CCRS in a Literacy Level Classroom? We’ve got you covered!

CCRS in a Literacy Level Classroom? We’ve got you covered!

For any teacher who has thought, “My learners are too low-level to introduce CCRS,” this is the video that you’ve been waiting for! In the fourth video of the CCRS in the ABE Classroom series, teachers can get a glimpse into the classroom and the mind of Barb Murphy of Literacy Minnesota. Throughout the video, Barb enthusiastically integrates CCRS teaching standards into her literacy level ESL class. During the lesson, learners work on building vocabulary and sight words, developing phonemic awareness and phonics skills, and engage in a close reading text through a series of scaffolded activities.

A few of the top takeaways from this video include:

  • Reading texts can take on a variety of forms, including images, which can support literacy level learners with developing vocabulary and phonemic awareness.
  • Low-level ESL students CAN do this work. It’s all about sufficient and appropriate scaffolding! CCRS skills are teachable, even at low levels with a very low-level text.
  • Learners at literacy levels are capable of responding to a variety of text-dependent questions.
  • Repeated readings and interacting with a text in a variety of ways enables literacy level learners to engage in close reading.

No matter what level of ABE you teach or area you teach in (ESL, GED, Diploma, etc.), this video is worth watching because the skillful way that Barb scaffolds the lesson from beginning to end. Additionally, Barb demonstrates the value of the whole-part-whole approach to developing literacy skills, and how much learners can accomplish when they of really dig into a text. Her wide variety of activities allow the learners to interact with different parts of the text using all modalities of learning. Her learners are engaged from the beginning of the lesson to the very end, even though they are working on the same text the entire lesson! This technique is valuable for teachers at all levels.

This video project began in response to the noticeable lack of materials – particularly videos featuring real learners and teachers – of CCRS in the ABE classroom. When tackling a new teaching initiative, it’s helpful for us to observe other teachers who are implementing CCRS at similar levels. For teachers in low-literacy ESL classes in particular, the current available videos of native English-speaking or K-12 classroom videos can be challenging to apply to ABE situations. This new video series will inspire ABE teachers of all levels to integrate CCRS into current instruction, through concrete examples of effective routines and academically rigorous activities.

This project is supported by the Literacy Minnesota and ATLAS, both part of your MN ABE Support Network. A professional video editor volunteered his time to produce these three high-quality videos.

For the video link, as well as video discussion questions to support professional development, go to on the newly updated Literacy Minnesota website.

Andrea Echelberger, ESL Training Coordinator Literacy Minnesota