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K-5 Language Arts Curriculum: K-2 Overview

How do the components of EL Education’s ELA K-2 curriculum work together to support all learners?

Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Curriculum

Type

Online Learning

Grade Level

Young children live in a world of activity, exploration, creation, singing, talk and play.  As they move, sing, explore new ideas, make stuff, talk endlessly about what they are doing, and repeat songs and poems over and over again, primary children are learning.  EL Education has created a rich and academically challenging curriculum with these needs of primary learners at its core.  The K-2 curriculum offers two hours per day of content-based literacy (module lessons and K-2 Labs) plus one hour of structured phonics (K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block). All together, these three hours of curriculum are considered comprehensive, meaning that they explicitly teach and formally assess all strands and standards of the Common Core English language arts (ELA) standards for each grade level.

Created By

EL Education

Topic

  • Curriculum

Type

Online Learning

Grade Level

Young children live in a world of activity, exploration, creation, singing, talk and play.  As they move, sing, explore new ideas, make stuff, talk endlessly about what they are doing, and repeat songs and poems over and over again, primary children are learning.  EL Education has created a rich and academically challenging curriculum with these needs of primary learners at its core.  The K-2 curriculum offers two hours per day of content-based literacy (module lessons and K-2 Labs) plus one hour of structured phonics (K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block). All together, these three hours of curriculum are considered comprehensive, meaning that they explicitly teach and formally assess all strands and standards of the Common Core English language arts (ELA) standards for each grade level.

"The curriculum as a whole ... it’s almost like this equal composition of learning how to become a better teacher ... and watching your students become better learners. I feel like this is the roadmap to being a good teacher." -Richard Finn (Teacher, Boston)

Learning Targets

I can describe the structure and key features of EL Education’s K-2 comprehensive curriculum.  

Review: Structure of the K-2 Comprehensive Curriculum

The K-2 Comprehensive Curriculum is 3 hours of literacy instruction that explicitly teaches and formally assesses all standards of the CCSS.  How does each block of the K-2 curriculum address the CCSS and support students’ growth and learning?  

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Review: Pacing of Grades K-2 Language Arts Curriculum

Review the graphic below for a closer look at the pacing of the module lessons (red) and the Labs (yellow).  Please note that the 8-9 weeks captured in the graphic below represents the time it takes to complete one module.  Remember that Module 1 is 6 weeks.  Each grade level includes four modules, which span a full school year.

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Dig Deeper: 

  • Characteristics of Primary Learners: EL Education’s commitment to igniting each student’s motivation, persistence, and compassion guides us to lift up best practices that complement the ways people learn most naturally. Young children’s inherent capacities can be harnessed in service of our goal of developing deep thinkers, lifelong learners,compassionate community members, and creative future leaders.  This document highlights the unique needs and strengths of typical young children, identifying eleven key characteristics of primary learners – their – their ways of thinking and engaging with the world and their remarkable hunger for learning.  As you read the Characteristics of Primary Learners, consider the question: what do you hope to see in the curriculum that addresses these?  What resonates with you?
  • Fostering Character in the Collaborative Classroom: Take a closer look at how the K-5 Language Arts Curriculum supports character as a dimension of student achievement, including what EL means by character, how the curriculum promotes habits of character, and practical guidance for setting up the classroom environment, structures, and culture that will help this curriculum succeed.
  • Supporting English Language Learners: This document provides key information about how English Language Learner (ELL) instruction is designed and built into the K-5 Language Arts Curriculum and the principles that underlie it.

Synthesize/ Take Action

For Teachers: 

  1. Why are all three components of the Grades K-2 content-based literacy curriculum (module lessons and Labs and Skills Block) essential to building students’ knowledge and skills?
  2. How does the structure of this curriculum align with or differ from curriculum you have used in the past?

For School Leaders:

  1. Examine your school’s schedule. How will you make time for implementing all three hours of the content-based literacy curriculum?  Take a peek at the K-2 Sample Schedules 
  2. How will you ensure teachers have the time and support they need to discuss and plan together and to digest all they are learning?  Consider how you might use whole-staff meetings, team meetings, professional learning communities, and book groups.