DeCoste Writing Protocol
Access to eLearning
Complex Needs eLearning Curriculum
CARES Education Funding
Dyslexia & Dysgraphia
Learning is For Life
Google for Education
Readtopia is a special education curriculum designed for teachers who work with late elementary, middle, and high school students with autism and other complex needs. It serves as an integrated comprehensive reading curriculum across several domains of study including ELA, Math, Social Studies, Life Skills, and Science.
…a better curriculum for teachers and students with complex needs. We brought together the top instructional experts, special educators, curriculum designers, and world explorers to create a better special needs learning program. Take students down 1,000 feet in a submarine with Readtopia video to introduce oceanography, then share Sacagawea’s story to understand Westward Expansion. Illustrate plate tectonics with a hands-on volcano experiment. All of this is supported by a comprehensive literacy curriculum with leveled graphic novels, phonics/early reading instruction, and leveled informational text that build foundational reading skills. Integrated content addresses math, ELA, social studies, life skills, and science topics.
This school year will be like no other. Challenges are all around. But we believe that things will get better. We have to…and we’re doing everything possible to make things better for you by developing a better curriculum that works in-person or remote—covering the widest range of student learning needs.
Readtopia gives you a set of all-inclusive set of resources to guide your instructional time throughout the day. Leveled instructional materials give you the ability to cover the widest range of student needs—from non-readers to beginning readers. All of the materials are delivered online so they’re available wherever you teach and wherever your students learn. Integrated Thematic Units connect literacy with content area learning and life skills around central themes, which increases engagement.
Integrated Thematic Units are the glue that holds the teacher and classroom together. They integrate subject areas and skill development into a unified whole that provides the guidance and materials to help teachers fully reach students with all kinds of abilities, backgrounds, and knowledge.
With graphic novels and literature at up to seven levels, you get the resources to meet student needs from non-readers to paragraph readers. Age-respectful images reinforce text. The book covers are all the same, but inside, the text is carefully leveled!
Each Thematic Unit is anchored by video captured by the Readtopia team in their travels throughout the world. These videos and the related content, engage, build background knowledge, establish vocabulary, and build visual mental models of the lessons.
New standards call for an increased emphasis on informational text covering 50-70% of reading materials. Each Thematic Unit includes informational text and worksheets at four different skill levels. Across Thematic Units, students experience 10 standards-based text types including Compare and Contrast, Bibliography, Map, Chart/Graph, Directions, Timeline, Article with a Sidebar, Two Text Types (with same subject), Claim/Evidence, Fantastic Facts.
Each Thematic Unit contains lessons linked to Functional Life Skills from three major life domains: Daily Living Skills, Self-Determination/Interpersonal Skills, Employment Skills.
Student response to instruction is assessed several times during each Thematic Unit. Data is easily collected and compared across units.
Learn how Readtopia online resources drive eLearning for teachers. Find out more.
“I was able to take what I was doing in the classroom—all the rich learning explorations—and flip those lessons into delivery for eLearning. I knew I had to be flexible with a change in delivery, but Readtopia helped me keep instruction and student participation familiar and routine.” Lauren Sheehan, M.Ed., Special Education Teacher
“I was able to take what I was doing in the classroom—all the rich learning explorations—and flip those lessons into delivery for eLearning. I knew I had to be flexible with a change in delivery, but Readtopia helped me keep instruction and student participation familiar and routine.”
“Readtopia has given me the opportunity to touch on higher-level thinking. It’s given me some of the strategies and tools I need to do it right.” Erlind Laci, Special Education Teacher
“Readtopia has given me the opportunity to touch on higher-level thinking. It’s given me some of the strategies and tools I need to do it right.”
“The Thematic Units connect the dots for me, and they connect characters to science and social studies topics—even integrating life skills and math.” Patti Hummel, Special Education Teacher
“The Thematic Units connect the dots for me, and they connect characters to science and social studies topics—even integrating life skills and math.”
“The whole class is reading the same book at their appropriate level. That’s huge.” Courtney Moore, Special Educator
“The whole class is reading the same book at their appropriate level. That’s huge.”
“We’re seeing instruction happening at a level that we’ve never seen before.” Cathy Kostecki, Assistant Superintendent
“We’re seeing instruction happening at a level that we’ve never seen before.”
“There’s other opportunities that have been huge for these students that they may have not gotten in other curriculums.” Heather Harkins, Special Education Teacher
“There’s other opportunities that have been huge for these students that they may have not gotten in other curriculums.”
“We were thrilled about the videos, because it provides the background knowledge that students need.” Mary Ann McGinn, Special Education Administrator Watch the Video
“We were thrilled about the videos, because it provides the background knowledge that students need.”
“We get to talk about plate tectonics, which is a middle school science terminology.” Ryan Callahan, Special Education Teacher
“We get to talk about plate tectonics, which is a middle school science terminology.”
Get access to over $5 million worth of instructional materials for the price of an iPad… and lock it in for up to three years with this special pricing. Homeschool/Parents: While Readtopia was designed for classroom instruction, many parents express interest in using Readtopia with their children. Call us at 800-999-4660 if you’re interested in bringing Readtopia to your home.
Get Free Access to Sample Readtopia Materials
(see the materials and try them out with students)
PARENTS — Contact us at 800.999.4660 for a discounted license.
Save up to 50% with multiple educators (5+) and multi-year licenses.
Readtopia supports students in late elementary, middle, high school, and transition. Upper elementary thematic units were released at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and additional units are in an ongoing development process.
Each lesson requires about 30 minutes, so the suggested three daily lessons can be delivered at various times throughout the day (e.g. English/Language Arts, Social Studies/Science, etc.). Its flexibility supports a busy daily schedule! Readtopia was built for a 90 minute literacy period, but if that is not feasible in your specific circumstances, fewer lessons can be taught each day without compromising the effectiveness of the curriculum. Most teachers, however, have found creative strategies for maintaining the 90 minute schedule.
Instructional components deliver standards with integrity to the widest range of learners.Clear and comprehensive instructions help ensure teachers have the resources they need to engage students and deliver the content for each lesson. Tip sheets offer guidance to classroom aides and paras on subjects such as how to support students using AAC devices, and using effective instructional strategies to support students at various ability levels.Authentic literature is used as the anchor reading book for each Readtopia unit.Graphic novels at six levels match each student’s instructional level. They feature age respectful images that support the text and allow students to move up to the next level at any time.Videos are used to build background knowledge, introduce new vocabulary and build a mental model for new concepts and content. This experiential learning approach brings students right into the action! (There are 4-5 videos included with each unit.)Leveled informational text cover ten different text types which cover basic core science and social studies concepts.Phonics, word study and sight words are built through book-specific and general phonics lessons.Classroom Support Tools include content specific assessments and tools that monitor progress. These allow teachers to easily adjust their instruction on the fly. The Adult Tip Sheets provides support for all of the adults within the classroom.
We have a simple online tool that guides teachers toward the most appropriate beginning reading level for their students. This is based on the student’s communication skills, individual word reading, and text reading skills. Students often finish each unit at a higher level than they could access successfully at the beginning of the unit. When it comes to leveling the text, we started with the specific authoring criteria that was developed by Start-to-Finish. Then, we extended the criteria in order to reach the transitional and emergent levels in Readtopia. When creating the various levels, authors and editors looked at: (a) percentage of words that come from the 100 highest frequency words in written English; (b) percentage of words that come from the 330 highest frequency words in written English; (c) the type-token ratio – a measure of the number of different words in the text; (d) percentage of words that can be decoded using based phoneme-by-phoneme blending; (e) percentage of words that can be decoded using onset-rime strategies; (f) total number of words; (g) total number of syllables; (h) sentence & t-unit length; (i) syntactic complexity; (j) use of pronouns; (k) inference demands.
The literature books include modified MAZE assessments after every third chapter. The modified MAZE assessment provides important insight into each student’s literature comprehension. MAZE, a well-accepted approach to progress monitoring, is particularly important in Readtopia because it is accessible to a wide range of students, including those who cannot read orally or whose speech is difficult to understand. Vocabulary quizzes allow teachers to assess whether or not students are learning the content vocabulary taught in each unit. Reading comprehension and close reading lessons include tasks that give teachers a daily snapshot of student performance and the gains they are making.
Get the most out of your Learning, Evaluation and Curriculum Tools with our how-to guides, video tutorials, and more.
A recent research study revealed that less than 6% of the content in many of the most commonly used special education programs were only rated as a “near link” to the general education curriculum. Many of these programs don’t claim to be a comprehensive curriculum but are often used as a comprehensive curriculum. Sometimes it requires a stretch of the imagination to connect with general education curriculum standards, which makes it hard to meet alternate assessment expectations. When you look at these materials, they often don’t look anything like what the general education curriculum and resources look like. With Readtopia, every element from the informational text and videos, to the age-respectful graphic novels and chapter books have strong ties to the curriculum and would be engaging for any student from general education to special education.
We are an interdisciplinary dream team that has turned our dreams into reality. We have traveled the world to capture the sights and sounds of legendary stories so that your classroom can help students transport themselves through reading. Our contributors include specialists in literature, literacy, history, education, photography, film, alternate assessment, and exploration.
Learn about technologies that are building classrooms of the future.