A few question that I ask when evaluating a Reading Program!
- Do they measure and meet the highest levels of Blooms Taxonomy and Webb's DOK?
- Is the curriculum spiral in design, meaning concepts are introduced and repeated to maximize learning and memory?
- Are lesson plans designed to maximize declarative knowledge and retention of key ELA concepts?
- Are the students provided with higher order thinking question stems to create a erudite dialogue during reading instruction.
- Are the goals explicit and easily known to students and teachers before the lesson?
- What is the quantity of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary concepts in the curriculum.
- Are kids inspired and excited to read the literature provide in the readers.
- Can a "harried" teacher with an oversize class really use the materials and resources?
- Are lessons designed to be taught in a cooperative learning structure?
- Is the publisher delivering real Common Core materials or are they selling you a one size fist all repacked old program?
PROS: A pre-set standardized curriculum makes lessons easier for teachers to plan and supervisors to
CONS: Programs can marginalize teachers by not allowing them to make decisions about how to teach (Garan, 2004).
PROS: Programs ensure teaching consistency. Programs can “de-skill” teachers, placing them in the role of middle managers (Coles, 2001; Rice, 2006).
PROS: Program developers can provide teacher training (Garan, 2004)
CONS Teachers can become alienated from their reading instruction and begin treating the teaching of reading as the application of commercial materials (Shannon, 2005).
PROS: Many programs advertise their use of scientifically based reading research and alignment with Reading First guidelines (Duncan-Owens, 2007).
CONS Teachers will continue to follow a program in spite of a lack of results because of administrative insistence.
PROS: Designers of scripted instruction have noted that following a model derived from “scientifically based research” can be helpful for teachers and increase student achievement, especially that of students from low-income backgrounds.
CONS Some teachers decry scripted instruction for limiting their autonomy, professionalism, and ability to respond to students’ individual needs. Scripts “take the professionalism out of teaching” (Christiana, 2005).