District Administration November 2017 - 38

SPONSORED CASE STUDY

Engaging students with relevant and
integrated learning experiences
Follett's Curriculum Alignment identifies, evaluates and assembles
instructional resources that support integrated learning models

R

ockford Public Schools is the third-largest school
district in Illinois, educating more than 28,500
students.
Last year, Cory Nilsen and David Allen, the respective
deans of social studies and science curricula for Rockford
PS, learned that a local organization that had provided
dictionaries to every third-grade student was disbanding,
and it wanted to give Rockford PS the remaining money.
Armed with additional funding from a grant that hadn't
been fully used, Nilsen and Allen engaged with Follett's
Curriculum Alignment solution team to find nonfiction
and fiction titles in both English and Spanish that would
support the district's integrated learning model.
"We reached out to Follett to see if they could find books
that were aligned to our outcomes," Nilsen says.
Follett's Curriculum Alignment solution creates a list of
titles tailored to any district's curriculum needs and budget.
The trade books align to the standards, level and scope of
curricula, plus they engage students with relevant and
interactive learning experiences. Nonfiction and fiction
books are selected by Follett's Curriculum Alignment team,
which is composed of educators with graduate degrees
and certified librarians.
"Follett was able to look at the essential learning
outcomes and tailor the resources to them," Nilsen says.
"We were able to get a good curricula match from those
resources."
Problem solved
One of the biggest challenges, Nilsen says, is finding good
content about local history that is engaging to third-grade
students, who have reached the stage of "reading to learn"
versus "learning to read."
"What Follett was able to do was provide us books about
cities similar to Rockford in terms of size and history as a
community," Nilsen says. "Then we had our teachers work
toward making the connections between the reading and
our local history. That was a very good solution for us."
Flexible partner
Nilsen says Follett has been helpful in selecting titles and
creating lists of resources, but it has also changed course
when the district has asked for something different than

"One of the reasons we like working
with Follett is that they make changes
quickly and successfully. It's nice having
the flexibility and customization that
Follett offers us."
the initially chosen title.
"One of the reasons we like working with Follett is that
they make changes quickly and successfully," Nilsen says.
"It's nice having the flexibility and customization that Follett
offers us."
Big benefits
Allen says the bottom-line benefit is developing students'
literacy and critical thinking skills.
"We look at our integration project, and what we're
trying to do is provide students with authentic experiences
and engaging content," Allen says. "We believe that if we
provide literacy skills, ultimately content areas like sciences
and social studies will benefit with students becoming
better readers and critical thinkers."

For more information, visit www.follettlearning.com
View, comment, share this story online at DAmag.me/follettlearning


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration November 2017

District Administration November 2017 - Cover1
District Administration November 2017 - Cover2
District Administration November 2017 - 1
District Administration November 2017 - 2
District Administration November 2017 - 3
District Administration November 2017 - 4
District Administration November 2017 - 5
District Administration November 2017 - 6
District Administration November 2017 - 7
District Administration November 2017 - 8
District Administration November 2017 - 9
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District Administration November 2017 - Cover3
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