CKLA Is Online for Free
From student activity books to teacher guides, everything needed for preschool–third grade and several units from grades 4–5 are fully available for free using the CKLA Download Manager. More…
CKLA in Action
Wondering what CKLA really looks like? Get a glimpse into CKLA classrooms, and hear from pilot teachers and principals about their experience with the program. More…
CKLA K–3 is based on decades of cognitive science research revealing that reading is a two-lock box, a box that requires two keys to open. The first key is decoding skills, which are addressed in CKLA’s Skills strand. The second key is oral language, vocabulary, and background knowledge sufficient to understand what is decoded. These are covered in the Listening & Learning strand. Together, these two strands unlock a lifetime of reading for all children. Using this approach, CKLA not only meets the Common Core State Standards, it exceeds them. In K–2, CKLA takes 120 minutes per day; in grade 3, 150 minutes are needed. In each grade, approximately 150 days of instruction are included in the program.
CKLA K–2 was piloted in 172 classrooms in NYC over a three-year period. Students in CKLA schools had significantly greater gains in Year 3 than comparison schools. Learn more about the Pilot Results.
The Skills Strand
The Skills strand teaches reading and writing in tandem. Children practice blending (reading) and segmenting (spelling) using the sound spellings they have learned. Decodable stories are introduced in the sixth of the ten units for kindergarten. In K–2, stories are 100% decodable—made up entirely of words and sound spellings the students have been taught, or "tricky words" that also have been explicitly taught. By grade 3, students have mastered the code, so they will find any text “decodable.” Handwriting, spelling, and the writing process are addressed in the Skills strand. The Skills strand was designed to be fully in accord with the findings of the National Reading Panel and it is aligned with the goals put forth in the “Reading Foundational Skills” section of the Common Core State Standards.
The Listening & Learning Strand
Decoding is essential, but so is the ability to comprehend what has been decoded—and that depends on language and content knowledge. The Listening & Learning strand lessons, comprised of teacher read-alouds, class discussions, vocabulary work, and extension activities, build on the research finding that students’ listening comprehension outpaces their reading comprehension throughout elementary school. These read-alouds and exercises are organized in 11–12 domains per grade. Each domain is dedicated to a particular topic—such as the five senses, Native Americans, early Asian civilizations, or insects—and the class stays focused on that topic for 10–15 days of instruction. In addition, the domains are carefully organized to build on each other within and across grades. This focused, coherent, systematic approach is the most efficient and effective way to build students’ knowledge and vocabulary. It is interesting and engaging too, as the content goes well beyond standard early grades language arts fare to include important historical and scientific events, ideas, and people.