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Curriculum Q & A Blog, Question 52: What Is the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21? Part 2: Grades 3–8

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    EL Education

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

Part 2: Grades 3–8

TheEL 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 3–8. Part 1 covers Grades K–2:

  • What is available for Grades 3-8?
  • Why aren’t there new lesson plans for Grades 3-8?
  • Which parts of the EL Education Grades 3-8 Language Arts curriculum do I need access to when facilitating using the Flex Curriculum resources?
  • If students in Grades 3-8 are full-time in the classroom, which Flex Curriculum resources should I use?

What is available for Grades 3-8?

    • Makes recommendations for which sections of each lesson should be facilitated synchronously and which should be completed asynchronously. As with lessons in Grades K-2, consideration was given to the amount of time a student can remain engaged remotely, and the synchronous sections of lessons total no more than 25 minutes at a time.
    • Identifies which lessons should be spread across two days of synchronous instruction. As synchronous instruction is no more than 25 minutes at a time, some skills and standards require more than one day of teacher instruction.
    • Identifies when to add new lessons (called Flex lessons) to address the instruction of standards from the spring and summer of 2020, and the omitted module.
    • Makes recommendations for what teachers should teach during the synchronous small group instruction in the Additional Language and Literacy Block. Student materials including supplemental texts, graphic organizers, and note-catchers, packaged by unit, to mirror the recommendations on the lesson planner. Please note this is only available for Grades 3-5 and Second Edition of Grades 6-8.
  • 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.

Why aren’t there new lesson plans for Grades 3-8 like there are in K–2?

  • Developmental ability: Students in Grades 3-8 are more likely to be able to concentrate for longer periods in the remote learning environment, and as a result, the teacher instruction doesn’t require the modifications required by the K-2 lessons. Students in Grades 3-8 are also more likely to be able to use technology tools to accomplish a lot of the elements of the lessons in an engaging way, for example using breakout rooms on video conferencing for protocols.
  • Access to additional resources and materials: Unlike the K-2 curriculum, the Grades 3-8 curriculum does not require access to additional materials (e.g., objects to play or make things with) other than the anchor texts.. As a result, the lessons in the curriculum do not need to be modified to ensure equity of access to resources and materials.
  • Access to text: Most modules in Grades 3-8 are designed around a central anchor text. As a result, all lessons can be facilitated as long as students have access to the anchor texts.

Which parts of the EL Education Grades 3-8 Language Arts curriculum do I need access to when facilitating using the Flex Curriculum resources?

All of the curriculum will be necessary to effectively facilitate using the Flex Curriculum resources, as the resources only provide guidance on how to use the complete curriculum successfully to facilitate remotely. There are no new daily lesson plans for Grades 3-8 in the Flex Curriculum.

If students in Grades 3-8 are full time in the classroom, which Flex Curriculum resources should I use?

If full time in the classroom, use the EL Education Grades 3-8 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 lesson planning tool for each module will also support pacing of the three modules across the year. The ALL Block lesson links and recommendations for Grade 3 Module 1 may also be helpful in ensuring any reading foundational skills gaps from the spring and summer have been addressed.


See Part 1 of this post for information about the Grades K–2 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.