Rethinking The Resistance Against Boxed Curriculum

We’ve been spinning our wheels. According to the National Assessment on Educational Progress (NAEP) data, Tennessee continues to make consistent gains in mathematics, while achievement in early literacy continues to be a great challenge. In fourth-grade literacy, Tennessee students ranked 41st in the nation in 2011, climbed to 31st in 2013, and then in 2015, Read More

Four Important Findings About Early Literacy

Supporting every student to become a strong reader and writer is one of the priorities in the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)’s new report, Excellence For All: How Tennessee Can Lift Our Students To Best In The Nation, that sets a collaborative vision for student achievement to continue over the next eight years. This priority Read More

Teacher Planning Cycles Increase Student Vocabulary and Knowledge

When we think of early literacy, we often think of foundational skills and phonics instruction—the mechanics of learning to read. But there’s another, equally important task during early grades: building vocabulary and knowledge of the world through engagement with rich, complex text. In order for students to be able to comprehend rich text in later Read More

The Importance of Strong Literacy Instructional Materials

In districts across Tennessee, exciting things are happening in K-2 literacy: In Lauderdale County, special education students in kindergarten are flourishing in conversations about fine art, discussing how human progress can change a landscape over time. In Loudon County, second-graders are talking about the Trail of Tears in a unit about westward expansion, using vocabulary Read More

Knowledge-Rich Texts Lay the Foundation for Early-Literacy Progress

When a first-grader in Trousdale County was recently asked to sit down on his behind, he replied with the correct anatomical term: “You mean on my gluteus maximus?” The adults nearby were amazed. A first grader? Using vocabulary like this? In Trousdale, Putnam, and Sullivan counties, parents, bus drivers, and community members keep asking: “What are Read More