Thu Mar 10 2022, 6:15pm
WHS Library and Zoom
Regular Meeting


Teaching and Learning Report

To: Michael Green

From: Asha Riley

Date: March 3, 2022

Re: Teaching and Learning


K-4 English Language Arts Instructional Material Review Update: 

Woodland has an established 7-year curriculum cycle that directs a review of our current programs. If what we are doing is working and achieving results, then we can continue with the resource. If publishers have updated and improved resources, we consider those opportunities as well. This winter, a team of teachers and administrators have spent significant time on Thursday evenings reviewing the following ELA materials. 

The process we use to evaluate the resources is as follows. I have also included a summary of our findings thus far. These findings have been published to ALL elementary teachers so they are well aware of the process and findings even if they are not part of the committee. 

At this time, no recommendations have been made. In the coming weeks, a final meeting will be held in which the committee will make a recommendation to the administration. If they propose we further explore a particular resource, we will seek permission to pilot that resource and include parents in the review and decision prior to making a form request to the board for approval.

Below is a full description of our process and evaluations thus far.

Instructional Committee Process and Agreements:

  • The process will conclude with a recommendation to the administration 
    • The team is purposefully made up of professionals from each grade and program (you) to offer input, insights, feedback, and recommendations.
    • We are going to use an evaluation tool to determine the most effective, complete, and aligned program. 
    • If we determine that a program is worth pursuing, we will request board approval to pilot the program in the spring.
    • At the completion of a pilot, input will be gathered from all K-4 staff.
    • If the committee makes a recommendation, the administration would seek approval to implement the program next year.
  • We will want to refrain from making judgments and opinions about a product when we determine the right fit.
  • We want to have open communication and collective decision-making.
    • We will all see strengths and weaknesses in each program. It is important that we honor our team and keep our conversations in and among the team. We do not want to form camps for and against any one program. 
    • Members of the committee are not responsible for communicating progress and decisions.
    •  Notes updating ALL K-4 teachers on progress and decisions after every meeting.
  • We will vet each resource thoroughly using the following tool  ELA Evaluation Rubric/Results

Initial Staff SurveySurvey Results include key considerations our colleagues would like us to keep in mind as we review materials.

Committee Members:

Canby, Frazier,  Brothers, Sheaffer, Fairchild, Matau, Murphy, Schmick, DeGroot, Hood, Churchman, Crosby, Huddleston, Kleinschmidt, Starkey, Pearl, Lopez-Lopez, Riley 

1/6/21 Meeting

RESOURCE #1 SIPPS Systematic Instruction, Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight words

SIPPS  - Foundational skills program that develops word recognition strategies (through systematic explicit instruction) with the goal to develop fluent independent readers who read with accuracy and automaticity.

Key Features:

  • Walk to read model
  • 30-minute instructional period
  • Developed as an intervention that can be used as a core
  • Would cover Phonemic Awareness (PA) and Phonics

Remaining Questions for Curriculum Provider:

  • How much teacher prep goes into teaching these lessons?

*No decisions made.

After Meeting Survey Results

1/20/22 Meeting

RESOURCE #2- 95% Core Phonics Program

95 Core PhonicsProgram - Explicit and systematic phonics core. 

Key Features:

  • Designed during Covid, so teachers can pivot to the virtual setting if needed
  • Serves Tier 1,2, and 3 in grades K-3
  • 30 min a day
  • Aligns with Unit 3 LETRS training and uses templates from LETRS
  • Letter formation handwriting instruction included

*Limited diversity - 

  • We see a pattern of this with all the decodable in each program we review. Our diversity ratings are often NA or low because the names provided in decodable texts are common mainstream names like “Dan.”  Due to the lack of pictures in decodable texts, we also don’t get to see the variety of ethnicity in illustrations.
  • We are wondering if it has something to do with the texts that cover sounds in the English language which most commonly is reflected in English names and the fact that decodable texts intentionally don't have illustrations.
  • We are considering whichever direction we go, it’s worth spending some time reviewing the decodable texts and intentionally looking for opportunities to include a more diverse name that aligns with the letter pattern. For instance, replace Dan with Tan, etc.

Remaining Questions for Curriculum Provider:

  • Would it be best to implement it all at once in every grade or roll up and add a grade each year? 

*No decisions made.

After Meeting Survey

After reviewing this program, I would consider it as one of interest.

Overall, this program includes a lot of what we're already doing, but as one resource.

I thought it was tough to get a good feel of everything with partial materials available, but it does seem to be solid.


RESOURCE #3 - Fundations

Fundations Program -Fundations® is a multisensory and systematic phonics, spelling, and handwriting program that benefits all K-3 students. It also includes a supplementary activity set for Pre-K students. Fundations is designed as a whole-class, general education program used for prevention (Tier 1) purposes.

Key Features: 

  • Aligned to the Science of Reading
  • Instructional principals are multisensory
  • Gradual release of responsibility (I do, we do, you do)
  • Mastery based program
  • Decoding and word recognition with Spelling and handwriting
  • Learning activities provide repetition in varied ways
  • Consumable student materials (purchased each year)
  • Level 3 shouldn’t be taught until level 2 has been taught
  • K-2 Geodes are readable (80%)  not decodable (95%)


  1. Does handwriting continue through 3rd grade? Manuscript K-2, Cursive 3
  2. Do the Geodes only go through level 2? No

After Meeting Survey : 


RESOURCE #4 -  CKLA Amplify

CKLA- A comprehensive English Language Arts curriculum that could potentially replace ReadyGen. While previous resources address foundational skills directly, CKLA also addresses comprehension, writing, handwriting, etc.

Key Features:

  • An explicit and systematic approach to teaching foundational skills
  • Background knowledge is well built through engaging concepts
  • 60 min FS/ 60 min CORE Knowledge
  • 3rd and 4th advanced phonics
  • K-3 120 minutes, 4th 90 Minutes
  • Go slow to go fast and KG begins with phonological awareness then moves into cracking the code
  • Phonological awareness and handwriting are embedded into the scope and sequence of letter/sound introduction
  • Decodable text is included
  • Writing is built into the FS component 
  • Decodables can be accessed in the physical books, printed and on-line
  • There is an SLA CKLA curriculum that would provide better support for our DL program (instead of teaching 2 different curriculums)

Remaining Questions for Curriculum Provider:

  • We are waiting for a link to the on-line platform
  • We are waiting for the Scope and Sequence for writing


RESOURCE #5 -  Super Kids


Key Features: 

SEL components are robust

Phonemic awareness is strong with assessments

Programs are provided for high flyers


Each resource has been vetted and scored. Critical components and aspects we looked for while scoring are described below.

Component 1: Word Recognition (Phonological and Phoneme Awareness) 

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • Instruction includes larger units of phonological awareness (syllable, rhyme, onset-rime) as well as the phoneme level.
  • Instruction includes all phoneme awareness tasks including those that feature advanced manipulation (isolating, blending, segmenting, deletion, substitution, reversal).
  • Advanced phoneme proficiency instruction is evident beyond K-1; students are both accurate and automatic with these skills.
  • Phonemic awareness is taught directly, explicitly, and systematically.
  • When phoneme awareness is taught, awareness of individual phonemes is established prior to introduction of corresponding graphemes.
  • All levels of phonological and phoneme awareness are assessed and monitored regularly.

Component 2: Word Recognition (Phonics)

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • Letter-sound correspondences are taught in an explicit, systematic, and sequential fashion, from simple to complex.
  • Phonics instruction is robust with explicit instruction, cumulative review, and application in reading and writing.
  • The initial instructional sequence includes a mixture of short vowels and consonants.
  • Segmenting and blending are taught explicitly and practiced regularly, in both decoding and encoding.
  • Explicit instruction directs students’ attention to the structure of the word; the emphasis is on phonic decoding.
  • Instruction includes the letter sounds correspondences, syllable types, word families, word analysis skills for multisyllabic words, and morphemes.
  • Irregular high-frequency words are taught by drawing attention to both regular and irregular sounds.
  • Opportunities to practice decoding words in isolation are provided.
  • Instruction includes a recursive review of phonics/encoding skills.
  • Phonics skills are practiced by applying letter-sound knowledge in decodable texts that match the phonics elements taught, securing phonic decoding.

Component 3: Word Recognition (Fluency)

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • Instruction includes teacher-led modeling, oral reading by students, and immediate feedback.
  • Reading accuracy and automaticity are emphasized.
  • Word-level fluency practice is provided.
  • Fluency is practiced in a variety of texts (narrative, informational, poetry, lists, etc.).
  • Fluency is measured using a normed Oral Reading Fluency assessment.

Component 4: Language Comprehension (Vocabulary)

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • Tier 2 words are taught explicitly, with students taught to use these words in their speech, see them in print, and use them in writing (when appropriate).
  • Explicit instruction in morphology is provided.

Component 5: Handwriting

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • There is explicit instruction related to letter formation, posture, grip, and opportunities for cumulative practice.
  • Handwriting instruction utilizes lined paper that guides letters formation.
  • Handwriting instruction is integrated into core reading and writing instruction and follows the sequence of letter learning.

Component 6: Spelling

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • There is a clear scope and sequence for explicit spelling instruction, closely aligned with the phonics scope and sequence in K-1.
  • Patterns taught for decoding are also practiced in encoding/spelling lessons.

Component 7: Assessment

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • Assessments include screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring.
  • Foundational skills assessments identify students’ instructional needs.
  • Phonics skills are assessed using both real and nonsense words in all syllable patterns.
  • Normed ORF (Oral Reading Fluency) assessments are used.

Component 8: Equity, Inclusion & Cultural Responsiveness

Characteristics we are looking for and evaluating as we review each resource: 

  • Presents more than one viewpoint of issues.
  • Includes realistic and non-stereotypical depictions of people of minorities.
  • There is meaningful inclusion of contributions of authors who come from diverse minority groups.
  • The sharing of cultural differences is promoted in the work and cultural differences are portrayed in a positive light.
  • Includes the contributions, inventions, or discoveries of minorities and women.
  • Presents minorities in a manner that promotes ethnic pride.
  • Facilitates an environment open to discovery and experimentation.

We then review the Overall Instructional Design with the following in mind and come up with the Grand Total:  There is a clear and consistent instructional framework, featuring a comprehensive scope and sequence of foundational skills taught in an explicit system. The system features application of taught skills in real reading and writing.