Teachers Benefits That Stand Out: Odell Education High School Literacy Program

An ELA program that provides classic and contemporary texts with rich, diverse voices opens the door for students to learn. But a high-quality curriculum must also offer flexibility in application and carefully guided assessment. This is what sets Open Up Resources’ high school ELA offering Odell Education High School Literacy Program apart from other curricula.

Rated “All-Green” by EdReports in 2021, this ELA curriculum gives teachers the flexibility to choose topics and activities that best suit the interests and needs of their students, while offering full support along the way. Teachers can use the curriculum as written, but are also given the option to develop their own instruction using the provided text sets. 

Compared to a more traditional curriculum that may use a single assessment per unit, the structure of the Odell Education High School Literacy Program provides more opportunities to get early support to students who need it most. In every unit, there is an assessment plan with analytic checklists, a holistic rubric, and an evaluation plan that provides a 360-degree perspective of student performance, knowledge acquisition, and skill development. Assessment within this curriculum occurs through implementing three practices: monitor, diagnose, evaluate.

Monitoring Progress

Each lesson has learning goals with opportunities for teachers to monitor student progress. Learning goals include assessing what students know and don’t know about the texts they are reading, and if they are generally on track to read, understand and express their knowledge of the texts. Teachers can gauge the level of success in achieving each goal, and adjust and extend activities accordingly. Aside from the core activities within each lesson, there are also a number of optional activities from which the teachers can choose when additional support is needed.

What’s more, most activities are supported by teaching content, as well as pedagogical notes to aid instruction. These are a part of the robust teaching notes throughout each unit. Teaching notes are organized into three categories: About the Author, Concept, Text, Topic; Teaching Strategies and Decisions; and Student Support and Differentiation.

Diagnosing Needed Support Areas

Throughout each unit, there is a series of Section Diagnostics that build up to a Culminating Task. Section Diagnostics are shorter, formative assessments to diagnose the progress toward success on the Culminating Task. Examples of Section Diagnostics include writing a single or multiple paragraphs, delivering a presentation, or engaging in an academic discussion, such as a Socratic Seminar. Teachers can use a Section Diagnostic Checklist to determine their students’ progress and diagnose any learning needs.

Evaluating Literacy Development

As a unit concludes, students carry out a Culminating Task that allows teachers to assess literacy development of each student. It may be a written task (literary analysis, argument, narrative, and expository), product creation (a video or podcast), or a presentation given by students to their learning community. Tasks may be done individually, or in groups. The Culminating Task shows progress in student literacy development, while also revealing when reteaching is needed. The Culminating Task Checklist allows teachers to provide targeted feedback to students, highlighting areas of mastery and growth.

Odell Education High School Literacy Program was intentionally designed to allow teachers and students the ability to collaborate on choosing topics that will interest and engage the class, while also letting teachers determine pacing of units and which/how activities and tasks will be carried out. The flexibility of the curriculum respects teachers’ expertise, while the thorough teacher notes and built-in assessments along the way supports teachers in their choices, allowing them to gauge student progress and spot early signs of needed support for individual students. Aside from the many teacher benefits in the curriculum, the texts celebrate voices and ideas with perspectives of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Contact us to learn more about getting Odell Education High School Literacy Program at your school.