It was my first year as a self-contained teacher. I was teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
My students were crushing their IEP goals. We were mastering letter sounds, counting to ten, and writing our names. We were really “living our best lives,” as the young kids say these days. 🙂
Then, it happened.
The 4th grade resource teacher walked in, handed me a copy of the Declaration of Independence, and said, “here you go, Michaela, adapt this for your students.”
I felt absolutely defeated.
After all this time providing my students with instruction geared toward their IEP goals at THEIR level (you know, the INDIVIDUALIZED education plan we are following), I was now expected to spend hours adapting curriculum that was not tailored to my students’ needs AT ALL. Not that this isn’t an important subject to teach, because it IS. But I just felt so much pressure on my shoulders to adapt the grade level curriculum.
(Do the general education teachers not realize that, hey, 3rd-5th grade means you teach other grade levels, too??)
Not only did I feel like my time was being wasted, but it was disheartening to feel forced to provide instruction beyond my students’ academic levels.
After polling hundreds of teachers, my teacher-author Made For Me Literacy partner, Gabrielle Dixon (Teaching Special Thinkers), and I learned that 95% of special education teachers struggle to adapt curriculum for their 3rd-5th grade classrooms. Because academic skill level becomes increasingly difficult past the first-grade level, teachers are expected to use materials that are too low or adapt materials that are too high.
This told us there is a huge need for effective special education teaching materials for upper elementary curriculum. While modifying the curriculum for K-1st grade isn’t easy by any means, there is less of a discrepancy between the content of the curriculum and the student skill levels.
Meaning the content and skill level of a kindergarten worksheet is often appropriate for a student in a K-1 classroom. However, while that same worksheet may be academically appropriate for your 5th student, the content and cutesy clip art is oftentimes too “babyish” and not grade level appropriate.
Our Level C Made For Me Literacy lesson plan bundle is here to change that.
Not only do we provide 3rd-5th grade curriculum that is both academically and age-level appropriate, but we hope to take the burden off teachers when it comes to differentiating instruction for multiple grade levels.
Upon completion in May, this bundle will contain 10 months of themed literacy instruction to give you to a full year of lesson plans for your special education classroom.
Each monthly unit will include:
- Month-long lesson plan: Our curriculum map breaks down the included activities into 4 day-by-day weeks.
- Each month focuses on 4 forms of literacy. Some books will need to be purchased, while others are written by us and are included in the download. Check out our upcoming book list here. (edits are currently being made, but will be posted ASAP!)
Resources for each book include:
- Story map printables (author, illustrator, character, setting, title, sequence)
- Comprehension questions and assessments (both printable and digital formats)
- 2 levels of assessments (picture cues, word cues, and blank to fill in the answer)
- Adapted book pieces
- 10 vocabulary word cards: We include posters to display in your classroom. Each poster contains a high quality stock photo, vocabulary term, and definition. 2 sizes of each poster are available.
- 20 daily hands-on activities: These include anchor charts, predictable writing chart & class book, Easy Art crafts, process art crafts, writing activities, class graphs, labeling/butcher paper activities, sensory bins, and visual recipes (snack and sensory fun!).
- 20 centers: Our centers cover literacy, math, vocabulary, and the cross-curriculum theme for each month. There are 12 print and prep centers of your favorites (think task boxes, file folders, flip-and-write book). Each of these centers comes with an expansion activity already included to help with differentiation. We also include 8 DIGITAL centers that can be accessed on any device (printable version, interactive version, and Boom Cards versions ALL included!).
- 16 skill practice sheets: Print and go, and perfect for reinforcing skills covered in the unit. Each practice sheet contains 2 levels of difficulty.
Take a more detailed look inside our first unit, Classroom Community!