ADVANCING RESEARCH, IMPROVING EDUCATION cart
The SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool
Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Literacy Resources
Browse by Title

Browse by Grade

Browse by Cost

Search

Nominate a Resource

Related Resources

Curriculum Details for
VersaTiles Reading/Language Arts

Browse all 15 Resources
Previous Resource Previous | Next Next Resource

Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
Click for a printer-friendly version of this record that displays the entire curriculum description on one page.

Content Expert Reviewer

Katharine Adams
Katharine Adams is currently a doctoral student in Applied Child Development at Tufts University. She has taught at the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts for over a decade. She has worked on the development and design of literacy curricula including RAVE-O and the Benchmark Word Detectives Program. She has also developed and implemented an afterschool and summer program for at-risk readers. In addition, Katharine has taught in elementary schools and holds a Masters in teaching with an emphasis in special needs.

Content

  • Extensive coverage of reading and language arts skills, broken down by levels corresponding to grade in school for grades 1-6.
  • Covers four reading/language arts strands (Phonics, word attack, and vocabulary; Spelling; Comprehension and study skills; Grammar, usage, and mechanics) are color-coded throughout each grade level to match IRA/NCTE standards.
  • Skills within reading and comprehension are broken down.
  • Workbook pages are thoughtfully constructed.
  • Materials seem to be engaging and fun to play with, tiles make it feel like a game.

Skills

Academic Skills
  • Phonics, word attack, and vocabulary
  • Spelling
  • Comprehension and study skills
  • Grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • Targets isolated sub skills within these categories.
Study Skills
  • Students learn to work independently.
  • Study skills are a focus of the curriculum
Non-Academic Skills
  • Working at own pace, self-confidence
  • Spatial skills

Alignment to Standards

  • Correlated with NCTE/IRA (National Council of Teachers of English/International Reading Association) Standards.
  • Scope and sequence is elaborate, and the teacher’s guide is useful and specific.

Assessment

  • Assessment is interesting and impressive, there is a focus on “authentic assessment.”
  • Informal assessments include journaling, portfolios, and discussing how students solved answers.
  • Offers specific questions to follow while observing and interviewing students.
  • Pre- and post-test measures of basic benchmark activities.

Structure

  • Curriculum is structured. It addresses specific objectives, but there is flexibility in how they are reached.
  • Teacher’s role is to set students up and make sure they know what they are doing, observe  students working independently and work one-on-one with students who need extra attention.
  • Content is highly structured and defined.
  • Activities are largely teacher-directed, with students setting their own pace.

Addressing Diverse Student Needs

Adaptability
  • Students can work at their own pace and skill level.
  • Students may struggle to stay focused
  • Students can individualize upon existing activities.
Developmental level
  • This curriculum is particularly well-suited to the developmental level of the age group it targets.
  • Materials and tiles are engaging: For example, uses crossword puzzles, activities can be completed in a short period of time.
Learning Styles Addressed
  • Interpersonal learning: Students of different strengths could work together.
Multiculturalism
  • The creators try to represent diversity in the stories with different names.
  • Mascots for each book are cartoon characters and do not have any racial characteristics.
  • Stories themselves are non-fiction, and include a range of different cultures.

Strengths and Challenges

Strongest Features
  • An instructor can use this in an afterschool program with little training ahead of time.
  • Targets specific skill sets, and breaks down different parts of comprehension.
  • Tied to the skills needed to become an expert reader.
  • Easy to move and transport.
  • Serve as a great tool for supplementing regular curriculum.
Challenges and Drawbacks
  • Could be challenging with students who have behavior issues.


About SEDL | Contact SEDL | Terms of Use

Search Link to Home Page