Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Elizabeth Grimaldi » The English Language Arts (ELA) Curriculum Page

The English Language Arts (ELA) Curriculum Page

English Language Arts (ELA) at the Cranbury School, Curriculum Overview
Elizabeth Grimaldi, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy

The Cranbury School District utilizes the Teachers College Reading and Writing (TCRWP) Units of Study as the basis for its K-5 reading/writing curriculum.  We believe in a balanced literacy approach and provide for a complete immersion in the workshop pedagogy to produce “joyful engagement with literacy” for our students. Reading Writing workshop instructional methods are founded on the principles of student agency and independent choice. One of the most recognizable features of any workshop classroom is the emphasis on providing long stretches of independent reading and writing time to children, and on engaging students in productive struggle, through which they become discerning readers and writers, as well as “expert, critical thinkers.”

The TCRWP, as it is commonly known, is a think tank, field-based research team, and provider of curriculum and professional development for teachers. The mission of the TCRWP, according to their website,  “is to support young people, teachers, and families in order to develop future generations of expert, passionate, and critical thinkers— young people who use literacy to speak out and to live as engaged, curious, justice-seeking citizens in the world. We aim to create and support teaching that is anti-racist and anti-oppressive, teaching that fosters democratic engagement, empathy, and inclusivity.”

To demonstrate authentic support of these goals, in 2018, our District purchased (and continuously updates), diverse, leveled/unleveled, genre and interest based K-8 classroom libraries, fully curated by the TCRWP and its team of literacy experts and librarians. The books in our classroom libraries are designed to both support the classroom independent reading routines, and to travel home weekly with students in their personal book baggie.

In 2018, the District became a Partnership School with the Teachers College Reading Writing Project (TCRWP) at Columbia University, which essentially means that we believe in and invest in continuous professional development in literacy for our teachers. As a partnership school, we have access to additional resources not available to the public, as well as the unique benefit of developing relationships with authentic staff developers from the project, who visit our school to coach our teaching staff in the workshop goals.  Many of our teachers attended the in District 2018 Summer TCRWP Institute, an immersive course of study to support the implementation of the Units of Study.

In response to the pandemic, the TCRWP expanded their Family Engagement efforts to support all of the nation’s children during these unprecedented times. We encourage families to subscribe to the Project’s Youtube channel, where new videos are regularly posted to provide your family with the tools needed to promote literacy in your home and to support workshop goals.


The following two videos are of particular significance during the pandemic:


The Importance of Productive Struggle

Six Ways to Help Your Child Success at Home Learning and Improve Their Executive Functioning Skills

In grades six through eight, our curriculum infuses workshop pedagogy with a traditional approach to the study of major works of literature that represent the best foundation for secondary level literature and writing study. Writing instruction is based on the process approach. Students take part in authentic research, performance based assessments, and personalized learning modules of study. 

K-5 Units of Study Curriculum Maps 

K Reading Units of Study   K Writing Units of Study

Grade 1 Reading Units of Study   Grade 1 Writing Units of Study  

Grade 2 Reading Units of Study   Grade 2 Writing Units of Study

Grade 3 Reading Units of Study  Grade 3 Writing Units of Study

Grade 4 Reading Units of Study   Grade 4 Writing Units of Study

Grade 5 Reading Units of Study   Grade 5 Writing Units of Study


Middle School Curriculum Maps


Grade 6 ELA

Grade 7 ELA

Grade 8 ELA