swheatley9
  • Dionne Upton, Principal, Hamilton County (TN) @DUpton1234
  • Taylor White, Instructional Coach, Detroit (MI) @MissWhite207
  • Gabby Yeckering, Teacher, Daviess County (KY)

Each of the speakers shared a ‘hot take’ about the materials, and we’ve collected them below. We hope you will watch the recording, and enjoy our companion webinar, Understanding the Curriculum Landscape in 2021.

Our Hot Take on EL Education:

“With EL Education, students of all learning profiles have opportunities to engage with relevant and rigorous learning experiences. The curriculum centers meaningful texts and engaging protocols that has elevated the quality of teaching practice across departments and grade levels in our district.” – Shannon Wheatley

“EL Education has been a good fit for our students in providing high quality, diverse materials that meets the needs of Tier I Instruction.  Our students are benefiting from having exposure to grade level text that’s high interest.  They also have access to the connected trade books so they can read more deeply about each topic  There is a strong foundational skill focus in K-2 that provides explicit instruction in phonics.  The curriculum allows for differentiation during skills and all block to meet the diverse needs of all learners.” – Dionne Upton 

“This curriculum is standards aligned ensuring that our scholars are prepared for success on a variety of assessments. Teachers also feel empowered to really teach and through the rich content and diverse library of text, teachers feel confident engaging in not just curriculum lessons, but life lessons. EL empowers teachers to empower students to be change agent through the texts, but also their focus on equity and citizenship skills.” –Taylor White

“Our biggest notice was in the writing. We had always struggled to get student to expand on their ideas and write more than a sentence or two. With EL, they start learning about focus statements in third grade and how to elaborate on their topic. In fourth, we use the “painted essay” format where we explain how to organize and expand on a topic using an introduction, 2 proof paragraphs and a conclusion. This really helped show the students how to expand their ideas in a way that made sense. They color coding is the same in each grade so by the time they went to 5th, the teacher could see a noticeable difference.” – Gabby Yeckering

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Meet the Curriculum: CKLA

On February 8th, Matt hosted a webinar about the CKLA curriculum featuring users of the curriculum.

Speakers included:

  • Matt Warford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Aldine ISD (TX)
  • Shawn Hayes, Director of Teacher Development, Jefferson Parish Schools (LA)
  • Jennifer Price, Principal, Aldine ISD (TX)
  • Jennifer Brown, Principal, Aldine ISD (TX)

Each of the speakers shared a ‘hot take’ about the materials, and we’ve collected them below. We hope you will watch the recording, and enjoy our companion webinar, Understanding the Curriculum Landscape in 2021.

Our Hot Take on ARC Core:

“CKLA has allowed our district to streamline the way in which our standards are taught. We can still use our creative side but a lot of the building work is already done and CKLA provides high-quality instruction throughout our entire district. When grade level teachers meet for PL, we are able to truly discuss where our students are and provide best practice approaches in helping each other succeed.” – Jennifer Brown

“CKLA has a phenomenal balance of skills and knowledge instruction in ELA. Students have the opportunity for daily building of foundational skills critical to gaining literacy along with engaging, cross curricular knowledge lessons that allow students the opportunity to grapple with high-quality text. This work will take time. CKLA can seem overwhelming at first but give grace to grow into the curriculum and its vast resources. When done effectively, you will see teachers modeling instruction that marries good skills instruction and the building of knowledge. We are still working to change mindset so I am not the best to answer this question. However, as we gear up for a huge literacy push in K-5, I feel we will see mindsets change as we build the plan.” – Shawn Hayes

“Give the curriculum a chance. In the beginning it will be slow progress for your teachers and students. It is a different way of teaching and thinking for everyone. What I will say is that it will be so rewarding to see students excel and grow through the curriculum. You will see students having discussions about the Renaissance error and Leonardo DaVinci in 4th grade and that is amazing. You will see 1st grade students discussing Greek Mythology. Do this for students because they are worth it and the gains we have seen our amazing.” – Jennifer Price

“It is a game changer. Everyone can implement CKLA, kids enjoy it and will be successful it…they can do hard things, and takes a huge lift off of teachers from lesson planning to lesson internalization. In terms of improving teaching and learning, we are not actually aligned to the science of reading and implementing a phonics program that is working, our questioning and student task has improved because they are built into the curriculum, and we are giving students access to high-quality complex text daily.” – Matt Warford

Watch a recording: