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National Geographic Reach
Transcript of National Geographic Reach
National Geographic Reach is a common core aligned ESL literacy program.
National Geographic Reach was created to meet the demands of school districts in need of a core curriculum that modeled their ESOL program as well as aligned to the common core. The curriculum can be used for bilingual and dual language classroom settings in addition to an ESL program. Grades kindergarten to fifth grade are within the Reach curriculum and grades sixth to eighth have the Inside curriculum.
The program not only focuses on literacy but does so through the content areas in order to close the gap on standardized assessments.
The goal of the program is to connect the students' background knowledge to language, vocabulary, reading, and writing.
Reach has a website dedicated to professional development for educators. The On Demand Training Modules are online and divided by grades and subject. Webinars are also available on the website.
There are also resources available for teachers to read about the components of the program such as vocabulary routine, reading routine, writing routine and language development. Each resource has a goal and the research behind the routine and its benefit to the students.
Scope and Sequence
National Geographic Reach
Price for Kindergarten ESL
The program is based on the stages of language acquisition such as beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high and the strategies needed to improve language.
Much of the program is designed by the interactions between each other's language both student to student and student to teacher. It is designed by the need to explore the surroundings and unknowns through tactile activities. The social-linguistic theory, cognitive theory, and direct instruction model apply to the program.
The program uses background knowledge to begin each unit and this allows the student to be familiarized with the new unit and provide an informal assessment for teachers to see what the students know.
Since their are things ESL may not have seen or know of, the program provides a scene booklet that includes 8 scenes to help a student's vocabulary and observations. It also includes a wordless picture book and a label picture book for each unit as well in order to help the ESL students be familiarized with the unit.
The teacher guides the students through the interactions of new experiences, surroundings, and activities. Since the ESL students need a model for language for them to follow, the teacher is the center of the instruction. The teacher models first but the students must apply what is learned in order to grasp the goal of listening, speaking, reading, writing in English.
Instruction is moderately scripted in the teacher's edition. In the teacher's edition there is a symbol T that indicated the skill is tested. The tested items are on the unit test which is given at the end of the unit. The test will include high frequency words, key words, comprehension and language.
The unit tests allow the students to be placed by abilities and throughout the unit, the skills tested periodically can inform the teacher of students' needing more interventions. The WIDA model is used in the beginning to place students as well.
Reading Instructional Methods
Guided Reading is an important component of the program. The method of instruction is like other programs in which students are grouped by abilities and needs and the teacher supports the students' reading while addressing high frequency words, letters, sounds, and comprehension.
Meanwhile, other students are in centers which are outlined in the teacher's edition.
Literacy is focused on direct instruction where the teacher is first modeling for the students and students will respond. In an ESL classrooms teachers needs to demonstrate the use of the language for the students to understand the use and be able to use it independently.
Writing Instructional Methods
Writing is another component of the program. In writing there are different styles of writing such as:
These methods are common except for power writing which is competing a sentence frame and then writing using a timer to increase the number of words. According to the research from Fisher and Frey 2007, to help students from stalling to write, power writing is meant for students to finish a sentence frame and write it while using a timer in order to increase the numbers of words used each time.
The scope and sequence of the program surrounds itself on themes that kindergartens should be aware of from their surroundings. The program has eight units and each unit contains two parts that connect with one another. Each part takes ten days of instruction (National Geographic Reach, 2011). For example, unit 3 is Visit the Farm and part one is the characteristics of farm animals while the second part is focusing on baby animals and parts of an animal (National Geographic Reach, 2011). The phonics, high frequency words, writing, and language are integrated into the units as well.
The teacher edition uses the songs and big books to capture the students' attention. Using the Alphachant, the teacher can use visuals for the students to relate letters to items familiar to them.
According to the Magnolia consulting research study on third graders using the Reach program, the students increased their language. This was determined using the pre and post test which included vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension/critical thinking skills. In addition, comprehension was the greatest increased as opposed to the control group who were not in the Reach program.
Not only was the research reflective of the students' progress, it also included the teacher differentiation and ability to adapt to student needs. In the study, the teachers using the Reach program indicated that they were able to adapt to the students' needs, scaffold and engage students compared to teachers who did not use the program.
The curriculum includes differentiated strategies that correspond to students who are on different proficiency levels, need cognates, are newcomers, and have trouble transferring information. These strategies will help struggling readers and students with learning difficulties. Since it is a language based program, the students are given various methods to learn the different skills. This program's differentiation such as modeling, centers, visuals, tactile activities and thematic units can address struggling learners.
Strengths and Weakness
The strengths of the program is that it is a core literacy program. It has the necessary materials to have a well rounded literature program that consists of high frequency words, language, vocabulary, grammar, writing, stories and songs that appeal to kindergarteners. The thematic units also helps the students develop their language.
The program is well rounded and emphasizes language. Yet while looking through the units, there is no time frame for the letter sounds and phonics. The program also has a content focus but because it is a literacy program, there is almost a need to include the science ESL program. If another science or social studies program is used, the Reach program would be supplemental but would require the teacher to plan more for the subject.