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Supporting a School or District Curriculum With the Raz-Plus File Cabinet

By Page Melcher, Implementation Coordinator

The Raz-Plus/Reading A-Z File Cabinet allows teachers to create custom folders to collect, organize, save, and share resources to support their instructional framework. If you are not familiar with how to use the File Cabinet, check out Tips for Organizing, Saving, and Sharing Raz-Plus and Reading A-Z Resources. With the additional option to share custom File Cabinet folders with other members on the same subscription, these folders can be used across grades and departments to support a district’s curriculum.

Sharing folders is an easy way for teachers to collaborate: it saves time and provides a consistent online reference for lesson planning. For example, teachers can generate ideas during a Professional Learning Community (PLC) meeting, create folders based on those ideas, and then share the folders across their grade level. The ability to share custom folders also offers districts a convenient and flexible solution for organizing and distributing sets of resources to support their unique curricular needs. Districts can easily tailor curriculum support to meet their specific needs—by standard, content unit, comprehension skill, or any structure they choose.

TWO WAYS TO USE SHARED FOLDERS FOR CURRICULUM SUPPORT

Here are just two examples of the many ways you can use shared folders for school and district curriculum support.

Using Shared Folders for Standards-Based Planning

In our first example, a Reading Specialist is going to create a standards-based folder to share with the fifth grade teachers in her school. The specialists have been data diving and she has discovered that her fifth grade students are having difficulty with the Common Core Standard R.L 5.1: “Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.” To support her school’s fifth grade teachers, she creates a shared folder in the File Cabinet that they can all use for data-driven instruction.

Standards and Correlations

To get started, she uses the Standards and Correlations section of the Teacher Corner to find resources that are directly mapped to the standard. There are two ways to access the Standards and Correlations section:

  1. Scroll down to the Standards and Correlations area of the homepage for Raz-Plus or Reading A-Z, or
  2. Navigate to the Teacher Corner and select the Standards and Correlations section.

Reviewing Resources

From here, she can select the specific standard she is using and the grade level (Fifth Grade) to find resources that support the standards.

Selecting the materials correlated to this standard link provides a list of resources for her to choose from.

Selecting Resources

The correlation results make it easy to explore, because they include all types of instructional materials. In addition to Leveled Books, this correlation link highlights Project-Based Learning Packs, Close Reading Packs, Literature Circle resources, Theme Packs and more. The Reading Specialist reviews the various resources and saves the following materials into the RL 5.1 folder she created for her fifth grade teachers:

Hero’s Journey Project-Based Learning Pack: This resource asks students to use evidence from multiple primary and secondary resources to answer a central question: How would you develop characters, setting, and plot in a hero's journey story?
Alien Collective I: Resistance Book: This leveled book features a heroic young girl. With a worksheet that requires students to use text clues to make inferences, it’s a great way to tie in the hero theme from the Project-Based Learning Pack.
Poet Create Images Close Reading Pack: Close Reading Packs ask students to use text evidence to answer a central question. Students work independently and then share with a group to see if their answer can be applied across multiple sources. The Reading Specialist includes this activity so teachers can support the standard across different genres of literature.
The Raven Classic Poem: This classic poem is a great way for students to apply poetic imagery knowledge from the Close Reading Pack. It includes a worksheet to use clues from the poem to support conclusions.

Graphic Organizers: The school has been working hard on differentiating instruction, so the Reading Specialist includes a couple of graphic organizers to support this standard with different texts. Teachers can scaffold the organizers to support each level of students in their classroom throughout the year.

Sharing the Folder

Now that she has collected and saved a set of resources to address the identified instructional need, the Reading Specialist shares the folder with the fifth grade teachers in her building. She plans to walk through the process with them during a future grade level meeting so that they can collaborate in developing other sets of resources to meet additional standards.

Using Shared Folders for Unit Planning

Another way to organize folders is by Unit, which makes it easy for teachers to find and assign the appropriate resources, allowing access to consistent curriculum across the district. In the following example, a third grade teacher is planning a unit to teach Analyzing Setting, Character, and Plot. The district’s scope and sequence says that the second week should focus on analyzing character. In order to find resources, the teacher types “analyze character” as a search term in the search box:

The first resource result is the Comprehension Skill Pack. These packs are available for Grades 1-5 and can be used as a mini-lesson for specific skills. The lesson plan provides directions for teaching the skill through the use of a targeted model and practice passage. The teacher wants to use the Grade 3 Analyze Character resources to support the unit, so she saves all three resources to her Week 2 folder for the Analyze Setting, Character, and Plot unit.

She then selects the Extend the Lesson link for Analyze Character to find grade-level-appropriate leveled books with lesson resources that specifically support the skill.

She reviews the list of books and adds The Trouble with English to her unit resources. The book has a lesson plan and activity sheets to help her teach the skill. Students will be able to connect to the character as they learn some of the frustrating exceptions of the English language.

Finally, she wants her students to apply the skill to a book of their choice as a homework assignment. The graphic organizers provide quick resources she can use to meet this need. After reviewing the available options, she adds the Character Attributes Intermediate Graphic Organizer to the folder.

Now that she has collected relevant resources, she can share the folder with other third grade teachers in her building or district. Teachers using Raz-Plus with access to the folder can easily Assign Resources digitally to students for the weekly assignment, or Reading A-Z users can quickly print or project the materials and distribute them to students. This simple process is a great way for teachers to collaborate while supporting their district’s curricular expectations.

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