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Research Based Curriculum and Instruction Materials

Oral Language

Language for Learning: for grades Kdg.-2
Language for Learning is a Direct Instruction program that teaches students hundreds of language concepts, vocabulary, and basic information that is the foundation for reading comprehension.  Every instructional activity is part of an overall sequence that leads to higher-order thinking and promotes comprehension.

Language for Thinking: for grades 1-3.
Language for Thinking builds on the vocabulary, concepts and patterns introduced in Language for Learning.  The program’s content includes making inferences, retelling accounts, and determining meanings of sentences.  Language for Thinking sets the stage for reading comprehension and the grammatical analysis of written language.

The Talkies program aligns with a theory of cognition, Dual Coding Theory and through sequential steps brings the nonverbal code of imagery to consciousness.  The goal is to engage the individual to consciously create and access mental representations and stimulate his or her awareness of the imagery-language connection.  It serves as the primer to the Visualizing and Verbalizing program.


Lindamood Bell Phoneme Sequencing Program – (LiPS)
Lips develops Phonemic awareness, the ability to identify individual sounds and their order within words for competence in reading, spelling and speech.  Weak phonemic awareness is a cause of decoding and spelling problems.  This program uses language to label the look and feel of phonemes.  It teaches students to use multi-sensory information to develop a feedback system that promotes self-correction in speech, reading, and spelling.

Seeing Stars
Seeing Stars is a sequential program of instruction to develop mental imagery for letters in words, as a base for decoding and spelling.  The process-based instruction of Seeing Stars teachers the student to create mental imagery for letters within words, and to connect that imagery to the sounds of language.  This visual processing of written sounds and symbols is known as symbol imagery, an essential skill that underlies fluent reading and accurate spelling.

Visualizing and Verbalizing – (V&V)
Visualizing and Verbalizing is a sequential program of instruction to develop mental imagery as a base for language comprehension, reading comprehension and critical thinking.  The process-based instruction teaches the student to bring mental imagery to consciousness, connect it to oral and written language, and combine imagery for extended language into a single imaged whole  - an imaged gestalt (whole).

The Edmark Reading Program teaches beginning reading and language development to nonreaders.  Using a whole word approach, words are introduced with meaning to provide comprehension practice and use of the word in story context.  Carefully planned introduction of words and evolution of sentence structure also promote language development.  Scaffold instruction through levels helps develop vocabulary skills.  Short instructional steps, repetition and constant positive reinforcement build self confidence in reading.

Rewards – Sopris West
Teach students to use a flexible, research-validated multisyllabic word reading strategy for decoding long words and to increase reading fluency in full-length passages.  REWARDS features teacher-directed lessons (25 at the Intermediate Level and 20 at the Secondary Level) that benefit students who have mastered the basic reading skills but who are not yet accurate or fluent readers in gade-level materials.

Corrective Reading – Decoding:
Teacher directed instruction to address a wide range of decoding problems from phonemic awareness to multisyllabic words, so struggling students can catch up with their peers.  Stories written for the program provide a gradual progression in skill development that discourage guessing, develop accurate decoding skills and build fluency at a reading rate of approximately 90 words per minute.  This proven intervention program offers four levels that take students from learning letter sounds and blending to reading at an advanced level.

Corrective Reading – Comprehension:
This program helps students develop the vocabulary and specific strategies they need to understand their textbooks.  Struggling readers will systematically build vocabulary and information, develop higher-order reasoning skills and organize and remember information for learning.  This proven intervention program offers four levels that take students from building vocabulary to developing higher order thinking skills.

Language!  Sopris West
The Comprehensive Literacy Curriculum increases the performance of students who are reading two or more years below grade level.  Providing an integrated approach to literacy instruction, LANGUAGE! accelerates learning so students can access grade-level content.  Designed specifically for struggling learners-English language learners (ELLs) and students in special education or general education—LANGUAGE! leads to improved reading comprehension and written expression.  This intensive intervention:

  • Integrates the six key literacy strands
  • Is explicit and comprehensive
  • Provides a solid scope and sequence
  • Relies on ongoing and summative assessment to guide instruction
  • Enables students to participate and achieve in grade-level classes

Early Success in Reading (EIR)
Early Success in Reading (EIR) is based on 12 years of classroom research conducted by Dr. Barbara Taylor.  The program supports phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.  The program includes systematic, scaffolded instruction to help below-level students develop reading fluency as well as phonics skills and decoding strategies.  The program includes an easy to follow Teacher’s Manual with complete lesson plans, assessment tools, management supports. Phonics activities and practice and parent letters.  Materials include 60 books per level, seque4nced from easy to more challenging grade level reading.

Read Well: Kindergarten
Read Well: Kindergarten provides comprehensive teacher and student materials for whole-class and small group explicit instruction. Kindergarten Read Well provides explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension with a special focus on oral language development.

Read Well: Grade 1 and remedial 2-3.
Read Well combines systematic phonics; mastery based learning and rich content.  Children will learn to develop strong decoding skills, comprehension strategies, and sophisticated content knowledge.  Read Well systematically introduces and reviews skills and strategies, utilizes narrative and expository text and introduces readers to multiple genres.

The Waterford computerized reading program is comprised of three levels: emergent, beginning and fluent readers.  The emergent reader works on automatic letter recognition, phonological awareness, concepts of print and understanding oral and written language.  Beginning readers work on phonics, word recognition, writing and spelling as well as comprehension strategies. Fluent readers practice reading, sight word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension, extended phonics instruction and writing activities.

Early Reading Intervention (Optimize)
Early Reading Intervention (Optimize) is based on Project Optimize, a 5 year longitudinal study by Dr. Edward J. Kame’ ennui and Dr. Deborah C. Simmons.  The program identifies at-risk learners in Kindergarten and grade 1 and provides intervention to promote reading achievement.  Research shows that 97% of kindergarten children who were taught with EARYL Reading Intervention experiences faster achievement rates and were able to sustain that level of achievement into second grade.

Literacy First Reading Model
Based on state of the art research, Literacy First (Professional development Institute) assists schools to develop, implement, and sustain a strategic plan for a comprehensive and balanced school-wide literacy program which incorporates both phonics and whole language in an active, problem solving manner.
Literacy First methods equip teachers with a powerful repertoire of strategies to enable students to decipher the language system and use language actively.  To help school develop this successful program, Literacy First provides strategic plan development, effective training, ongoing coaching, classroom visitations, demonstrations, and continuous assessment.  Simultaneously this program helps build capacity within a building staff to maintain these initiatives without prolonged outside assistance.

Reading Mastery + Kindergarten:
This program begins by teaching the oral language skills necessary to understand what is spoken, written and read in the classroom. Reading instruction begins with carefully sequenced lessons on sound identification, segmentation and blending skills.  By the end of kindergarten students can identify and write letters of the alphabet, read short stories, and have acquired a reading vocabulary of approximately 50 words.

Reading Mastery + Level 1-4  
This program is a comprehensive, complete reading program that incorporates phonemic awareness, systematic and explicit phonics and direct teaching of vocabulary and concepts useful in school.  As students progress through level appropriate materials they build comprehension strategies while providing rich experiences with quality literature.  Material is selected to bolster connections to other subject areas.

Horizons Reading Levels A and B:
This program is for grades kindergarten through second grade and builds a solid foundation for fluency and comprehension by systematically teaching phonemic awareness, beginning decoding skills and basic comprehension skills.  Students develop fluency and automaticity while developing comprehension strategies.

Horizons Reading Fast Track C-D:
This program is for students in second through mid third grade.  Level C-D expands key decoding and vocabulary skills while developing higher level thinking and comprehension strategies. High interest stories and relevant nonfiction passages provide opportunities for reading for meaning and help students transition between fiction and nonfiction reading strategies.

Read Naturally:
The Read Naturally Program provides a method to improve reading fluency in elementary through secondary students.  The Read Naturally Program combines three research based strategies for improving fluency: teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring.  The Read Naturally Program can be easily implemented in any setting: classroom, extended day program, resource room, tutorial, etc.

Into English:
Into English builds unit concepts and vocabulary that is vital to the language acquisition process, widens language proficiency through the rich context of literature and deepens language proficiency into all the content areas. This program provides ESL students access to the core curriculum.

Leamos Espanol
Leamos Espanol in grades kindergarten through third is a Direct Instruction program that combines oral language development, phonemic awareness activities, explicit phonics instruction, and comprehension strategies. The early programs build a solid foundation for fluency and comprehension by systematically teaching phonemic awareness and phonics.  Students apply decoding strategies in the context of fun and appealing stories written in a carefully developed sequence. The later programs provide high interest stories and relevant nonfiction passages giving students the opportunity to read for meaning, and helps students transition between fiction and nonfiction reading strategies.

De canciones a cuentes (Cancioneres Rhymes)
De canciones a cuentes uses the magic and power of student generated books to build mastery of Spanish phonics and ensures its strategic application in reading and writing.  The program’s goal is to offer phonics instruction that empowers children to read with automaticity and accuracy and to write with conventional spelling.  To accomplish this goal, De canciones a cuentes offers systematic, direct instruction for a series of phonetic elements. 

Estrellitia is a supplemental, phonics based, accelerated beginning Spanish reading program.  It utilizes a multi-sensory approach by integrating visual cues, chanting, kinesthetic activities and whole language strategies. Estrellitias bridges the gap in kindergarten from non-reader to reader in less than a year, accelerates first grade children through the decoding process within 6-8 weeks and builds early reading fluency and comprehension in order to prevent learning problems later.

Elfonetica provides students immediate application of phonics skills into literature.  Elfonetica includes a set of decodable texts for each syllable set, word counts and reading levels that gradually increase to keep pace with student’s growth, tapes that build fluency and provide cloze readings to improve comprehension.

ABC Elebramos
Spanish reading program including alphabet cards, big books, and games.

Chiqui Libros
Individual reading books in Spanish for each letter of the alphabet.

Written Language

Adventures in Language 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b
Adventures in Language is a multi-level direct instruction program for the development of basic language skills and written expression.  It can be used with students from the second half of grade 1 to students in grade eight.  Adventures in Language may also be appropriate for older special education students to help them acquire language and written expression skills.  The carefully designed teaching sequence is one of the reasons for the high level of student success.  Confidence and fluency develop through teacher directed instruction and cumulative practice.  Skills are coordinated to state standards for language and written expression, as well as to the Core Knowledge Curriculum by E. D. Hirsch, Jr.  As students progress through the various levels of the program they acquire important basic skills that enable them to be effective speakers and reflective writers.

High Performance Writing:
Each of the three levels (beginning grades 1-4, intermediate grades 3-8, advanced 5-adult) provide 6 units focused on different forms of writing.  A three step instructional model gives students specific instructions and practice needed to develop process-based writing skills.  First, teacher and students work together to identify components of the writing forma dn to develop skills students must learn to use the writing process.  Next, teacher and students work together to apply the knowledge and skills as students compose a collaborative passage.  Finally, students engage in the writing process, employing the strategies and editing procedures as they write independently.

Write Well Spelling:
Write Well helps students develop essential spelling skills.  Write Well is easy to manage and is effective for integrating reading and spelling instruction as a part of the Read Well reading series.

Reasoning and Writing:
Reasoning and writing introduces higher level thinking skills at the earliest levels and uses them throughout a well-integrated program to teach effective communication. 
Level A (grade 1) uses storytelling and other activities to develop an awareness of narrative structure and logical connections.
Level B (grade 2) expands reasoning activities and adds language concepts.  Students learn to write complete sentences and begin to form simple paragraphs.
Level C (grade 3) introduces a complete writing process, including drafting, revising, and editing for clarity.  Students learn important points of grammar, usage, and punctuation necessary for effective communication.
Level D (grade 4) focuses on various forms of writing, emphasizing the need for reading critically.  Students learn to summarize and use the summary for writing comparisons and critiques.
Level E (grade 5) expands the elements of style while demonstrating the importance of logical thinking. Students learn to vary word choice and sentence construction, and to recognize inconsistencies.

Spelling Mastery:
Spelling Mastery blends three approaches to teach spelling: phonemic, morphographic and whole word approach.  Spelling Mastery interweaves these three strategies according to the student’s development-phonemic for beginning spellers, morphographic for spellers learning multi-syllable words and an intensive whole word approach at all levels for common words that can not be taught through other strategies.

Spelling through Morphographs:
Spelling through Morphographs is a program to help older students become successful spellers.  Teach a variety of morphographs (prefixes, suffixes, and word bases) and a small set of rules for combining morphographs.  The program provides a natural point of departure for teaching skills related to word meaning and structure.  Students explore spelling and vocabulary simultaneously while providing a basis for teaching word histories.   Homophones are studied to provide a basis for using the appropriate word in context.  Basic parts of speech are reinforced because some morphographs signal particular parts of speech.

Step Up To Writing: Grades 3-12
Step Up To Writing teaches students to organize ideas and information, write topic sentences and thesis statements, connect key ideas with supportive details, write conclusions, think creatively and other components of effective writing.  The program is divided into manageable steps and includes writing examples, activity sheets, and scoring rubrics, skills sequences for strategies and topics for writing projects.

Handwriting Without Tears
The developmentally based, flexible, and engaging Handwriting Without Tears program is the easiest, most effective way for children to develop good handwriting skills.  It has been used successfully by more than 10 million children.


Touch Math
Touch Math is a system of counting dots on numbers.  Each number, 1-9, has points assigned with the student practicing touching and counting these points.  These points are touched when solving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.  Eventually students do not need dots on numbers and touch where the imagined dots should be.

Connecting Math Concepts: 
Connecting Math Concepts teaches explicit strategies that enable students to master new and progressively more complex topics.  Detailed explanations and guided practice start students off on the right track.  Systematic review and application keep students moving forward.  This is a gradual yet intensive curriculum that addresses concepts in short takes over many lessons to maximize learning.  Level A-E, Bridge and Level F are for grade levels kindergarten through grade 8.

Essentials for Algebra
Essentials for Algebra provides the essential knowledge that under-performing students need to tackle Algebra.  By using the highly structured lessons in the yearlong course, more students will master essential pre-Algebra content and gain an understanding of introductory concepts found in traditional Algebra I classes.

Building Blocks
Building Blocks is software that is the result of research funded by the National Science Foundation.  It provides educators with assessment tools and research-based games and manipulatives to help students grasp math concepts.  The games and exercises work in conjunction with a management system that guides students through researchbased learning trajectories so they gain explicit awareness of geometric shapes used to create designs.  What Works Clearinghouse, the federal group that review scientific evidence of what works in education, has rated building blocks Pre-K as having positive effects on math achievement in early childhood education.

On Cloud Nine
On Cloud Nine Visualizing and Verbalizing for Math uses manipulatives, imagery and language to develop the underlying math concepts necessary for reasoning and problem solving with numbers.  Students use the imagery – language connection to understand math concepts and improve fluency and comprehension for numbers and their relationships.

Mastering Math Facts    
Mastering Math Facts is a structured, day-by-day way for kids to learn their math facts by operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).  Not only do they learn math facts, but the lessons are reviewed and repeated until your students’ knowledge of facts is automatic, an essential skill for higher math operations.  Designed to run in tandem with any math program, taking about 10 minutes a day.

Word Problems Made Easy
Word Problems Made Easy provides students with a systematic way to tackle word problems.  A concrete structure makes taking apart and solving word problems a snap!  Each grade level set includes 160 day’s worth of word problems.  Author Dr. Donald Crawford puts the theory and practice into this research-based method.

Social Skills

Second Steps:
Pre – k - This engaging social and emotional learning program uses hands-on, activity-based lessons to captivate young learners.  Children gain language and communication skills while learning to identify feelings, solve problems, and get along with others.  
Grades 1-5 – The engaging photo-lesson cards are fully scripted and include guidance for group discussions, roleplays and other activities.  Lively classroom videos spark discussion, enriching students’ learning of important social and emotional skills.  The Family Overview Video provides parents with tools to strengthen classroom learning at home.
Middle School – Social skills are building blocks for respectful behavior, healthy relationships, and school connectedness.  These skills also relate to paying attention, focusing on academics, following directions, and achieving in school.  Lessons and videos teach social and emotional skills along with practical, step by step strategies for thinking through problems, including resisting peer pressure, dealing with bullying, and resisting potentially violent situations.

Tough Kid 
The Tough Kid series is designed with techniques to address student aggression, tantrums, noncompliance and poor academic performance.  Strategies are given to teach students how to resolve conflict, express frustration and interact with others.  Skills covered include recognizing and expressing feelings, using self-control, and resolving arguments.

The ACCEPTS Social Skills Curriculum is designed to teach critically important teacher and peer-to-peer social-behavioral competencies essential for a successful adjustment to the behavioral demands of mainstream settings.  The major goal of the ACCEPTS curriculum is to prepare handicapped children to enter and perform satisfactorily within less restrictive settings.  A secondary goal is to directly teach skills that facilitate classroom adjustment and contribute to peer acceptance.

Study Skills

Skills for School Success: 
This research-based program transforms “strategy-free” students into successful students who:
-Exhibit positive classroom behaviors, manage time and organize assignments
-Make effective use of texts and reference books and interpret graphic aids
-Gather information, take notes and respond in class
-Study for and approach tests with confidence


Star Program
Teach children with autism the critical skills identified by the 2001 national Research Council using this comprehensive program.  Students with autism and other developmental disabilities will master receptive, expressive and spontaneous language as well as functional skills, social interaction and play skills.  Level I, II, III, FACTER.

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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