4. What Students Need to Know and Do... High-quality curriculum is the foundation for high-quality instruction.
Standards Guide Instruction
Eagle Glen Elementary, Raymore-Peculiar connects their building mission to instruction on a daily basis. "Empowering Students by Making Learning Irresistible" is more than a statement posted in the hall. Standards come to life through engaging instruction that puts students in the driver's seat.
Standards are defined, expressed as "I can" statements, and mapped. Student proficiency scales are articulated, for use by students as well as teachers. In math, flipped instruction is utilized to make learning more accessible. Students view videos of math instruction at home, then are able practice those concepts in class with a teacher, rather than practicing through homework, where there is no teacher for support.
Another way to make learning irresistible is through their library Maker Space. This website shows many examples of engaging learning. Standards guide instruction, but the possibilities are endless for engaging students in learning.
A viable curriculum is one that can be accessed by students in the time allowed, and is aligned across grade levels.
Garrett Elementary (Hazelwood) maps the standards students will learn across four quarters. This Excel document shows when students will learn each standard in Math and ELA, across all grade levels. Teachers can see at a glance not only what their students are working on, but what other grade levels are learning as well. Student performance is also tracked via a shared file. This file records student performance on significant assessments throughout the year, and is formatted to color code a student score according to established ranges. The file is shared among collaborative groups, the principal, and intervention teams, so all have a clear understanding of current student achievement.
Carrollton Elementary provides us with another example of Curriculum Mapping. In the room where collaborative teams meet, they have a map of the standards across one wall. This video (Fall, 2014), shows instructional coach Kristy Goetting describing the process. Each grade level has its own row on the chart, and the standards for Math, Writing, Reading, Speaking, and Listening are each a different color.