A groundbreaking, full-day, open educational resource (OER) curriculum for children birth through eight

What is Great First Eight?

Developed by an extraordinary group of renowned researchers, teachers, and other experts, the Great First Eight Curriculum is fully research- and standards-aligned, comprehensive, rigorous, and strengths-based. Designed for classrooms with a number of children from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds, Great First Eight provides children with the education they need to thrive and create a more just and caring society.

Ready for a Radically Better K-2 Student and Teacher Experience?

A select group of leading districts are implementing Great First Eight Kindergarten this school year, followed by Great First Eight First and Second Grade in subsequent years. We are currently inviting inquiries for a second cohort of Great First Eight adopters: implementing Great First Eight K in ’24 – ’25, Great First Eight First Grade, PreK-3 and PreK-4/TK (if applicable) in ’25 – ’26, and Great First Eight Second Grade in ’25 – ’26.  After reviewing the Necessary Conditions for Adopting the Great First Eight Curriculum and the Kindergarten Touring Guide, if your district or network meets the conditions, we invite you to submit a Great First Eight 24 – ’25 Adoption Inquiry.  We will respond as soon as possible to all inquiries.

Great First Eight Kindergarten Available for Adoption in ’24–’25!

Why Great First Eight?

Inadequate opportunities for children to learn in U.S. metropolitan areas result in massive untapped human and economic potential. The early learning and literacy status quo in nearly all U.S. metropolitan areas is counterproductive for children, families, and educators, and results in tremendous downstream cost for school districts and society.

Problems with many existing curricula

  • Lack of alignment with research on how children learn reading and math, and develop in other essential areas
  • Failure to represent or respond to children from historically marginalized groups
  • Insufficient science and social studies content, denying children foundational knowledge they need to succeed
  • K-2 teachers being forced to piece together parts of up to eight different curricula every day
  • Inadequate engagement with families as experts in their children’s learning
  • Substantial district staff time and funds spent on a revolving door of curricula adoption
  • Incoherence between early childhood education program curricula and K-2 curricula that contributes to the well-document “fade-out” of the effects of high-quality preschool

Finally, there is a solution… The groundbreaking Great First Eight Curriculum

  • A single, full-day curriculum for children in metropolitan areas from infants through second grade, with each year building strategically upon the year before
  • Tightly aligned to research and continually improved as new research is published
  • Unprecedented in its representation of and responsiveness to children from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and other marginalized backgrounds
  • Free online with extensive professional learning supports

Great First Eight Offerings

Curriculum
Curriculum
Professional Learning
Professional Learning
Great First Eight Community
Great First Eight Community
Curriculum

Great First Eight provides free unit and lesson plans for the entire day and school year (full year for infants and toddlers) as well as many of the materials needed to implement the curriculum effectively. Assessment tools, some materials for the classroom, and some materials for children to engage with during lessons are also provided. All materials are carefully aligned to research and standards and designed to be highly engaging for children from birth to eight.

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Teachers Administrators
Professional Learning

Great First Eight provides extensive, free professional learning materials. Materials come with facilitator guides so that a coach, lead teacher, or other member of the school or center community can lead the professional learning internally. It’s the best of both worlds: high-quality, research-aligned professional learning materials used in a job-embedded, ongoing manner.

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Teachers Administrators
Great First Eight Community

Great First Eight’s curriculum and professional learning materials are accessed by registering and logging into “Great Gate.” Great Gate keeps track of where you left off in the curriculum and brings you back to that spot the next time you log in.

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Teachers Administrators