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Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Literacy Resources
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Curriculum Details for
AMP (Accelerating Maximum Potential) Reading Intervention

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Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
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Content Expert Reviewer

Erin Schilling
Erin Schilling brings her wealth of experience of teaching and studying English to her reviews of literacy curriculum. She taught English at a charter school in Boston, Massachusetts, for four years, and during that time served a Lead Teacher, overseeing the development of English Language Arts Curriculum for the school. She also monitored the allocation of school resources for English Language Learners, and researched and implemented a Sustained Silent Reading Program. She has a bachelor of science in English from Northwestern University, a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning as well as a Master of Education in Risk and Prevention, both from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is currently the Site Supervisor at Options Academy - The Arts in Hamilton, Ohio.

Content

  • Lessons alternate between vocabulary and comprehension, with structured writing exercises at the end of each unit.
  • Vocabulary is also found throughout the AMP library books and used to teach basics of word usage.
  • Content is high interest and compelling, including such topics as extreme sports, space exploration, making movies, pyramids and skyscrapers, ancient lives and medical miracles.
  • Graphics are bright and create a magazine-like feel, and would likely be very attractive to students up to 7th and 8th grade.
  • Stories deal with specific incidents, helping to make content feel more genuine and immediate.

Skills

Academic Skills
  • Comprehension strategies: Summarizing, questioning, previewing, text structure, visualizing, inferencing, and metacognition
  • Vocabulary acquisition and correct usage
  • Writing skills: Sentence and paragraph types, various essay styles
  • Language skills: recognition of parts of speech, punctuation, self-editing, and spelling
Study Skills
  • Setting learning goals
  • Graphic organizers
  • Independent reading
Non-Academic Skills
  • Some opportunities for small group and partner work could allow for work on interpersonal skills.

Alignment to Standards

  • Not explicitly aligned with state or national standards.
  • Items outlined in the articulated scope and sequence are similar to those found in many states’ frameworks.

Assessment

  • Blackline Masters are included for both mid-unit and end-of-unit assessment.
  • Students reflect on their progress toward unit goals both at mid-unit and at end-of-unit.
  • Informal assessment is included in the teacher script.

Structure

  • This curriculum is structured, including a teacher script with timing of exercise and exact wording for teacher.
  • Overall pacing calendar is provided, tailored to 90-minute, 45-50-minute, and afterschool classes.
  • Content is entirely defined by the curriculum
  • Activities are wholly teacher-directed.

Addressing Diverse Student Needs

Adaptability
  • Each teacher’s edition contains a page dedicated to “strategies for meeting diverse needs,” including seating plans and various forms (oral, visual) of giving directions and practicing skills
Developmental level
  • Content seems to be high-interest for early adolescents.
  • Provides cyclical reinforcement of skills that is effective with this age group. 
  • Students are asked to express their own opinions and relate topics to own lives
  • Lessons are chunked into sections of 30 minutes or less, with 15 minutes of independent reading.
  • Teacher’s guide includes suggestions on how to model socially appropriate ways to communicate.
Learning Styles Addressed
  • Does not explicitly address movement/spatial learning, artistic learning, kinesthetic learning, or interpersonal learning.
Multiculturalism
  • Concerted effort is made to address the needs of English language learners, strategies for engaging these students in content are found on every page of teacher’s edition.
  • Visuals and text make an effort to draw from different racial and ethnic groups and include stories from different regions of the world.

Strengths and Challenges

Strongest Features:
  • Curriculum is highly organized and all materials are provided.
  • Seems to be easy to implement.
  • Structure allows for continued reinforcement of content and seems to encourage students to be confident when approaching the material.
Challenges and Drawbacks:
  • All activities involve students sitting at desks reading, writing, or speaking about text or vocabulary.
  • Very few activities involve students getting out of their desks or doing creative work.
  • Teachers with an active group of students might need to improvise and add some additional activities to vary the approach to learning.


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