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Jen Fielder, M.A., Director of Special Education Intern

Effective Curriculum for Struggling Learners has

Explicit instruction

must be provided with instructions on what and how they are to teach the material included in the program

Modeling & Scaffolding Multiple opportunities to respond Systematic error correction Coordinated instructional sequences

curriculum builds upon previously acquired skills and reinforces progress

Effective Curriculum for Struggling Learners has

Ample practice opportunities


need a variety of types of practice from repeated trials, drill and practice to functional application of new knowledge in play and social settings
and curriculum, practice and activities, and outcome measures must be internally consistent and interrelated

Aligned student materials


Common Core Curriculum Formats that Cause Problems for Struggling Learners

Overly student directed/generative Spiral Curricula Limited consideration of student prior knowledge (required for new learning) Lack of explicit instruction targeting important content and/or critical skills Limited use of scaffolding Limited instruction for generalization

Strands versus Spiral Curriculum


A little this year, repeat a little more next year, and the next year Nothing is taught to mastery

is on Teaching to Mastery in a Cumulative Fashion This approach is more suited to struggling learners

Common Core Curriculum Formats that Cause Problems for Struggling Learners

Lots of curriculum are using the buzzwords but


not actually teach them, or Be little more than a Core with more practice

Core programs are not designed to meet the needs of all students (20-25% may require a different approach) Intensive level learners require a highly structured, systematic approach

Essential Instructional Features for an intensive curriculum:

Highly controlled vocabulary Highly decodable text Seeks to minimize confusion Each lesson contains 10% new information Hear it, see it, say it I do, we do, you do Corrective and immediate feedback Constant checks on mastery Guided/controlled opportunities for practice

Reading Curricula for primary grades (all research-validated)

Supplemental Programs

Intervention Programs

Road to the Code (PA) Read Naturally (F) Quick Reads (F) Phonemic Awareness in Young Children (PA) Ladders to Literacy (PA) SIPPS (P) PALS (P) Lindamood Bell (PA,P) Wilson (PA, P) Language for Learning (K-2, V) Language for Thinking (1-3, V)

Early Reading Intervention (K-2, PA, P) Reading Mastery (K-5, PA, P, F, V, C) Horizons (K-4, PA, P, F, V, C) Read Well (K-2, PA, P, F, V, C) Waterford Levels (1-2, PA, P, F, V, C) Corrective Reading (3+, PA, P F, C)

PA: Phonemic Awareness; P: Phonics; F: Fluency; V: Vocabulary; C: Comprehension

Reading Mastery Signature Edition

Grades K-5 Use direct instruction to help students develop fluent, independent, and highly skilled readers Appropriate as a supplemental intervention program or as a comprehensive core reading program Highly structured instructional design that breaks learning into manageable steps that all students can master Incorporates frequent assessments to track progress and trigger remediation

Horizons 1998 (McGraw Hill)

Grades K-4 Superior core reading program and highly effective intervention program Tailor rate of instruction to meet specific needs of students Detailed sequence of daily lessons provides explicit, systematic instruction in PA, P, V, C Spelling is fully coordinated with reading to provide substantial practice with letter-sound relationships

Early Interventions in Reading (also available in Spanish)

Written by Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) Helps identify struggling readers in Grades K-2 Provides lessons that build mastery of essential skills through explicit, systematic instruction in five critical strands

Phonemic awareness, letter-sound correspondences, word recognition and spelling, fluency, and comprehension

Vocabulary and concept instruction for English and early language learners

Read Well:
Acceleration, Prevention, and Intervention

Grades K-2 Differentiated Core program or intervention program Mastery-based and research-validated instructional strategies Ongoing assessment and progress monitoring Can add Coordinated Spelling & Coordinated Writing programs as well Vocabulary is taught explicitly. Student-friendly definitions are used, and then words are practiced "many times in many situations

Language for Learning

Grades PreK-2 Designed for ELL students Provides students with the knowledge and understanding of language they need to achieve proficiency and reading comprehension Detailed and easy to follow teacher materials Fast Cycle option allows advanced students to move through the program faster

Language for Thinking

Grades 1-3 Builds upon the concepts, vocabulary, and statement patterns introduced in Language for Learning Carefully organized sequences of activities Exceptional vocabulary development Extensive practice, sequencing and retelling exercises Inference activities set the stage for reading comprehension

Reading Curricula for Grades 4-12

Corrective Reading Reasoning and Writing Morphographic Spelling

Read180 plus SIPPS Corrective Reading Lindamood-Bell Language! Wilson Rewards High Point

REACH Higher System

Grades 4+ Consists of 6 highly effective, researched based programs

Corrective Reading Decoding, Corrective Reading Comprehension, Reasoning and Writing, Expressive Writing, Spelling Mastery, & Spelling Through Morphographs

Provides advice on placement, grouping, pacing, and correcting to prevent students from falling behind or moving ahead slower than their capabilities allow Uses day-by-day and minute-by-minute objectives to assure consistent instructional delivery and 100% mastery of the content presented

Rewards Intervention Program

The REWARDS family of reading and writing intervention materials is specifically designed for adolescent struggling learners The ultimate goal of the REWARDS family is to increase fluency rates, deepen comprehension of informational and contentarea texts, and increase precision in sentence writing


Integrates reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and spoken English, rapidly advancing students (grades 312) who score below the 40th percentile on standardized tests Parallel curriculum for ELL students (LANGUAGE! Focus on English Learning) When delivered as designed, LANGUAGE! documents accelerated literacy gains of two to six years in a single academic year

Math Curriculum for Struggling Students



Connecting Math Concepts (K-8) Corrective Math (3+)

TransMath Essentials for Algebra Corrective Math

Corrective Math (Grades 3+)

Targeted Intervention w/direct instruction to boost computation and problem-solving skills Organized into seven strategic modules that provide teacher-directed instruction on critical skills and concepts which struggling students often fail to grasp Used to support a high-quality core mathematics program A placement test provides a plan that identifies which modules need to be covered

Connecting Math Concepts (K-8)

This program gives students who are at-risk of falling behind or who have already fallen behind the chance to catch up and learn significant mathematics The program provides explicit, systematic, intensive instruction to:

Introduce key concepts clearly and carefully to accelerate student progress Monitor each student's progress daily to differentiate instruction Offer online activities to reinforce students' mastery Use explicit strategies that incorporate oral and written responses

TransMath (Grades 5-10)

Intensive mastery-based intervention for middle and high school students who are falling two or more years below grade level in math Uses multi-sensory strategies for explicitly teaching skills Algebra, computational fluency, fluency wit rational numbers, and aspects of geometry & measurement

Essentials for Algebra (7-12)

Provides the essential knowledge and focused math lesson plans that under-performing students need to prepare for algebra 1 or algebra 2 Highly-structured lessons Year-long math intervention course Concentrates on core concepts and procedures needed for algebra or to prepare for high school exit exams