New ELA Curriculum Supports High-Quality Instruction
Over the last decade, research in the science of reading has advanced our understanding of how students learn to read dramatically. We now understand that it is essential materials are meaningful, relevant, and have a significant relationship to the world around us. To ensure Positive Education Program is offering the highest quality academic instruction for its students, PEP’s English Language Arts (ELA) Group recently selected a new ELA curriculum for the agency.
PEP’s ELA Group
|Sweta Asher, instructional coach||Marilyn Mauck, chief instruction and achievement officer|
|Kathy Clingerman, ESC representative||Lori Murphy, instructional coach|
|Cyndy Edwards, instructional coach||Carole Sever, staff development coordinator|
|Tim Glover, special education supervisor||Ryan Winkleman, instructional coach|
|Julie Lanigan, educational services coordinator||Christine Zanoni, director, curriculum and instruction|
The Selection Process
The process of selecting the ELA curriculum took more than a year, involved input from educators at all centers, and incorporated the use of a comprehensive rubric that assessed:
- Alignment with Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement and key areas of focus.
- Availability of instructional supports.
- Responsiveness to varied student learning needs.
The team also employed the Culturally Responsive Scorecard, a tool developed by New York University, to assess representation, diversity of characters, diversity of authors, social justice and usability of materials.
The ELA Curriculum Choices
The selected curricula enable us to provide ELA instruction that can be differentiated for students with varying needs in multi-grade classrooms. Both the k-8 and 9-12 programs include not only a wide variety of reading materials but also visual and auditory resources to reinforce developing reading skills.
WIT & WISDOM, for grades K-8
The selected core texts are literature rich. They provide a careful balance of literary, informational, and fine arts texts selected to be rich with content that piques curiosity, represent grade-level complexity and showcase diverse perspectives. Other benefits of this choice:
- Alignment with Ohio’s learning standards
- Assessments that include a daily check for understanding
- Implementation guides on structuring lessons to support striving readers
- Layered learning that empowers students to deepen their understanding of core knowledge across grades K-8
- Integrated lessons that lead students to develop reading, writing, speaking and listening, vocabulary, and language skills in concert.
COMMONLIT 360, for grades 9-12
This curriculum is supportive for all students and includes scaffolding for maximum inclusion, differentiation, and accessibility. It is literature rich and contains a digital library of over 2,000 English reading passage. It also uses evidence-based practices and technology to teach reading and writing. Other benefits of this choice include:
- Across the whole curriculum, over 50 percent of the texts feature authors or protagonists of color.
- Texts, themes, and content-rich topics drive instruction.
- Comprehensive full-year units tied to social-emotional learning topics.
- On-demand teacher professional development portal offers over 30 training modules for educators.
- Cross-curricular: 50 percent of texts in the CommonLit library can be used to bring literacy instruction into a science or social studies class.
- Full ELA Domain Coverage includes reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and vocabulary.
PEP is proud to provide resources and materials that will promote academic success among our students. We are grateful to the ELA curriculum group and all of those who contributed feedback during the decision making process. We are also grateful to KeyBank for their generous grant funding, which made this important initiative possible.