The Wh’s of Leveled Curriculums

Categories: Language Arts | Math | Resources

The day I learned about leveled curriculums was the day my life changed. Not kidding. Or being overly dramatic. It was like this magical Sasha fairy and her work had solved my sped teacher problems. Once I started using language arts level one I couldn’t stop. Before I knew it I was a leveled curriculum loving fool (still working on a fan t-shirt). I used it all. Leveled homework, leveled daily work, leveled math, leveled language arts. I use it all because it WORKS. I feel like by now my co-workers could sum me up as this happy, Velcro, picture schedule, leveled curriculum-loving teacher. No shame. Here’s how I do it.

Lets start with WHAT leveled curriculums are.

Besides slices of heaven, these curriculums are yearlong resources for language arts, math, social studies, and science that focus on building and spiraling skills with embedded structure. Told you. Magical. Spanning across grade levels, and running around school like a crazy person with my cart in order to meet inclusion and pull out needs, my motto is “work smarter not harder”. These leveled curriculums are how I manage to teach modified grade level standards, target INDIVIDUAL student needs, target basic learner skills and make sure my general education teachers ALWAYS have something appropriate to work on if I’m not in there.

Language Arts Level 1

Language Arts Level 2…yes working with these two students simultaneously!

Who?

I use these curriculums with ALL my students. I even use them with my non-sped kiddos within the general education classes. I own almost every level and I can run them simultaneously (thanks to those anchor charts). I have friends who are working on the most basic skills (identical matching) to friends who are ready to learn about antonyms and synonyms.

Where?

Everywhere. When I say everywhere I mean it. Pull out times with multiple grade levels. Full inclusion in 3rd grade with a 1:1 EA. General education kiddos struggling with grade level skills. Second grade independent work. The general education classrooms where there is no extra help. I know you have asked or been asked, “How am I suppose to meet this student’s needs? We are learning about multiplication and Gina is only counting to ten”. Enter leveled curriculums and even daily work.

Leveled work on the left, inclusion work on the right! Do both!

How?

I manage all of these grades, kiddos and all the curriculums in one streamlined way…student binders. I figure out which level is appropriate for each subject and use dividers. I sometimes even go as far as to write the times of day to use them on the tabs. This really helps when there is a substitute! If you’re not physically in the room at the time they will be used, make sure you take the time to train co-workers and your students. Out for a week unexpectedly? No problem, appropriate work is ALWAYS available.

Before pullout sessions, I pull worksheets for the day and put them in a fancy gallon size Ziploc bag. Leveled anchor charts are already printed out in the leveled curriculum binder.

When?

Last year I would teach a modified language or math lesson and on the other side of our wall divider, our amazing EA was running leveled curriculums and watching independent stations. This year I have even started challenging my students by using mastered levels as independent work. Pop in a sheet and an anchor chart and let them work! This teaches so many amazing work habits for the gen ed!

Why?

I could truly go on and on about the why of these curriculums. First, they are standards base (next million dollar question). How do I know this? Well, let’s think about that RL 1.3 language arts standard from last week. How do you scaffold up to such a large standard? You have to teach all the skills beneath it (exhausted yet?). Characters…you need to know that means a person or maybe an animal…oh that means you have to know the labels of people (man, woman, boy, girl, queen, baby, grandma, etc) AND be able to discriminate them. Leveled curriculums fill in all of those gaps! Worried about data? No problem. There are pre and post-tests with each unit. I also love the curriculum maps they come with. At any time admin can walk in and I can quickly reference where each of my kiddos are and show progress.

Look at this progress! Priceless!

Bonus Tip:

I love downloading the leveled daily work onto ipads.

  1. Open up the Internet on your ipad.
  2. On Teachers pay Teachers, go to “purchases” and download the product.
  3. Once it pops up, touch the upper right hand corner and click “open in ibooks”. Wham! Its there, in color! Now you won’t have to color in all of those level one circles. Yes. I have done that. All you need to do is copy the work pages front to back and the corresponding anchor chart. Teach your kiddo how to pull it up on ibooks and say hello to generalizing skills and MEANINGFUL work.

Leveled daily work is great for kiddos who need to work on skills but maybe there just is not enough help available. I recently used this in a gen ed class. The kiddos were struggling with basic skills and were having major behavior problems during independent reading time. We set expectations, taught the kiddos where to find their sheets and they now have meaningful work that keeps them busy and out of trouble.

 

 

 

Student completing leveled daily work in a third grade inclusion classroom!

Next up! Doubling your autism helper products for multi use!

Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed
Latest posts by Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed (see all)

7 Comments

  1. I’m looking for home school materials for my son who has autism.. Holden is going into the 9th grade but has been working on 5,6,7, & 8 grade levels.. I’m interested in using your materials.
    Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.. thanks

    Reply
  2. Hi,

    I have gotten all 4 leveled subjects for the self contained and resource teachers in my building. I was just wondering what level would be good for a 1st and 3rd grade students. Also, what a session would look like to do the curriculum? Are you hands on with the student to complete to work book page? Or do you let them do it on their own and then you can go over it with them.

    I love this product and can’t wait to use it.

    Jessica Ziegler

    Reply
  3. Hi Jessica! So excited you got these products. The level will depend completely on the skill sets of the student. Check out this skill matrix for an overview of what skills are included in each level: https://theautismhelper.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/TAH-Curriculum-Levels-Matrix.pdf. The session can look however you want it. I have seen teachers use it in a variety of ways. Again, the skill set of the students and size of the group will play a role in how you utilize the resource. You can use each page to guide that day’s lesson or small group and then do extension activities on the concepts highlighted in the page. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  4. I have a student in 9th grade but is at about 4th, 5th, or 6th grade math level depending on the concept. Which level would you suggest for him? He struggles with math when it is a task that requires multiple steps or sustained focus. Also, we are struggling with Algebra because letters belong with letters and numbers belong with numers. Any suggestions? When he struggles with a math concept, he shuts down and becomes non-compliant and/or aggressive.

    Reply
  5. Hi Diane!
    Great question! Here is a link to a visual matrix that can help you decide which level might be most appropriate.

    https://theautismhelper.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/TAH-Curriculum-Levels-Matrix.pdf

    I have to say completing these curriculums have been the most VALUABLE resource I’ve ever used. They are so appropriate and perfectly structured. I think your student will love them! After you pick which one, there are video previews available for the levels on the teachers pay teachers website. Let me know if you have anymore questions! I would also make sure that your student is able to do basic discrimination skills, able to sort identical images and non identical images etc. I find that with kiddos who are mixing up letters and numbers and have difficulty identifying them, their basic discrimination and visual perception skills are not strong enough! IF you want to learn more about these skills, check out http://www.theautismhelper.com and search “ABLLS”. 🙂 Hope that helps!

    Gina

    Reply
  6. I think this would be too easy for him unfortunately. I don’t have anything algebra focused yet.

    Reply

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