A room full of books is a reading and writing teacher’s dream. But even more exciting may be a room full of new instructional materials, ready to be adopted into the classrooms across the district. This year at ESU 10, teachers across the service unit were invited to attend the ELA Instructional Materials Cadre, a three-day series where teachers learn more selecting new materials to enhance the literacy learning at their districts.
Teachers joined the ESU 10 ELA team in September to learn about the 2021 ELA Standards published by NDE, which contained critical shifts in ELA instruction: foundations of reading, the staircase of text complexity, balancing literacy and informational texts, and explicit writing instruction. The focus was on the standards published by the Nebraska Department of Education in 2021, allowing teachers to dive deeper into their exploration of these statewide resources. Teacher teams also individually crafted visions for ELA instruction at their schools, allowing them to tailor their beliefs about literacy instruction at their individual districts.
In November, teachers explored instructional materials of their own choosing. Teachers were able to use Nebraska Materials Matter, an online resource published by NDE, to see which ELA materials may be available. Districts made their choices independently, picking a couple of materials they found may fit for their individual ELA vision and district needs. Teachers used their knowledge of the recommendations from the NDE ELA shifts and their preferences for features available for their students and school communities while exploring the materials.
Teacher teams will complete the work at their individual district sites between November and next spring, eventually selecting ELA instructional materials that align with their needs and beliefs.