A Day in the Life: EngageNY ELA Curriculum

Saturday, February 6, 2016
My co-teacher and I decided to use EngageNY this year for all of middle school ELA. Probably one of the best things I could've asked for as a Learning Specialist, since I know exactly what to expect everyday. There are very little miscommunications and that's usually with grading or the transitioning of students from direct intervention time to whole class time.

My way is probably different from what you might end up doing, however, hopefully it'll assist you with navigating the website and seeing how I modify and transition students from direct intervention time (LLI, Words Their Way, etc.) back to whole class (what everyone else is doing).


The EngageNY site recently was updated, thus it's a bit easier to navigate. Here's a quick overview if you're new to the site or plan on using the curriculum for your class.

This section will guide you to the appropriate grade level curriculum.
Currently, they only have Reading and Math curriculums.
The EngageNY site has a bottom section that organizes the grade level curriculums for you. They currently only have ELA and Math, but it's nice to just select from a list. Before this site update, you had to manually search for each curriculum.

Once you get to the appropriate grade level,
there are two things you should focus on.
Once you choose the curriculum you want, in this case, I was viewing the next lesson for my 8th grade students - there are two things you should really focus on: which module, unit, and lesson and the downloadable materials. 

           A. This is the Curriculum Map. It's divided into modules, units, and lessons. My students are currently on Module 2A, Unit 2, Lesson 12. If you click on the link, there's a brief description of the unit and lesson.

           B. This is the most important part! This is area where the curriculum materials and lesson plan can be found. I usually don't download the lesson plan, instead, I view it online by clicking the eye icon (I circled this). This eliminates me having to wait for it to download, scan for viruses, etc. Plus, it means I won't have all these different windows open, that'll confuse me if I become flustered.

Click below to see how I begin modifying and accommodating for my students!
Once you open the lesson plan, scroll down until you see the overview page. This is critical! This page has everything listed from the activities, expected time per activity, a brief description of what happens in each activity, and the homework!

The Overview page for one of EngageNY's lesson plans.
#1 = Agenda. #1 = Brief Description of what's going on.

  1. AGENDA - I use this side to determine what to do for the day. For this day, I notice that they are spending 5 minutes to go over the Learning Targets and complete a vocabulary square. Since I'll be modifying and accommodating for two students, with different needs.
  2. BRIEF OVERVIEW - I use this to determine what students will be doing and how I will transition students from direct supports back to whole class. This is a great tool to use when you're entirely sure what the Agenda is listing. 
The part you're probably wondering about the most is how I modify/ accommodate right? Well, here's what I did for this particular lesson.
  1. Opening:
    • Student A: At her desk, she will see her LLI book of the day is placed alongside an empty Words Folder. Since we have practiced this routine for so long, she knows that she will need to comb through the new book and find words she does not know, and write it in the appropriate box. I will check in with her after I read the Learning Targets aloud. I will then help sound out the words she does not know, and have her repeat it to me.
    You've probably seen these on Pinterest.
    I staple them to make a booklet to use for every two books.
    • Student B: He is fairly independent, but does not read at grade level. Thus, he will be listening to me go over the Learning Standards for the day. Once I'm done, my co-teacher will begin directing students to work on their vocabulary square. He will work on the same vocabulary square. Since he has routinely done this worksheet, I no longer need to read everything aloud to him. He knows how to signal me or my co-teacher if he needs assistance.
  1. Work Time: Since this is a gallery walk, both students will be doing the same assignment, but with different goals.
    • Student A: Since she cannot read or write at grade level, she will have 3 post it notes. There are originally 10 quotes, however, I have focused on three that she will be working on. She and I will walk together to these three, where I will have another student read it aloud and she will draw what she thinks is the main idea of the quote. Her goal for this activity is to ask a peer for help and to identify the meaning of the quotes. She and I will then hustle back to the room, along with students who are done with their gallery walk, where we begin LLI time. We will only be reading the new book today.
    • Student B: I had prepped an iPad with all the quotes written out for him to highlight and listen to it read aloud to him. My co-teacher labelled each quote with a number, thus he knows which quote he needs to select to read. Once he is done listening to all the quotes, he will complete the same assignment as his peers. My co-teacher read al the directions and questions aloud, having students only work on one segment at a time. The assignment that he is working on is a worksheet that asks what is the same, and what is different about the quotes.
    • They will both watch the film to text comparison of the whole class book with their peers. However, Student A will have a Venn diagram comparing the film to the novel. Student B gets the choice of the Venn diagram or the original worksheet.
  2. Debrief Time: 
    • Student A: Since we completed the new LLI book together, I will explain her assignment for tonight. She will read aloud to her parent or sibling tonight. In addition, I usually assign the extra LLI work (drawing, word sorting, etc.) for homework. She will begin packing up. 
    • Student B: He will complete a modified assignment. I had previously given him a YouTube link to the audiobook version of the text. Thus, I tell him to go back to the audiobook, locate the specific timestamp given on the video for the chapter, and to write down the gist of the chapter. This assignment is similar to what the rest of the class was assigned.

PHEW! As you can see, both students were included but had modified work or accommodations that allowed them to access the curriculum. It takes a lot of prep work to get this all done, but I'll be honest, it's definitely easier with a pre-planned curriculum. Thus, I know exactly what I need to set up the day before. 


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