Don’t Just Do IT. . . DO IT RIGHT !!
An Aerial View of the Year’s Curriculum
Don’t waste your time adopting content standards and then letting them sit. Without a grade-by-grade implementation plan, the new standards will have no impact on what happens in classrooms.
While many districts have developed Curriculum Maps or Pacing Guides, they have included only key words and code numbers without a context as to what each standard means and the level of understanding required of students.
For example, when Math standards require students to apply the concepts in a real-world application - but the Pacing Guide lists “fractions” - teachers are left on their own to determine the actual substance of the standard. Without the context that explains the level of cognitive demand and describes what students must do to show mastery, teachers rely on the “worksheet.” The topic of “fractions” is taught and assessed as a computational skill, rather than as a number concept that is used in various real-world applications such as time, money, and measurement.
EdFOCUS helps grade-level teams cluster their standards from several strands or domains into topical or thematic Units. These Units are then placed in the most appropriate sequence for teaching and learning - in the context of what occurred prior to as well as what will follow. Several standards are associated with multiple Units to provide strategic repetition.
Unlike popular Mapping software programs, EdFOCUS customizes the Mapping format and graphics to the specifications of each district. EdFOCUS uses a standard “word” format and downloads each Curriculum Map to the building web-site to provide for easy access and allow for continuous editing. Click here to see samples.
Although every district selects its preferred features, the following are among the most frequently chosen:
- ‘Unit' titles and duration ( e.g., "Finding Your Own Way" - 3 weeks )
- the major topics, ideas, and skills involved in each Unit
- the print text and media featured in each Unit
- process skills and the level of thinking or reasoning required for mastery
- technology applications
- cross-content integration, where appropriate
- placeholders for benchmark assessments
- key building events that will impact instruction ( e.g., holidays, parent conferences, high-stakes testing, field trips, etc. )