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Showing posts from June, 2017

The Importance of Curriculum....Again

Curricular materials on the brain. All. Summer. Long. I'm currently working on a song I am going to title, "The Curricular Materials of Summer" (some credit will certainly go to  Don Henley) . My last two posts were about the importance of curriculum (if you are so inclined, check out Part One and Part Two ). This post is more about what a school or district might do after a review of current materials reveals they are not providing the highest quality materials to teachers. So, you have reviewed your curricular materials and found them lacking. The good news is, you are not alone and you now have the opportunity to improve the materials provided to teachers and students. Perhaps you are so lucky as to be approaching an adoption cycle and can easily send out the bad and welcome in the good. Alternatively, you may be able to use supplemental materials without great objection (to replace materials that have been found sub-par). Or perhaps you have decided, without formal

The Importance of Curriculum, Part Two

As I said last week, I have curriculum on the brain. If you do too, check out this post's 'Part One'. Once you are convinced materials selection matters (it really, really does ), then it is time to review your current materials and make decisions about what should stay, what needs minor changing, and what deserves the heave-ho. Resources for reviewing materials include the EQuIP rubric (for lessons and units) and the IMET  (for full curricular resources). These are useful tools not only to review materials already in use or those being considered for adoption, but they can be incredible levers for expanding practitioner knowledge of the Common Core Standards and Instructional Shifts. Explore the links above to find the review tools and  supporting training materials. (You don't think there is a depth of knowledge on the Standards and Shifts to start from? Student Achievement Partners has your back with these professional development resources .) Finally, Sue Pimen

The Importance of Curriculum, Part One

I have curriculum on the brain this summer. Most of my current work is focused on curriculum; reviewing it, curating it, or exploring it in some way. Simultaneously, there is an increasing amount of scholarship in the field on the importance of curriculum. Much of this work answers the questions; does curriculum really matter? And if it does, what can we do about it? Educators in the field, academics, publishers and supportive organizations are recognizing that quality curricular materials can support equity in our schools, be a significant force for reform, and act as a key ingredient in high performing classrooms. Of recent note is the Aspen Institute's report, "Practice What You Teach" , which provides relevant research, profiles of curricular implementation, and key recommendations. EducationNext has a great post by Chester Finn titled " Education Becomes a Reform Strategy ". The latest research report by StandardWork, " Curriculum Research: What We K

Nevada Core Advocates Convening, Day 1

The Nevada Core Advocates gathered at UNR the weekend of June 3rd for two days of professional learning focused on the Common Core . The first day explored the Instructional Shifts and on day two  participants worked through content and materials to support the Nevada Core Advocates campaign (for ELA/Literacy, the campaign is: " K-3 teachers will use a critical eye to examine how existing resources build foundational skills so they are able to fully engage with the more complex text required by the standards beginning in 2 nd grade") . Aaron Grossman and I facilitated the day one ELA/Literacy sessions, starting with a review of the ELA/Literacy Instructional Shifts, the research underpinning the shifts, and implications they have for instruction.  Participants then explored what these shifts look like in K-2 materials, with an analysis of the RAP lesson for The Spider and The Fly   and a review of the K-2 ELA Instructional Practice Guides. We ended the day as participant