Participants Develop Curriculum Maps Aligned with State and National Standards
OnHand Schools delivers customized consultation, coaching and teacher training to districts and schools in analyzing, organizing, developing, and writing fully articulated curriculum maps aligned with assessment and instruction, while supporting a standards-aligned, standards-based system. Mapping is an integral part of creating not only a standards-aligned but a standards-based system that connects curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Successful curriculum mapping requires a team of educators who can envision the end point of a course of study and then determine the most effective route to it. In support of this effort, OnHand Schools offers the Curriculum Manager as part of its suite of data management tools. An effective tool for writing and posting curriculum maps to ensure consistency across the district and accessibility by all district educators, the Curriculum Manager is a vehicle for clear communication about expectations, pacing, and articulation, analogous to developing a road map for a personal journey. It also encourages teachers and school leaders to have conversations within and across their schools, leading to a greater sense of collegiality. In addition, through clear delineation of the knowledge and skills students are expected to demonstrate at each grade level, and by tightly aligning those skills to each content area, mapping allows teachers to assess and plan for their roles in their students’ educational careers.
To provide a solid base and supportive jump-start for the curriculum mapping process, the English Language Arts and Mathematics Instructional Frameworks provided by PDE on its Standards Aligned System (SAS) website at www.pdesas.org are already downloaded into the OHS Curriculum Manager. Districts may choose to adopt and/or adapt the Frameworks in part or in their entirety. Districts may also choose to enter the mapping process at any instructional or grade level and in any subject area.
During this training module, teachers practice in the use of the OHS EdInsight suite of tools, with a focus on the Curriculum Manager and Lesson Planner. They use this experience to examine the four components of curriculum maps — Course, Units, Topics/Core Lessons, and Teacher Lesson Plans — and discuss their interrelationships. Pairs or small groups of same grade level or content area teachers also collaborate to use the Backwards Design, Understanding by Design Process based on the work of Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins to identify various aspects of their curriculum maps. They analyze the PA Core Standards and the National Common Core Standards to identify, organize, and describe units of study, and then determine the Big Ideas and Essential Questions for each unit and identify and define the academic vocabulary related to each unit’s content and concepts. Teachers also use Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to write rigorous, relevant and measureable student learning outcomes. Finally, they post their curriculum maps in the Curriculum Manager and gather feedback from other grade-level or content- area colleagues. Because curriculum maps provide a tool promoting teacher accountability and provide evidence of proficiency in the four domains of the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Professional Practice, it is important that administrators review the completed maps, provide feedback, and approve them prior to classroom implementation.