Ways to Improve ELA Lesson Internalization and Planning

As a former KIPP teacher and KIPP Wheatley curriculum writer and editor for grades K-3, Emilie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the community on a variety of literacy topics, including guided and close reading, internalization, and the KIPP Wheatley curriculum itself!

In this post, Emilie discusses the importance of internalization and shares her top tips on using the new Teacher Resource Guide (TRG) website to boost your lesson and module internalization this summer and throughout the year.


By Emilie Razcek, Early Childhood and Elementary Literacy Director, KIPP Foundation

The Importance of Internalization and Planning

Educators and researchers Robert Marzano and John Hattie agree that one of the most important things teachers can do to impact student learning is have clarity around the goals of the lesson. KIPP Wheatley provides rigorous material to build from, but it is critical for teachers and coaches to understand where the entire module is headed and how students will get there each day. Another key point they agree on: the importance of engaging students in the content in a way that builds on the prior knowledge.

Enter the importance of Internalization and Planning! This Instructional Power Move ensures that teachers are deeply connected to standards and content and are poised to make high-impact decisions to drive rigorous, engaging instruction. The KIPP Foundation’s ELA team recommends that module internalization be done collaboratively at least two weeks before beginning a new module and lesson internalization be done each day by teachers. Coaches should provide feedback and internalize critical lessons alongside teachers about 5-6 times in each module.

From discussion routines to cross-curricular extension activities, the new Teacher Resource Guide (TRG) website is full of material to support internalization practices and enhance student engagement and rigorous instruction. Here are my top tips for leveraging this resource during module and lesson internalization.

Four Ways the TRG can Boost Internalization Practices

  1. Build Community and Spark Student Dialogue: Start with the Culturally Relevant Pedagogy resources for building your classroom community. As you internalize a module, note any texts or lessons where it will be especially important to include additional reflection time or revisit classroom norms for respectful dialogue.
  2. Fuel Student Engagement: Check out hundreds of grade-specific extension and engagement activities! From science to dance, you will find something to excite every student. Decide if you will include the activities in classroom centers or collaborate with STEAM teachers for cross-curricular connections. Some of my personal favorites include:
    1. Kindergartners exploring Peruvian art while reading Moon Rope.
    2. Second graders making protest signs as they read Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington.
    3. Sixth graders creating a collage to visualize the poetry of Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States.
  3. Create Routines: As you internalize lessons, get familiar with the recommended instructional routines and practices. When it makes sense to change the routine for your students, do it!
  4. Integrate Vocab Instruction: Scan the many language and vocabulary skill mini-lessons for very quick ways to include more practice with tricky words and language standards. If you don’t have additional time for vocabulary in your schedule, don’t worry: some are even quick enough to be done during transitions!

Using the TRG as you internalize the KIPP Wheatley curriculum will help you make the most of each day and keep students excited with everything from debates to collages to math connections! If you have questions about these tips, send me a message anytime. And if you have questions or feedback on the TRG, please email wheatley@kipp.org

Visit the Teacher Resource Guide