Materials Adaptation
Part 1 of Implementing Wit and Wisdom

Inside Implementation of Wit and Wisdom

Bringing complex content and instruction into a high-needs school district

I recently reconnected with Cassie, one of my past students, who is now in 8th grade. Cassie has always had a difficult home life and is now bouncing around foster families and group homes. A couple weeks ago she was reminiscing about a book we read in 4th grade and I immediately cringed. It was a fun and funny book, but I knew that Cassie read that book because it was a good match for her group’s level more than anything else. It certainly wasn’t the best choice I could have made for a student like Cassie, dealing with poverty, abuse, and neglect. Until last year, I diligently used guided reading groups based on students’ instructional levels and while I was certainly aware of the discrepancy in content between the different levels of text, I didn’t really think of the impact this might have on my students.

I teach in the Mad River Local School District, outside Dayton, OH. We have 60.2% of students on free/reduced lunch. Last year, I was part of a pilot program in my district implementing the Wit & Wisdom curriculum, created by Great Minds. Wit & Wisdom was the first Language Arts curriculum I had used since I packed my basals away a decade ago. I was skeptical, but knew my current instruction was failing to meet the depth and rigor of the new standards. Wit & Wisdom is a total language arts program, including writing, language, and speaking and listening standards. Each grade has four units, each based on an essential question and a thematic text set, including novels, informational text, poetry, videos, and artwork.  All of the reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar are woven into the quality texts that are carefully chosen to build knowledge and deepen understanding of a topic. In 4th grade, we studied the literal and figurative heart, extreme environments, the American Revolution, and Greek mythology.

Meeting the expectations within the Wit & Wisdom program was really hard– for me and my students! The program leads students to a very deep level of thinking that requires a great deal of teacher preparation. We engaged in repeated reading and close reading, both of which were new to my students and required them to build endurance. Wit & Wisdom also expected much more quantity and quality of student writing than I had been asking of my students previously, and they had to build this stamina as well. Finally, for my striving readers who had been in leveled reading groups, it was an adjustment to engage with grade-level, complex text.

The adjustment was hard, but it was so worth it. My students built their endurance and they were excited to stick with one topic for such a long time, enjoying the opportunity to become experts on these topics. They were especially excited about sharing their knowledge and to write four-paragraph essays to demonstrate this. They started thinking about reading differently and making connections between all sorts of texts in their lives.

For example, the final 4th grade module asks, “What can we learn from myths and stories?” We read Greek and Native American myths, such as Pandora’s Box and Cannibal Monster, as well as the novel Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. All of these core texts address the presence of hope in the face of hardship. It’s very powerful to see 4th graders connecting ancient Greek mythology to their chapter book. My students were able to make connections between how both the reader and the main character in Walk Two Moons dig deep to uncover the truth and the way Pandora opens the box, getting more than she bargained for. One of my students, Annie, put this beautifully when she said, “Ever since we started reading this book, I’ve been seeing things different. It’s like life is made up of puzzle pieces you have to put together.”

Now I think, what if this were the story I had shared with Cassie? How much more powerful would it be for her to have internalized this message of taking pieces of your life, even if they’re broken, and figuring out how they fit together?  I wish I’d had Wit & Wisdom to share with Cassie so that she could have experienced the integrated, thought-provoking journeys that my students now enjoy. I know she would have risen to that challenge and blown me away just like Annie and so many others did last year. I always knew the importance of having high expectations for my students, but sometimes we need something new and difficult to make us stop and reflect. What would happen if I expected more? What would happen if I gave them complex texts to help them make sense of their complex lives, along with the confidence and tools to fit the pieces together?

230 thoughts on “Inside Implementation of Wit and Wisdom

  1. I am at a school that is starting Wit and Wisdom this year! Do you have a lesson plan format that you used in your school?

        1. Hi! Can I also have a format you gave used for the curriculum? I am a new teacher I’m Baltimore city and looking for any and all resources to implement this successfully ! Thank you !

          1. Hi Anna, I’ve shared the resources with you via Google Drive. Let me know if you have any trouble accessing them!

          2. Hi, I am teaching 7th grade ELA in Milwaukee and new to Wit and Wisdom. Could you share the planning structure with me?
            Thank you!

          3. I’m an instructional supervisor, and we just adopted Wit and Wisdom. I’d love to be able to share a usable lesson plan format with my teachers. May I have the lesson plan format to share with them?

        2. I would love to see this as well. We are focusing in on our planning for Wit & Wisdom and how to really study the lessons to be more effective! Can you share ways you plan and prep for the lessons?

    1. I am in 5th grade and will be required to use Wit and Wisdom 100% beginning next year. I want to prepare and would love to the lesson plan format as well, if possible. Thank you for sharing!

    2. Will be starting Wit and Wisdom next year – I would love the lesson plan template and any other resources that you’d be willing to share! I am trying to get as many tools into the hands of my teachers for a successful implementation :). Thanks~

    3. I would love to see the lesson plan format, as well. We are in the planning/training stages to implement W&W in the fall.

    4. Can I receive any of your planning or materials you use with this program. I teach 5th grade. We started piloting module 1 in January and are only on lesson 16 now. The lessons are so long and there does not seem to be any materials for reading skill or English skill grades. Thank you.

    5. We are beginning this program in grades 4 and 5 this coming school year. Would you ease share your lesson plan format with me? Anything to help us begin in a good place.

    6. Hi! I would also like to be able to see how your lesson plan works.
      I will be teaching next year W&W and I am a little nervous.

      1. Hello, I am also teaching W&W this year and would love link to the Google Drive. Thank you so much for sharing your resources!

        1. Same situation my school has adopted Wit and Wisdom. I’m a 3rd grade teacher and I would love to see the template and any suggestions to make this work with my students.

          1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

            We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

            I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

            I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

          2. I would love more insight on planning and how to manage fitting everything in. I am teaching 3rd grade and we are implementing W&W this year.

        2. Hi can you also share w me you lesson plan? I’m looking at how to implement and best practices for this program 4-5

      1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

        We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

        I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

        I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

        1. I have located and requested to join the Wit & Wisdom 6-8 Facebook group that was mentioned, but I cannot find the Edmodo Group that was mentioned that has/shares presentations. Could you help guide me to that, or if anyone is a member of the Edmodo group, please share the group code with me so I can join it as well?

          I’d also like the Google Drive folder everyone is requesting. If anyone has something tailored specifically to the middle-level, that would be much appreciated!

          1. Hi Deb!

            Thanks for your comments. If you go to Edmodo and go to join a group the code is gjr4gh.

            I will also make sure you get a link to the Google Drive.

            Thanks,
            Sarah

        2. Just started Wit and Wisdom this year – I would love the lesson plan template and any other resources that you’d be willing to share!

      1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

        We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

        I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

        I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

          1. Hi Jackie,

            I’ve shared the Google drive with you, however, there aren’t grade specific resources in there. I’d recommend you join the Facebook and Edmodo groups. I’ll share your email address with Sarah so she can help you get access to those groups.

      1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

        We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

        I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

        I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  2. My school has just begun this program and I’m really not enjoying at all. I’m a first grade teacher and it’s difficult for me to see the long run of this creating successful readers. Any words of comfort?

    1. Kristi, it can be really challenging at first. Feel free to email me at sarah.webb@madriverschools.org if you want to connect with a first grade teacher in our district! They can speak much better about the experience and lessons learned in younger grades. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom K-2 Facebook group? It’s also a great way to connect with other teachers in your shoes.

        1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

          We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

          I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

          I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

          1. Would you mind sharing your resources with me? I’ll be serving as my school’s interventionist this upcoming year and would like to share your ideas with my teachers. We will be implementing W&W this year.

    2. Kristi, I am also a 1st grade teacher and our district is looking into adopting Wit and Wisdom for next school year. Any insight in greatly appreciated!

  3. My school is implementing Wit & Wisdom this year as well.
    We are interested in the lesson plan format due to state requirements.

  4. Hello Sarah!
    Our school also is doing the Wit and Wisdom Pilot Program this school year. We have had two days of P.D. and as a Kindergarten teacher our grade level is overwhelmed and not sure even now how to implement the program. We do know there are four modules and each thematic unit/lesson requires an Essential Question that will promote deeper critical thinking. How do you pull all of this together? Just scared that I may be starting out on a path whereby I may not end up in the right place with my students. I want to learn the program, but it was so much information to try and absorb in two days! Any guidance you can or may share would be a blessing!

    Your Friend in Kindergarten,

    Cynthia

  5. Hi, my school district is also implementing Wit and Wisdom. I am a 3rd Grade teacher. Is there a lesson plan format you can share? Thanks, Phyllis. Lemons

      1. Hi, I m tagging on to this comment as I am struggling to produce lesson plans for this curriculum. Can you also share with me @bbaines@friendshipschools.org. Thanks!

  6. I would also love to have the lesson plan template you use, please. Thank you so much for this article. It’s been a struggle implementing w&w, but I am hoping for positive outcomes.

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  7. I would love to see the template myself. I am 4th grade and new to Wit and Wisdom. I am pretty lost with it all right now. Thanks!!

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  8. Would you happen to have any help for a first grade teacher? Our district started this year. I am not enjoying it and I am struggling. Any tips?
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  9. Could I get a copy of the lesson plan format please? I teach 3rd grade. We began using Wit & Wisdom this year and I am hopeful we will have great results.

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  10. We have implemented Wit & Wisdom this year. I am very excited about it! Could you please send me a copy of your lesson plan format? Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  11. Thank you for the article. I am a first grade teacher and my district is implementing Wit & Wisdom this school year. I would appreciate having the template as well. Thanks for pointing out the facebook group. I hope to join it as well.

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  12. Hi Sarah. Love this conversation. We are starting the Wit & Wisdom Curriculum this year. I would to have the lesson plan template you use, also. Though, we’re just starting to use this curriculum this week, it seems so much better than the one we were using. Can’t wait to see how it works for the students. Thanking you in advance for the lesson plan template!

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  13. I am a third-grade teacher who is im[lementing Wit and Wisdom this year. I would love for you to share your lesson plan format. Also, any suggestions on how to make it flow and are you adding mini-lessons on content standards to your daily agenda?

    1. Hi Deirdre! Sorry for the delay here. I will make sure you get access to the Google Drive with some resources. I definitely recommend joining the Wit & Wisdom 3-5 Facebook as well. Many people are sharing powerpoints. I did not add mini-lessons unless there was something I felt my students did not have prior knowledge in since they had not previously had Wit & Wisdom. All the standards are covered throughout the year. It started to flow better for me once I was able to read a whole Focus Question at a time and understand where things were headed. It is hard in the beginning though! Good luck!!

    2. Deirdre, I think we did already get you access to the Google Drive folder, but let me know if you still need that! I did not add mini-lessons unless I thought my students were lacking background knowledge since it was their first year of W&W. All of the standards are covered through the year. I felt like it started to flow more for me once I was able to read/plan an entire Focusing Question at a time but that is reallyyyy hard in the beginning! You will get there. 🙂

  14. You were honest in your article and I appreciate that! My district has just started it’s first year of implementing Wit & Wisdom. I would also love to see the lesson plan format you have used. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

    1. Thank you for your comments on my blog! I have attached the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  15. If you are still sharing your template and YOUR wisdom, I am following! Can I email you for the template? Also, do you know any middle school level teachers who are implementing?

    Thank you!

    1. I’ve shared the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  16. Hello Sarah,
    My school district is using the wit and wisdom curriculum program and this is also my first year of being a kindergarten teacher. Is it possible that you can email sample of the lesson plan or template used for kindergarten so that I can have an idea of how to implement with my students?

  17. I would love the lesson template and any help you can give. I teach 1st and 2nd at the same time and this is a real struggle. So far I hate it and so do my kids.

    1. Hi Tonya,

      Sorry it’s been a struggle so far. It is certainly an adjustment from other curricula. I have share via Google Drive, the general lesson plan format I used and a Focusing Question planning tool that our teachers have found useful. They usually sit down in grade level groups and go over a Focusing Question at a time. Obviously it is hard to plan that far in advance at first but our district has been very supportive about getting them some work time to do this the first couple times.

      We do not have to submit official lesson plans since the manual is so detailed. Some people just highlight their manual, but I preferred to write bullets like the attached so I didn’t have to carry it around. Most also make PowerPoints for each lesson and there are tons of these available online. Have you joined the Wit & Wisdom Facebook group? (Wit & Wisdom English K-2/Wit & Wisdom English 3-5 / Wit & Wisdom English 6-8) There is an Edmodo group you can find there where teachers are sharing their stuff for free. 🙂

      I’ll share a Google Drive folder with you that contains the lesson plan outline and planning tool I use!

      I hope that helps!! Let me know if you have other questions.

  18. I’m a parent and my son’s school has adopted Wisdom and Wit for 5th grade. He is not doing well. There is little to no guidance and no homework. Is there any support for parents? Any guidance would greatly be appreciated.

    1. Hi Mel,

      There are Parent Tip Sheets for each module. Ask your child’s teacher if you haven’t received one! They explain the unit and other books on the topic that you could read with your child. The curriculum does not have a lot of homework assigned since it realizes students have different opportunities and support at home to complete it. The main homework assigned homework is fluency passages. Of course, all teachers hope your child is also reading independently for fun! I have parent handouts of the type of questions we use during reading and the way we organize paragraphs that I have shared with parents. Would you like me to email those to you? Thanks!

  19. I am currently an Instructional Assistant but I am only one semester and student teaching away from my teaching certificate, and I am 53 years old. My school has adopted this curriculum this year and I am with a young teacher who seems to be overwhelmed with the curriculum. I would like to be more informed so I can better support him and the students. I would like your Google drive files please and I thank you for suggesting the face book group for additional support.

  20. Hello,
    My school began using Wit and Wisdom this year! I am a 5th grade teacher and have yet to find the best way to blend the curriculum with my own teaching style and am seeking help wherever I can find it! I would love to see your lesson planning template. I teach ELA to all of our 5th graders and have discussed the curriculum with other grade levels and as you mentioned, the materials are of depth and are requiring teachers and students to change their way of thinking! I appreciate individuals like you so much, who are willing to share their own knowledge. Thank you!

    sbmangrum@outlook.com

  21. I would love the template if you don’t mind sharing again. I’m a fourth grade teacher and struggling with it too. Like one stated above I’m afraid I’m not teaching my kids well as I feel like it hits on a lot of skills and strategies within a small period of time.

    1. It’s definitely a fast-paced, challenging curriculum. You’re not alone in your feelings! I’ve shared the templates with you!

  22. Hi, my district is implementing Wit and Wisdom for the first time this year, as well. From reading the above posts many educators are requesting the lesson plan template, which you have kindly shared. I have another request. I am an administrator at my school. In your opinion, what has been the most important aspect of this program, regarding authentic student learning? I want to give the teachers at my school the best advice possible. It would be awesome to share some pointers from a seasoned “W &W” educator who has been “in the trenches” teaching this program. Please share a few do’s and don’ts. Thank you!

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for your questions. We’ve discussed them with Sarah and they’ve inspired us to write another new blog post. We think a lot of teachers and administrators could benefit from the dos and don’ts as well as grade-band-specific advice on challenges and the most valuable aspects of the curriculum. Sarah will be drafting this post with the input of several other experienced Wit and Wisdom users in different grades. Check back in mid-October!

  23. Good Morning,
    We have just adopted this curriculum and my teachers are struggling to implement as there is SO much to wade through. You lesson plan template seems awesome and I would love to share it with my teachers. Also, if you have any suggestions to help them, I would love you to share.

  24. I was wondering if your district still does small group reading instruction/reading groups along with the Wit and Wisdom curriculum. I teach first grade and we just started implementing W&W. We haven’t had any training or anything-so just trying to figure it all out. We are struggling fitting the lesson and an hour for small groups as well.

  25. Hi! I love your blog! It’s so helpful as a new teacher of the curriculum! Can you please send me the template you created?

  26. Our parish just adopted the curriculum and we are trying to do our best with Kindergarten and the 90 minutes required to teach each lesson. Do you mind emailing me the template you created? Any little bit helps, and I love your blog!

  27. I am supporting a first year teacher piloting wit and wisdom. I am a special education teacher w with a high number of ALL students in my case load. I am looking for differentiated lessons as well as digital lessons that i can modified based on needs and strengths.

    If possible, i would also appreciate access to the previously mentioned supports and Google drive.I appreciate the cooperative nature of this group!!

    Any support or guidance any one has to be greatly appreciated!!
    Thank you!

  28. We would love to have access to the lesson plan format and the templates. We are a special needs school trying this out and are finding it much too fast paced and have cut down on the number of units we can complete in a year. This is our trial year. Do you have any information on the program’s use with a special needs population? or differentiated lessons? Thanks for any advice.

  29. Can you provide a bit more information about the writing component? How deep does the program go in breaking down the writing process and providing strategies for teaching writing?

    1. Hi Renee,

      I think writing is a huge strength of this program! I love how it uses the models to help students understand the organization of writing, as well as the deep dives into complex language. Great Minds actually did a webinar with EdWeek about their writing. https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&partnerref=TOC&eventid=1408686&sessionid=1&key=F93296ABC1F08A8186DE0D13E5499B37&regTag=&sourcepage=register

      You can view it for free anytime! 🙂

  30. Thank you for the post. I’m looking forward to reading the forthcoming post as well. Would you please share the folder referenced in this section with me as well? Thank you!

  31. I would love a copy of your lesson plan format. Working as a literacy coach and supporting 3rd grade teachers implementing this program

  32. Hello,

    I am currently a 5th & 6th grade ELA content lead and would love to see the lesson plan template amongst other resources being used for Wit & Wisdom. Thank you.

  33. Hello,

    I would also love to see a lesson plan template and other resources(Google Drive) used to implement Wit & Wisdom. Thank you.

  34. Sarah,
    How do you support the “striving” readers in your classroom that are not reading on grade level as you implement the Wit & Wisdom units?

  35. I am a beginning teacher and our school implemented Wit and Wisdom this year. I feel a bit overwhelmed with how to best implement the program as our training and collaboration has been limited. I would greatly appreciate any resources, as I teach kindergarten within a Title 1 setting.

  36. Thank you for your article as I’m searching for anything to assist my district in its implementation of Wit and WIsdom in grades 5-8. Would love to see your resources! Thank you!

  37. Hello! Great article. I posted a reply above, requesting any resources you’d be willing to share. I also looked for the WIt and Wisdom group on Edmodo, but wasn’t able to find it. I’m loving the books, but really struggling with lesson planning :/

      1. I joined the fb group last summer, but I would love to join the edmodo group as well. Nothing comes up when I search for wit and wisdom on edmodo – do you know if it still exists?

        1. I see what you mean. Let me ask Sarah to try to get you the direct url. I know she’s shared the code to join in the comments thread, but I’m not seeing the group either.

  38. Hello could you also share with me the links and or resources on how to implement wit and wisdom with fidelity as my charter school is in stage 4 turnaround and I am the 3-8 curriculum coordinator.

  39. I would be very interested to see your lesson plan template and any resources. Our school has just recently began using Eureka Math and has seen good results. I would love to have these positive results for ELA as well.

  40. Greetings,
    I have been searching for different resources to implement Wit and Wisdom. Could you also share with me links. lesson plan templates, powerpoints, and anything else that may help me.
    Thanks so much,
    Mrs. Oliver

  41. Our school is implementing Wit and Wisdom, and I am so excited to find this site. I too would also love to get the lesson templates, powerpoints, and anything else that may help me get through the lessons. I have been teaching 20 years and I have never seen my students so engaged in ELA lessons, however, I feel I am not doing an adequate job presenting the lessons. Thank you so much.

    1. I’m sure you’re doing a wonderful job, Linda. This curriculum is challenging for students and teachers! I’ve shared the resources with you via Google Drive.

      1. I teach at the same school as Linda and I would love to have those materials for my 6-8 Language Arts classes! Thank you so much for being open and friendly!!

        1. Hi Stephen, I just emailed you the resources. Please let me know if you aren’t able to access them. Thanks for reading our blog!

  42. I would love to receive a copy of your Wit & Wisdom template, power points, etc. Do you do anything with their history- The Alexandria Plan?

  43. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I would love to see the resources you have–lesson plan templates, planning “guides”, as we are in our first year of implementing Wit and Wisdom, and I am struggling to get all the pieces together in a way that makes sense to me (and my students).

  44. You noted that you have attached your lesson plan outline and your planning tool to your blog. I don not see that. Could you share that information with me?

    Also, is the address for your blog achievethecore.org? If not, how do I find your blog?

    Thank you for your time.

  45. Hi! Our district will possibly be adopting this curriculum for the next school year. Would you mind emailing me your template and any other resources you have found useful in implementing the curriculum? TIA!!

  46. Eureka Math and the EngageNY math modules are the same.

    What is the relationship between Wit and Wisdom and the EngageNY ELA modules? Are they the same?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Nicholas,

      EngageNY’s ELA curriculum is from Expeditionary Learning (EL). EL has very recently revised their curriculum and made improvements, but the good news is, it’s still free, just like EngageNY. You can access it here: https://curriculum.eleducation.org/?_ga=2.56657706.1227649723.1547480734-811270349.1547480734 Our ELA specialists at Student Achievement Partners are writing a series on aligned ELA programs, so stay tuned for their one on EL as it should touch on the differences and improvements. Here’s the one they wrote on BookWorms: https://achievethecore.org/aligned/were-bullish-on-bookworms/. You’ll be able to link to the series from here (including the post on EL) once it’s written!

  47. Our school system will be implementing W&W next year. I’m very interested in any materials that will help with coaching and helping teachers plan and implement. Those that you’ve shared with others or any others. Thanks!

  48. Our school district is implement W & W this year. We would love to be able to connect with you to discuss implementation tips, and we would greatly appreciate any advice/guidance you have for coaching and helping others with implementation.
    Thank you!

  49. Our district is implementing Wit and Wisdom also. Could you please share the resources you have mentioned here with me? Thank you.

  50. Hi, our district is meeting tomorrow night to discuss in depth whether or not to implement Wit & Wisdom in k-2 next year. We are in year
    #1 in grades 3-8. I would love to have you share your google drive resources so that I can soak in how to begin the planning process for my first grade classroom.
    Thanks!

  51. My 5th grade just started piloting Wit & Wisdom after Christmas. I would love to receive anything that might make this easier on me. It is very rigorous, even for the teacher!

  52. Our school recently implemented Wit and Wisdom. Could you please share the resources you have mentioned here with me? Thank you.

  53. This was helpful! I would love any resources you can share for 3rd/4th grade, especially lesson plan formats. Thank you so much!

  54. We are beginning implementation at our school. Would you please share lesson formats, planning resources or any other beneficial resources. I would appreciate it tremendously. Thank you

  55. Can you please share with me the documents you’ve been referencing? I would love to see the format that your first grade team uses. Is this possible? There are a lot of us concerned about how this will be laid out and implemented. We are hopeful that seeing a template laid out would help ease our anxiety.

    Thank you.

  56. We are purchasing wit and wisdom for the fall and are trying to plan ahead. Please if anyone has a lesson plan template that they currently are using for the Literacy Block with wit and wisdom. Thank you!

  57. Hello,
    I am a Principal of a K-12 building and I am interested in accessing the materials in drive as we are looking into the W&W curriculum.

    Thanks
    Onder

  58. We are beginning implementation at our school next year. Would you please share lesson formats, planning resources or any other beneficial resources. Thank you for sharing resources!

    1. I am a Kindergarten teacher in Louisiana, and our gifted department has purchased Wit and Wisdom for our K-2 grades. I have been reading our first module for kindergarten and it seems really thought out curriculum wise. Is there anyway you may can share the lesson plan template, if you can. It would be greatly appreciate it so get a flow of planning the Wit and Wisdom lesson out. Thanks for such a wonderful blog about Wit and Wisdom….I have read all parts:)

  59. Sorry to repeat the request you have heard so many times.

    Our district implemented Wit and Wisdom with so-so results due to teachers struggling to create a unit plan and then break it to the daily plan. If you can share that with me, I can make sure all the teachers get some of this valuable information. Much appreciated!

  60. Hi!

    I am a first year teacher beginning this fall and was just told my school is implementing Wit and Wisdom (8th grade).. Could you please share your lesson planning resources? I’m looking for all of the help I can get!

  61. Hi,
    My district is starting Wit and Wisdom in the upcoming school year. I have been looking at the resources which they have already purchased and I am stoked. It looks awesome!
    I do have a question though. Did you completely stop doing guided reading in your classroom after adopting W&W? It doesn’t look like much time will be available for GR.

    Thanks,
    Brittany (3rd grade)

  62. Hi! I am an Assistant Principal and my school will begin using Wit and Wisdom next year. Would it be possible to look at your lesson plan template and any other resources related to the program. The grade levels I manage are 3-5 Grade. Thank you in advance.

  63. I would to see all the resources you are sharing through Google drive. That would be very helpful and much appreciated!
    Kelli

  64. I’m going to be implementing Wit and Wisdom next year in 4th grade. I would love to see your lesson plan format!

  65. I would love to see the lesson plan format you use as well as any other resources you can share! We are adopting Wit and Wisdom this next year in our district.

  66. Could you please share the lesson plan template and other resources for Wit & Wisdom? This would be very helpful and appreciated!

  67. Is it possible to receive access to the google drive for Wit and Wisdom lesson formats, etc?
    Thank you!

  68. I would also like the to receive the lesson plan format. We are, unfortunately, still using our old reading program for another year before we adopt Wit and Wisdom. I believe it would be helpful to begin using the lesson plan along with elevated expectation to help students be more prepared for the next year’s adoption.

    I am loving what I am learning about the program. I have high hopes!

  69. Hi, I know alot of people have asked for you plan template- Can you send me your template as well-we are starting it next year and I want to play around with it …Thanks in advance Mary

    1. Hi Mary,

      Absolutely. We’ll continue to share the template to everyone who asks for it here in the comments. I’ve just shared the link to the Google Drive with you.

      -Claire

  70. Hi,

    My school is implementing Wit & Wisdom for upcoming school year. I would like to have a copy of your lesson plan format. I’m very confused of where to start.

  71. HI,
    I work with schools who are implementing Wit and Wisdom this coming fall. Would you mind to share your resources, especially your lesson plan? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

  72. Hi Sarah,
    I apologize if this is a repeat. I thought I posted a reply but I didn’t see it come up on the feed.
    It looks like I will be teaching a 3rd/4th combination class next year (something new for me) and I was wondering if you would mind sharing any resources you have for Wit and Wisdom for those two grades. (Luckily, I see that those are the two grades you are most familiar with:)
    Do you think that this is a curriculum I could implement with small groups?
    The other 4th grade teachers at my school have some Wit and Wisdom resources that I think I could borrow (they piloted the program this year while I was on maternity leave) but the 3rd grade has not used Wit and Wisdom and is not planning to use it. I think that I would have to find an alternative for them.
    My original thought was to teach ELA with small group book units but if you think that I could use the Wit and Wisdom resources to do that, that could be the way I go.
    Thank you so much!
    Ana

  73. Can I please get the lesson plan format? I will be a lead teacher for second grade next year and we will be using w&w for the first time. Thanks !

  74. May I please receive the lesson plan template and other resources? My district will implement Wit & Wisdom this fall.

  75. My school will be starting wit & wisdom next school year. I would love to take a look at the lesson plan template you have. (And any other resources.) The program looks very interesting to me – but I noticed the lessons are also very long. I would love to see how you break it down.

  76. Hi,
    I will also be using Wit & Wisdom for the first time this fall. I would love for you to share your lesson plan template and any other resources that you have. I teach 8th grade.
    Thanks!

  77. Hi! I truly appreciate this because my district will be starting Wit and Wisdom next year. I would love to see any resources you have as well.

  78. Hi Sarah,
    Our district will be implementing Wit & Wisdom beginning this fall. I would love to have your share your google doc. that contains your lesson planning docs. that you’ve mentioned!
    My email is ashaw@sbps.net
    Also, for those who are interested, there’s also a wonderful Wit & Wisdom First Grade Facebook group that focuses on teachers supporting one another and sharing ideas.
    Thanks so much!!

  79. Hi Sarah,
    I would also love a copy of lesson plans and any additional resources you may have available. We will be implementing the Whit and Wisdom curriculum in our school for the upcoming school year. I teach 7th and 8th grade.

  80. Hi Sarah,
    We will be implementing Whit and Wisdom in our school’s curriculum for the upcoming school year. Can you please forward me a copy of lesson plans as well as any additional resources you may have. I teach 7th & 8th grade.
    Thank you.

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About the Author: Sarah Webb taught third and fourth grade for 10 years and now does ELL and Curriculum Support for Mad River Local Schools in Riverside, Ohio. She has a Masters in Literacy from the University of Dayton where she also teaches adjunct courses.