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Curriculum Q & A Blog, Question 52: What Is the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21? Part 1: Grades K–2

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    EL Education

Do you have questions about teaching the EL Education K–5 Language Arts Curriculum? We've got answers!

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What Is the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21?

Part 1: Grades K–2

The EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21 is a suite of free resources, all available via Google Drive, designed to support implementation of the EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum in fully remote or hybrid (both remote and in the classroom) learning environments during the 2020-21 school year. The goal of the resources is to support teachers to utilize the original high-quality curriculum materials in adaptive ways based on the circumstances in their schools and districts. The resources ensure that students have access to instruction and assessment of all of the literacy standards, as well as crucial embedded social and emotional learning. To access materials and resources, please visit https://eled.org/eleducation-flexcurriculum.

This post answers the following questions related to grades Grades K–2. Part 2 covers Grades 3–8:

  • What is available for K-2?
  • Why are there new lesson plans for K-2 in the Flex Curriculum?
  • Which parts of the EL Education K-2 Language Arts curriculum do I need access to when facilitating using the Flex Curriculum resources?
  • If K-2 students are full-time in the classroom, which Flex Curriculum resources should I use?

What is available for K-2?

K-2 Skills Block:

  • Daily written lesson plans for K-2 Skills Block with an accompanying slide deck for each grade level (grade-level structured phonics), providing detailed guidance for how to facilitate a 10-minute Skills Block lesson. Lessons are organized by week with accompanying student materials for the whole week in the file.
  • K-2 Skills Block lesson plans for small group differentiation (no slide decks) in the form of a Decodable Reader Routine for each microphase.
  • Daily K-2 Skills Block videos (10 mins) for each grade level, based on the written lessons plans described above. Please note that if in the classroom with students, it is not recommended to play the daily video. Instead, teachers should use the written lesson plan and accompanying slide deck to facilitate the same instruction live for students. You can find the videos on our YouTube channel (Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2).

K-2 Content-based Literacy:

  • Daily written lesson plans for K-2 content-basedliteracy (no slide decks) for each grade level, based on the module lessons, providing detailed guidance for how to facilitate a 20-minute module lesson. Lessons are organized by week with accompanying student materials for the whole week in the file.
  • Benchmark assessment guidance and resources, including a slide deck containing letters and word lists, to support facilitating the Skills Block Benchmark Assessments in the remote learning environment.

K-2 General Guidance Documents and Resources:

  • Sample schedules for both fully remote and hybrid learning environments.
  • Standards crosswalk outlining which standards students may have missed in the spring and summer of 2020, and which standards will be missed in the omitted module, and where and how those standards can be addressed. Please note if using the Flex resources, teaching and assessment of these standards is built into the daily lessons.
  • Guidance for accessing curriculum texts. The K-8 Required Trade Books - Flex Curriculum 2020-21 Availability outlines which texts are required for the Flex Curriculum and how those texts can be accessed.

Why are there new lesson plans for K-2 in the Flex Curriculum?

The K-2 curriculum lesson plans have been modified to meet the needs of primary learners in the remote environment. They have been modified to address the following concerns:

  • Limited student attention span in the remote learning environment. Skills Block videos are approximately 10 minutes long, and content-based literacy synchronous lesson plans are never more than 20 minutes.
  • Limited access to materials and resources. In the EL Education K-2 Module Lessons and Labs, students are often working with specific materials and resources to appeal to the characteristics of primary learners, including play and exploration. To ensure equity, in the Flex Curriculum, particular attention has been given to ensuring all materials and resources are provided, and that students will not need access to additional materials.
  • Developmentally appropriate use of technology. The EL Education Language Arts curriculum is rich in protocols and collaboration enabling students to co-construct knowledge and ideas. As a result, modifications had to be made to the lessons to ensure students could still achieve the same outcomes in the remote environment where discussion is more challenging, particularly for younger learners.
  • Importance of social and emotional learning. As some students have been disconnected from the school community for six months, and all students have been personally impacted as a result of isolation and social distancing regulations, social and emotional learning is more important than ever. Specific lessons have been designed to address social and emotional learning.
  • Access to texts. The K-2 Module Lessons are filled with high-quality picture books to engage students in the topic. Obtaining access to all of these texts for the remote learning environment is challenging and costly, and as a result, only 2-4 of the most used texts were selected for inclusion in the Flex Curriculum resources.

Which parts of the EL Education K-2 Language Arts curriculum do I need access to when facilitating using the Flex Curriculum resources?

The planning recommended for the EL Education K-2 Language Arts curriculum is the same planning recommended for the use of the Flex Curriculum resources. While the daily lesson plans might not be needed, the Module Overviews, Assessment Overviews, Unit/Cycle Overviews, and the Performance Task Overviews will ensure teachers have a good understanding of the story and purpose of the module in order to guide students effectively through the lessons.

If K-2 students are full time in the classroom, which Flex Curriculum resources should I use?

If full time in the classroom, use the EL Education K-2 Language Arts Curriculum rather than the Flex Curriculum resources. As EL Education is recommending facilitating three rather than four modules in 2020/2021, the Standards Crosswalk spreadsheet will be helpful in determining where to incorporate standards from the spring and summer and the omitted module. The Skills Block videos and the lesson plans for small group differentiation can also be used in the Skills Block.

See Part 2 of this post for information about the Grades 3-8 Flex Curriculum materials.

For more general information about our curriculum, check out our website or our books Your Curriculum Companion: The Essential Guide to Teaching the EL Education K–5 Language Arts Curriculum and Your Curriculum Companion: The Essential Guide to Teaching the EL Education 6–8 Curriculum. If you have questions related to this blog, please email us at: ELcurriculumblog@eleducation.org.