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Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Special Education Reading Curriculum

Your curriculum and the accompanying resources shape everything that happens in your special education classroom(s) for years to come, so making the right decision on curriculum may be the most important decision you make this year.

What criteria will you use to evaluate your curriculum choices?

We encourage you to compare your options directly. Below are 10 key questions to guide your options.

Get access to Readtopia sample materials developed for middle and high school special education and autism classrooms and compare directly to the other curricula you’re considering using these 10 questions to guide your decision.

Student at a desk reading a Readtopia book with a black circular icon with text overlay that reads: "The CDC estimates that about 1 in 6 students in the United States have a Developmental issue."

Top 10 Questions to Ask when Choosing a Special Education Reading Curriculum

  1. Looking over the literature, which covers the wide range of levels in the classroom?
  2. Which materials would parents find the most age-respectful?
  3. Which has stories that are high-interest to middle & high school students?
  4. Which materials encourage new ways of thinking or problem-solving?
  5. Which materials align strongest with the curriculum standards?
  6. Which materials would best prepare students for the alternate assessment?
  7. Which materials support the highest rigor?
  8. Which is most likely to foster interaction with peers.
  9. Which would your teachers be most excited to teach?
  10. Which materials would you want for your child?


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Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D.​

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Her focus is on understanding the best ways to assess and teach reading and writing to children with the most severe disabilities. As a special education teacher, Dr. Erickson has worked to support students with a range of disabilities in a variety of classroom settings, particularly students who do not use speech as their primary means of communication.


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