Curricular Resource Public Review

Really Great Readinga curricular resource to address foundational skills standards explicitly specific to kindergarten and first grade. Enables students to learn to decode text to become proficient readers. Instruction focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading fluency skills.

KINDERGARTEN COUNTDOWN (includes resources available)
1st-GRADE BLAST (includes resources available)
– May 2020


Over the last few academic years, District faculty have investigated and implemented changes in early literacy to boost student achievement at our youngest grade levels. During the 2019–20 school year, elementary faculty have reprioritized, unwrapped, and aligned resources for instruction to standards. To guarantee mastery, it's necessary to acquire a resource that presents foundational skills in a systematic and sequential manner. Additionally, the resource needs to target instructional practices through a multi-sensory approach utilizing manipulatives–the way our young learners learn best.

The Really Great Reading Blast (Grade 1) and Countdown (Kdg) programs both contain a research-based systematic sequence of instruction to master foundational reading skills. Instruction is provided through a gradual release model and shifts from whole group to small group to individual, differentiated instruction settings. In addition, the curriculum includes multi-sensory connections for learning, using kinesthetic connections for manipulating sounds and words.  The Teacher's Manual includes professional learning about the skills and concepts being taught that will support all staff. The home component includes resources and suggestions for parents; the technology component allows teachers to display manipulatives easily in the classroom and to switch to remote instruction quickly, if needed.

As students move to 2nd grade and beyond, foundational skill instruction will continue to be addressed through our ReadyGEN resource previously acquired–used for practice and maintenance of foundational skills. Additionally, Words Their Way continues to provide opportunity for students to practice foundtaional skills and progress to word study learning. In these grades, the foundational skill focus shifts from building blocks to concretizing phonics skills and word study, which encompasses vocabulary and spelling.

Please direct questions to Director of Language & Early Literacy Kathryn Sheridan.