What You’ll Find Here

We share resources that fostered our ‘aha’ moments and propelled better curriculum & instruction in our schools. All provided in a No Shame Zone.

As educators, we have each experienced critical ‘aha’ moments about the research on how kids learn reading, writing, and math. We wish we could say that we had those epiphanies when we were in classrooms, but in fact, many of us learned the essential research once we entered district roles. We’ll tell our stories on our Blog.

Here, we’re collecting two kinds of  resources:

1) professional learning info about the key research, which underpins literacy and math standards, and

2) resources to help you find curriculum aligned to that research.

Curriculum Matters is a No Shame Zone. There’s no shame in admitting that you didn’t know this research or this info about curriculum previously. Many educators are still learning it. There is no shame in asking for help as you come up the learning curve – that’s what PLNs are for. There’s only shame in knowing the research and failing to act on it in our classrooms.


Curriculum Selection

The curriculum space has changed dramatically in the last few years, in what some describe as a ‘curriculum renaissance.’ Here are our favorite resources for understanding a fast-evolving landscape.

Curriculum Reviews

The easiest path to high-quality curriculum: consult the reviews on EdReports, the nonprofit that publishes detailed curriculum reviews conducted by teams of educators.

Louisiana Believes also publishes curriculum reviews that have been conducted by teams of educators.


Curriculum Webinar

Brian Kingsley dropped knowledge in a recent FutureReady webinar, “Selecting Materials in the Age of Curriculum Renaissance.”

Brian and fellow panelist Karen Vaites explained how the curriculum landscape has dramatically changed in recent years, outlining important considerations for school and district leaders.

Watch Recording



Research Into Practice

What does research have to do with curriculum? Everything.

Our standards were build on a foundation of literacy and math research. High-quality curricula are built from the same foundation.

Unfortunately, that research isn’t common knowledge among educators. In our experience, smart curriculum selection starts with making sure that your evaluation team knows the key research.

Then, when it comes time to implement new curriculum, research is a critical ingredient in professional learning, as teachers come to know the Why of the materials.

Here we’ve collected the research that helped to inform our curriculum selections.


LITERACY RESEARCH

Research insight: leveled reading isn’t research-based practice

Get to know the research:

Deeper Learning:

Achieve the Core created an extensive compilation of research that’s on point.


Research takeaway: get all kids working with grade level texts

Helpful resources:


Research insight: Background content knowledge matters to reading comprehension

Get to know the research:

  • Watch this 4-minute video on the Baseball Study for a perfect primer on this research. It is proven to generate ‘aha’ moments.
  • This blog pulls together articles and videos that are very useful for learning this research.

Deeper learning:


Research insight: Phonics matters.

Get to know the research:

  • Hard Words, a recent documentary/article, breaks down our misunderstandings about phonics. One more reason to read: it shows that our teacher preparation programs aren’t consistently teaching the science of reading, and that’s an important ‘aha’ moment we all should have.
  • AFT magazine published an excellent primer: Phonics Faux Pas.
  • Timothy Shanahan’s blog offers many gems of wisdom on quality phonics instruction. We recommend starting with this one.

Deeper learning:


Research insight: We’re overdoing ‘skills and strategies’ instruction

Get to know the research:


MATH RESEARCH

Under construction! Please suggest resources using our Suggestion Box.


Check Yourself

We started our curriculum selection with a good old-fashioned needs assessment, which was invaluable in aligning our teams. Here are helpful resources.

The Instructional Practice Guide

We rave about the IPG. It’s a wonderful tool for understanding whether or not strong instruction is happening in classrooms.


Implementation Success

You’ve selected a high quality curriculum! You’re in it to win it! Let’s talk about supports for you and your team.

User Communities

Did you know that many high-quality curricula offer user communities, such as free Facebook groups, to help educators build Professional Learning Networks around specific curriclula?

We’ll have more about this soon. In the meantime, ask curriculum providers about these groups.


We’re Crowdsourcing Implementation Tools

Please share additional implementation resources via our Suggestion Box?


More Tools Coming Soon

We’ll keep gathering and curating our community’s favorite resources for successful curriculum selection and implementation, as well as professional learning.

Our Suggestion Box is Open:

Suggest or Request a Resource


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