CKLA Implementation Resources Guide
Support your implementation with on-demand webinars, turnkey training materials, video clips and more. More…
The Teacher Handbook series for preschool to grade 5 consists of the Teacher Handbooks, Instructional Masters, Art Resources, and Text Resources. More…
Ensure Successful Implementation
Among those schools that have experienced the most success with Core Knowledge several common practices are shared. These schools:
- have administrators who are knowledgeable about and intimately involved with all aspects of the instructional program,
- appoint a Core Knowledge coordinator to support their ongoing use of the Sequence,
- use a comprehensive curriculum plan to guide instruction,
- select and use sequential reading and math programs of proven effectiveness, and
- develop a school-wide implementation plan to document how they will address a variety of factors that support success.
School-Wide Implementation Plan
A school-wide implementation plan addresses in detail how all schools can adopt the following eight best practices established by the most successful Core Knowledge schools:
1. Establish Weekly Common Planning Time for Teachers
Each grade-level team needs a minimum of 45 minutes per week of (preferably uninterrupted) planning time. Providing common planning time allows teachers to collaboratively create lesson plans, share best practices, coordinate pacing of the curriculum, diagnose individual student needs, and plan enrichment and intervention groupings and activities. Common planning time should also involve "specialists" who teach art, music, physical education, special education, English language learners, and technology. Ongoing participation from media specialists, cluster teachers and administrators is also helpful.
2. Ensure Full Participation in Professional Development
The principal, Core Knowledge coordinator, and all teachers should participate in the complete program of professional development services offered by the Core Knowledge Foundation.
Schools also should provide opportunities for their teachers to participate in training and activities that further develop their knowledge and understanding of topics covered in the Core Knowledge Sequence.
3. Provide Necessary Materials and Resources
It is helpful to create an inventory of the instructional resources and materials that the school has available to teach the topics covered in the Sequence. Then, develop a plan to acquire additional resources and ensure that the annual budget includes funding to maintain and grow this inventory.
4. Conduct Program Evaluations
Collecting information and data to evaluate progress, identify strengths and weaknesses, and measure success of Core Knowledge implementation is essential to continuous improvement.
A wide variety of sources can be informative, or overwhelming. A strong evaluation requires a comprehensive plan. After deciding which outcomes to monitor, document the sources of information and data, as well as collection methods, resources, and frequency.
5. Continually Assess Student Learning
Ongoing student assessments are essential to inform the planning of lessons, activities, and experiences. While informal assessments should be used frequently, formal curriculum-referenced assessments are also important to ensure student mastery of instructional content.
6. Sustain Their Implementation
While initial implementation is important, all the hard work could be for naught without thoughtfully considering how to sustain and grow that implementation. Annually revisiting your vision and mission with regard to Core Knowledge is critical, as is soliciting ongoing feedback from teachers, parents, and students to continually improve, motivate, and energize your Core Knowledge community.
7. Communicate with and Involve Parents
Strong partnerships with parents are always beneficial. When parents understand the curriculum, they are better able to offer support in the classroom and extend learning beyond the classroom. Open communication and involvement is the key to the useful exchange of ideas, feedback, and support. Core Knowledge offers a series of books for parents—What Your Preschooler Needs to Know through What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know—to help parents support and extend their child's Core Knowledge education at home.
8. Stay Connected with the Foundation!
Staying connected with the Core Knowledge Foundation allows schools to learn about the latest resources, professional development services, and support options.