By Linda Diamond, President of CORE

A shining light of education left us on February 15, 2019. Siegfried Engelmann, known as Zig to those of us who knew and adored him, was a genius. His expertise was figuring out and “engineering” instruction so that children learned to read and do math successfully and at advanced levels starting in kindergarten. Despite its critics, Zig and Direct Instruction (DI) did more for at-risk students than any other method of instruction.


Welcome to the winter 2019 edition of the CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

In this edition, you’ll find the Reading Expert examining the role of Guided Reading in differentiated small group instruction while the Marvelous Mathematician completes his second article in a two-part series on students with disabilities. This article focuses on the types of materials and knowledge teachers need for teaching math to students with disabilities, particularly mathematical disabilities. Don’t miss the Leadership Corner where you’ll find links to download two recently updated IES practice guides from the What Works Clearinghouse.


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CORE is excited to now offer the schools and districts we work with digiCOACH, an advanced online coaching system that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of teacher coaching. As an official digiCOACH reseller, CORE will facilitate the implementation of digiCOACH and support school leaders in learning how to use the data they collect to inform and guide ongoing professional learning for their staff that leads to improved instruction.

Through the digiCOACH platform, CORE Educational Consultants will have access to the data collected from the classroom observations of the schools they work with which will help them identify gaps in knowledge and areas in which school leaders need additional guidance.

Learn more about digiCOACH.

Welcome to the Fall 2018 edition of the CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

October is dyslexia awareness month! You may recall that there have been two previous editions of the Academic Quarterly’s Reading Expert devoted to dyslexia. The Spring 2018 edition focused on Misconceptions about Dyslexia and the Winter 2018 edition focused on the difference between screening for reading difficulties and evaluating for dyslexia. To access these previous editions please click here. Also, last fall, CORE published a white paper on Dyslexia. This edition of the Reading Expert describes Structured Literacy and couches it within the context of High-Leverage Practices in Special Education. In this edition’s Marvelous Mathematician, we discuss the needs of students with disabilities learning math and how teachers can provide instruction to meet these needs. And in the Leadership Corner, we will introduce an advanced coaching tool for school leaders called digiCOACH.

We’re also excited to release the new online format for the Academic Quarterly. Rather than having to open and download a PDF to read the articles, they are now all posted online so you can quickly click and read. You still have the option to save each article as a PDF or to print them. The new format provides you with lots of options for reading and sharing the information. Enjoy!


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All teachers want their students’ achievement levels to increase. Small group instruction and cooperative learning have a significant impact on student achievement (Hattie, 2009) and are widely used in elementary classrooms. Many middle and high school teachers are increasingly using these structures in other content areas. However, prior to implementing small group instruction teachers often have questions to be answered.



By Linda Diamond and Michelle Rodriguez

Numerous recent reports cite the difference in student learning that an effective curriculum can make. These reports include Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Studies, StandardsWork, Curriculum Research: What We Know and Where We Need to Go; Ashley Berner’s report in Thomas Fordham Institute’s Flypaper, August 2018; and Brookings report by Morgan Polikoff,, June 2018. After 25 years of working with school districts to help them select and implement high-quality curriculum, we agree. However, only a couple reports, the Economic Studies Brookings Report by Morgan Polikoff and Ashley Berner’s report, address a critical difficulty—ensuring teachers have sufficient content and curriculum knowledge to use and implement a standards-based curriculum with fidelity.


Numbers are all around us. Let’s teach children to embrace rather than fear numbers.


CORE’s Chief Academic Officer, Dale Webster, will be speaking at an upcoming workshop co-sponsored by CORE and the Collaborative Classroom. Join us for a one-day workshop to experience Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words (SIPPS) and learn about the new dyslexia enhancements.


When: Saturday, September 22, 2018 | 8:30 – 3:30pm PT

Where: Mendocino County Office of Education, 2240 Old River Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Who Should Attend: K-12 administrators, ELA coaches, and teachers who are interested in learning about SIPPS and dyslexia, as well as current SIPPS users.


$100 registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, and materials.

Welcome to the Spring 2018 edition of the CORE Academic Quarterly newsletter!

The end of the school year is upon us! We hope that you have had a productive school year and feel proud of the learning that your students have accomplished.

In this edition’s Reading Expert column, we tackle some misconceptions about dyslexia that still are pervasive among educators.

In the Marvelous Mathematician, we address the importance of developing mathematical fluency and number sense together.

And finally, in the Leadership Corner, we discuss and provide resources related to the importance of a coherent, evidence-based, and standards-aligned curriculum for both literacy and mathematics.

Happy reading!


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