All About K-2 Labs | EL Education Curriculum

All About K-2 Labs

All About Grades K-2 Labs

The K-2 Labs are one hour long and are complementary to module lessons. These two hours of content-based literacy instruction work together to accelerate the achievement and engagement of primary students.

Implementing the K-2 Labs from EL Education on Vimeo.

Why Labs?

Labs are an important feature of the K-2 curriculum because they support and extend student learning from the module lessons. They are designed to help teachers ensure that all students: 

  • get the time to play and explore
  • become immersed in oral language and content knowledge
  • practice literacy skills and habits of character that they need--both to live joyfully and to be fully successful and proficient.

A Flexible Design

The K-2 Labs are designed for six weeks of instruction within an eight- to nine-week module. This design allows teachers to easily incorporate Labs into their instruction by considering the time they are already committing to module lessons and accounting for the general happenings in a school. 

Teachers may choose to spend that hour during those additional two to three weeks on such things as:  

  • solidifying structures and routines 
  • providing additional "spill-over" time to support module lessons
  • providing additional instructional time for ELLs, or for additional explicit language instruction.

Scaffolding for Success

Labs are designed in stages to show a clear progression of learning that's consistent from module to module. The stages set teachers and students up for success by introducing labs one at a time to the whole group before inviting students to practice the labs independently. After the launch and practice stages,  students have the opportunity to extend their learning and take on select new challenges with their labs work, 

The graphic below explains the four stages in a bit more detail.


Teachers and Students love Labs...

  • "The best part about Labs is the relationships my students build with each other.  During this time I can see students work through challenges ( i.e. sharing materials, taking turns, deciding on a topic for research) and really show their habits of character.  I see students helping one another, encouraging one another, and  showing respect and kindness towards their Lab team.  During Labs, students get to take what they have learned in module lessons and apply and extend their thinking.  It is such a powerful way for students to use their creativity and make connections and collaborate with each other.  I love how the students are independent and I am really just an observer as they work through their Labs." Kelly Berghammer Primary Teacher at Kettle Falls Elementary

  • " I love that I got to be creative creating my own boat to float to hold pennies, but I had to use perseverance a lot because my boat kept sinking." - 1st Grader from Grandview Elementary  

  • "Labs are my favorite time of day because I get to use my imagination and play/act out stories and dress up with my Crew." -1st Grader from Grandview Elementary

Eager for more information?  Check out this comprehensive resource: 

Read "Implementing K-2 Labs"

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