Connect with Kids Education Network (CWK) develops and designs all classroom materials to incorporate the following general requirements of the Common Core Standards:
- Programs allow students to gain, evaluate, and present increasingly complex information, ideas, and evidence through listening and speaking.
- Programs encourage academic discussion in one-on-one, small-group, and whole-class settings in which students collaborate to answer questions, build understanding, and solve problems.
- Programs provide opportunities for students to grow their vocabularies through a mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading.
- Programs integrate technology and media in school and life for 21st century learning.
- Programs provide evidence-based materials that accelerate students toward career and college readiness and demonstrate research-proven usability and efficacy with a full range of students.
All CWK programs are developed based on the Mutual Aid Model for group work. This evidence-based approach uses peer-to-peer communication, non-fiction videos and texts as a vehicle for problem solving which encourages students to collaborate, answer questions, build understanding and solve problems through group discussion. Visual storytelling components allow students to navigate technology and compare knowledge gained from reading texts to knowledge gained from other forms of media. Texts and videos are designed to help students acquire knowledge of general academic vocabulary that will help them access a wide range of complex texts. All programs are designed for whole group, small group and individual instruction that cultivate student responsibility and independence. See the following examples of some but not all of the Common Core requirements for English Language Arts and Literacy Curricula grades 3-12 integrated throughout CWK programs:
Short, Non-Fiction Texts: CWK multimedia programs include non-fiction texts that correspond to video programs and elicit close reading and re-reading that allow students to probe and ponder meaning.
High-Quality Text-Dependent Questions and Tasks: All CWK student-based texts and text-based lessons include rigorous questions that require students to demonstrate that they can follow details and make valid claims that square with the evidence in the text.
Whole-group, small-group and individual instructional design that cultivates student responsibility and independence: CWK lesson plans and texts prompt individual analysis and working within groups to develop peer-to-peer analysis and problem solving. Programs also include writing analysis to encourage active student engagement.
Academic Vocabulary: CWK programs include academic vocabulary that readers find in all types of complex texts from different disciplines. Materials help students acquire knowledge of general vocabulary that will help them access a wide range of complex usage.
Writing to Sources: CWK lesson plans and texts require students not only to show that they can analyze and synthesize sources but can also present careful analysis, well-defended claims, and clear information through writing. Materials give students extensive opportunities to write in response to sources throughout grade-level materials.
Engaging in Academic Discussions for Speaking and Listening: In accordance with the Speaking and Listening Standards, CWK materials show teachers how to plan engaging discussions around grade-level topics, videos and texts. Watching, listening, and speaking opportunities provided through video and text materials prompt questions and allow students to strengthen listening skills, as well as abilities to respond to and challenge their peers with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.
Using Multimedia and Technology Skillfully: CWK multimedia resources require students to compare the knowledge they gain from reading texts to the knowledge they gain from other multimedia sources, such as video. Students use print and video non-fiction, storytelling to understand different productions of the same material and assess how each production interprets the objective and subjective information provided. Materials use multimedia and technology in a way that engages students in absorbing or expressing details of the programs and text.
Efficacy of Aligned Materials: CWK materials have a clear and documented research base. The curriculum is research-proven and has been modified and improved over time based on evidence of actual use in the classroom with a wide range of students. CWK is designated as an “Effective Producer” of programs by the U.S. Department of Education and appears on the prestigious U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse List. The company uses the research-proven Mutual Aid Model of social work that allows students and adults to connect through the power of real-life stories and video. Research shows the Mutual Aid Model is one of the most effective behavior management tools. Connect with Kids video programs profile real kids navigating real issues in a relevant, reality-based format and have produced statistically significant improvement in student behavior and academic perseverance. A research study including more than 800 students in Kansas City across five diverse school systems at the elementary, middle and high school levels showed that Connect with Kids programs improve student behavior across multiple character and life skills, including teasing and bullying behaviors, cheating and lying, respect for classmates and teachers, and academic perseverance. A nine-month study in Washington, D.C. showed physical and verbal aggressive behaviors decrease when CWK programs are used. In the control group, aggressive behaviors increased during the same time period.
Detailed correlation of CWK programs to Common Core State Standards is available upon request.