Collaborative Literacy: Comprehensive ELA Curriculum Reimagined
Collaborative Literacy is a comprehensive ELA curriculum designed to develop independent readers, writers, and critical thinkers. Comprising three components—Being a Reader, Making Meaning, and Being a Writer—Collaborative Literacy addresses the core competencies traditionally taught in the language arts block while at the same time creating classroom communities in which students can learn and grow. The curriculum marries the latest research in literacy education with integrated social skills development and embedded professional learning.
With Collaborative Literacy, we imagined a learning paradigm in which social and emotional learning is an intrinsic part of reading and writing instruction. Firmly rooted in best practices, Collaborative Literacy reflects the following principles throughout:
Learners become independent readers, writers, and thinkers: Students are invited to take risks in their learning, building their confidence and ability to express their thinking
Authentic reading and writing experiences: Students immediately apply what they are learning in whole-class instruction to their own reading and writing, reinforcing the new learning and showing students that what they are learning is relevant to their own lives
Equitable access: Lessons are carefully structured with whole-class and partner discussions to ensure that all students have ample opportunity to articulate their thinking
Professional learning: Lessons build teachers’ understanding of best practices in literacy instruction and give teachers the tools to transform classrooms
Meaningful assessments: Formative and summative assessments support instructional decision making for the class and for individual students
SEL with literacy instruction: Teachers foster fundamental shifts in the ways their students feel, speak, think, and learn, with the goal of enabling students to become independent learners
Collaborative Literacy Components
Whether used individually to supplement existing literacy instruction or together to form a comprehensive ELA curriculum, each component of Collaborative Literacy puts students’ thinking at the center of learning, creating curious, self-motivated, and enthusiastic learners. When used simultaneously, lessons across all modules are structured to meet the evolving needs of students across grades K-6.
Being a Reader (grades K–2) combines systematic and explicit foundational skills instruction with fully articulated lessons that support whole-class and small-group instruction and independent work. Integrated assessments, student-teacher conferences, and embedded professional learning help teachers make informed instructional decisions, ensuring all readers advance at their appropriate pace. Being a Reader is intentionally designed to work with SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) moving students seamlessly between Tiers 1 and 2 in a powerful multi-tiered approach to intervention.
Making Meaning (grades 3–6) provides research-based, whole-class reading comprehension and vocabulary instruction using increasingly complex texts across a wide range of genres. The program also offers complete support for daily independent reading, the development of social skills, and regular student-teacher conferences.
Book Clubs (grades 3–6) utilize best practices for small-group reading with both teacher-led lessons and guidance for creating and sustaining student-led book clubs. Lessons are designed to deepen conversations through the development of social skills that facilitate small-group interactions.
Being a Writer (grades K–6) intrinsically motivates students through choice and independence. Students are introduced to a wide range of genres through diverse text and exemplary writing. Integrated social skills development gives students the tools needed to respectfully confer with one another while developing ideas and sharing writing samples. Lessons in grammar, mechanics, and conventions occur during the revision and proofreading phases. By nurturing ideas and assisting with editing only as needed, teachers are able to support students in the development of authentic writing pieces for various purposes and audiences.
Remote Learning Guidance and Digital Resources
Collaborative Literacy comes with access to the Learning Portal, home to the digital components of the program, including student materials, reproducibles, assessments, and more. The Portal also contains professional learning resources to help teachers streamline their preparation, instruction, and assessment processes.
During this time of remote learning, Remote Guidance is available to support teachers in transitioning from an “in person” format to either a blended or fully remote design. To support instructional planning, the guidance is organized by beginning-, middle- and end-of-year and provides instructional guidance, essential learning, and at-home activities.
Research-Based and Standards-Aligned
Our unique pedagogy has grown out of years of research on literacy development, best practices in literacy instruction, and child development. Visit our correlations site to search for correlations to the Common Core and other state standards.