Comparing Reading Research to Program Design: An Examination of McGraw Hill Education’s Wonders, an Elementary Literacy Curriculum

Authors: Dr. Sonia Cabell, Dr. Claude Goldenberg, Dr. Autumn Griffin, Dr. David D. Paige, Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore

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This report, the second in a series about elementary English Language Arts instructional programs widely used in schools, examines a leading basal reading program: McGraw Hill Education's Wonders (2017 California edition). Five literacy experts conducted independent reviews of the program focused on their individual areas of expertise: phonics and fluency, text complexity and language development, building knowledge, English learner supports, and equity and cultural responsiveness.

Each of the reviews begins with an introduction of major research, followed by a summary of findings and an explanation of the review process. The sections then proceed into a more detailed discussion of how Wonders compares to what is called for by existing research on that focused aspect of literacy and equity. This Wonders review also includes the reflections of several veteran California-based educators on their experiences with the program.

For guidance on how to streamline Wonders (2017 California edition), see the 2017 Wonders Materials Adaptation Project (MAP). The MAP provides guidance for streamlining the 2017 Wonders literacy program in grades K-6. The recommended adaptations elevate the best Wonders materials while supporting additional modifications for college- and career-ready instruction. Each grade level’s MAP contains an introductory overview, Week at a Glance (WAG) Planning Template, and specific Rules of Thumb for handling all instructional components of Wonders.

This report is licensed under CC BY-ND, and may not be redistributed if the original content is altered.