One of the questions I get asked very frequently is, “I have a mandated curriculum that I have to follow in my reading class. How can I use both that curriculum but also use your Building Comprehension units?” Teachers love my Building Comprehension units, you can take a closer peek at them HERE, but juggling them and a fully mandated curriculum can be hard to navigate. Today I’ve highlighted 10 unique ways you can use both! Let’s check them out!
First things first, I highly recommend talking to your administration about your mandated curriculum. Every curriculum out there has TONS that come with it. There are loads of pieces to choose from and it’s impossible to use it ALL in an allotted amount of time. So having the conversation with your administration about WHICH pieces of the mandated curriculum are truly mandated is the best place to start.
You might find out that they only really want you to use 1-2 specific pieces and then you can fill in the rest with what you think is best. By asking, you’re opening up the possibility of finding more time for other opportunities.
Using Mandated Curriculums
- All curriculums that your schools enforce are going to introduce strategies and skills one way or another. A great way to use my Building Comprehension units is to use them to pre-introduce the skills. My units would come first, followed by the activities and lessons from the mandated curriculum. This helps, especially if you find your mandated curriculum to be too advanced for your students. This allows them exposure to the skills and standards before diving into the more rigorous activities in the curriculum.
- Another great thing about my Building Comprehension units is that they work great in workshop models! If you love using reading workshop and struggle with what to say or do during those ‘mid teaching moments, the activities in the Building Comprehension units are a fun and unique spin to squeeze in a bit more teaching during workshop!
- Also, some mandated curriculums are very heavily small group and centers based. Even when not designated, all of the activities in the Building Comprehension units can be used in centers with proper direction. This gives you TONS of engaging and hands-on options for what to do with all of your students during reading stations and centers for independent practice!
- Or what about your small groups? Do you have trouble coming up with what you should be teaching? Or what materials you should be using at your own small group table? Many mandated curriculums don’t provide that and teachers are left coming up with those lessons on their own. My Building Comprehension units are perfect to use as a curriculum JUST for your reading small groups! You have ample materials to teach and reteach every reading skill possible in small groups with even some leftover!
A Few More Ways
- Another way I know teachers use the Building Comprehension units are with their push in support! Do you have others who come in and help in the classroom? It could be title one teachers, SPED teachers, teacher aides, or even parent volunteers! Having resources ready and available for them to use that you know are rigorous, effective, and engaging is very reassuring. My Building Comprehension units are perfect since they come with step-by-step lesson plans and directions for everything included. You can simply hand it over and off they go!
- And as teachers, we all know that teaching something ONE time doesn’t do the trick. Many mandated curriculums don’t do the best of job at coming back to skills and standards to help reteach them at different times throughout the year. Using my Building Comprehension units as spiral review helps ensure that your students get your mandated activities first and foremost. Then later one receives even more review and practice. This helps to seal in the knowledge and learning they have received and gets all students where they need to be!
- What about substitutes? One of the WORST parts about teaching is having to create sub plans! I know we can all agree there! What if you had your sub plans ready to go regardless of what you were teaching when you had to be out? You can easily turn my Building Comprehension units into step-by-step sub plans to ensure your students receive engaging and rigorous content even when you’re gone!
- Another way teachers have used my Building Comprehension units with a mandated curriculum is by using it solely for test prep! In the months of February through May, teachers are always scrounging for ways to squeeze in rigorous activities that help with standardized test prep. The Building Comprehension units are very effective. They help teach the skills and strategies in unique ways that get all students to understand and applying at grade level. You can pick and choose the activities based on your students’ areas of need and you have a solid test prep plan!
Finally, the last way you can use the Building Comprehension units is by using them just for reading interventions. You might exhaust all of the manded curriculum’s resources and still have those students who need support. You can turn to the lessons and activities provided for intervention support. The step-by-step breakdown of each skill and strategy through the lessons gives a very scaffolded, visual, and hands-on approach that works for many below-level students.
You can see that the Building Comprehension units aren’t just great as a solid curriculum. You can use the resources in so many ways, it’s truly an investment for your students’ success! Why wouldn’t you give it a try? You can check out my Building Comprehension Skills bundle HERE and the Strategy bundle HERE! I hope you’ll give them both a try!
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