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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

Internalizing and planning from literacy resources

It's one thing to find quality resources, but it's how teachers use them that matters most for student learning.

Internalizing and planning from literacy resources

Improved planning through deep study

Getting your hands on a high-quality literacy resource is an important first step in improving literacy instruction—and you can learn more about how to do that here. But it’s how teachers use those materials to thoughtfully prepare and strategically plan their instruction that matters most for student learning.

If you are confident you have a high-quality literacy resource, start by studying the design of the resource. If the resource is bigger than a single lesson, such as a literacy curriculum, start by asking yourself a few questions about the purpose behind the resource’s content and design:

  • What is the learning purpose and focus of the unit/module and how is that conveyed in teacher- and student-facing materials?

  • How does the design of the unit/module or lesson reflect and support the instructional shifts?  

  • When and where are students doing the “heavy lifting” and how will you support them while maintaining high expectations?

Create a pacing calendar that includes two things: Not only when every unit in your curriculum will be taught, but also when teachers and leaders are going to unpack and plan from each unit. That second piece is often overlooked, but it’s absolutely critical to ensuring teachers have time to wrap their minds around the content so they can teach it effectively.
— Ben Curran, ANet Coach

Once you and your team have a high-level understanding of the resource, use this protocol to internalize and plan from the materials. 

Nothing helps you support students to meet learning goals better than pushing yourself to experience the exact same thinking and doing that students are being asked to do. By completing the tasks students will have to solve, reading the central text(s), and writing a response to the culminating writing prompt, you and your team will internalize the content in a deep way. You’ll uncover what’s at the heart of the unit, and how questions, texts, and writing prompts connect to one another and build toward the big ideas in the text.