Reflecting on the Anthology Alignment Project

Cristal Cisneros, the SIOP and Curriculum Implementation Specialist at Dilworth STEM Academy, shares her experience with the Anthology Alignment Project (AAP). The AAP is a collaborative effort, across districts, to align grade 6-10 anthologies in a manner similar to the Basal Alignment Project. You can join the AAP on Edmodo using code pkx4sp.

Last month, I had the fortunate opportunity to join 3 other Washoe County School District teachers and attend the Anthology Alignment Project (APP) conference hosted by the Council of the Great City Schools and Student Achievement Partners in Long Beach, CA. With such success stemming from the work of the Basal Alignment Project (BAP), I was honored to be included in this project and excited to get started.

To say the least, the conference was incredible! During the 2 day conference, we had the opportunity to learn from and work alongside some incredible educators from 20 different school districts as we helped each other build our capacities in text dependent question writing. Having the time to sit down with peers and analyze a piece of text so that you, the teacher, can get a much larger sense of understanding is a gift that we don’t often get. Teachers are so busy, trying so hard to stay afloat, that the time we had in Long Beach was much appreciated. Though my teachers and I left mentally exhausted and put in more hours of work in 2 days than we thought possible, we walked away with a sense of rejuvenation for our profession and ready to share our knowledge with others.

Going forward, we have committed ourselves to revising 6 additional stories and when it’s all said and done, we will have 9 revised stories from our Anthology for teacher to use. It has been and will continue to be a lot of work, but it’s great work! Hopefully this is just the beginning for us (I and other middle school teachers in our district) and we have the opportunity to continue this process in the future.

Thanks Cristal!

About Aaron Grossman

I am a 5th grade teacher at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. I started working with elementary students as part of the Montana Reads program and AmeriCorps. In 2001, after graduating from the University of Montana and moving to Reno, Nevada, I student taught at Rita Cannan Elementary before receiving a 6th grade position at Veterans Elementary. I moved out of the classroom to be a Literacy Coordinator, then an Instructional Coach, and finally a School Improvement Program Coordinator. In 2011, I began working on the Nevada Academic Content Standards in the district’s Curriculum & Instruction Department. I returned to the classroom for the 2015-2016 school year to teach 4th grade at Huffaker Elementary. Before returning to the classroom, I helped develop the Core Task Project that has been featured by National Public Radio, the Gates Foundation, American Radio Works, Eduwonk, the Fordham Institute, Vox, and the Center for American Progress. In 2014, I received the Leader to Learn From Award for my teacher-centered initiative and work to bring college, career, and civics ready outcomes into Northern Nevada classrooms (here). In 2015, I was appointed by Governor Sandoval serve on the Statewide RPDP Council. The same year, Nevada’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero placed me on the state’s State Improvement Team. This year I will be part of the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Advisory Group. I am Google Certified Educator and a Nevada Teacher Ambassador. I believe strongly that teaching content is teaching reading and I make sure my students have ample opportunities to work with social studies, history, science and art outcomes. I do what I can to blend the learning for my students and this blog is part of that effort. You can contact me at
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