Blue Mountain Curriculum Gwen Witmer-Belding Director of Curriculum Blue Mountain School District
What isn’t Curriculum? Curriculum is NOT a textbook. Curriculum is NOT determined at the state or national levels. Curriculum is NOT a “suggestion” for teachers; it is mandated. Curriculum is NOT teaching for the test What is Curriculum?
Curriculum Curriculum explains what students should know and should be able to do by specific points in their education. • Examples: • By the end of third grade, all students will multiply single digit numbers with accuracy and fluency. • By the end of the Biology I course, all students should identify parts of animal and plant cells and know their function. • By the end of seventh grade English, all students should write a narrative passage of at least five paragraphs that meets rubric requirements for content and composition.
Curriculum • Curriculum guides the day-to-day instruction of classrooms. • Curriculum is developed at the local school district level. • Curriculum is developed collaboratively between teachers and administrators. • Curriculum is developed for grades and courses. • There may be differing levels within the curriculum, such as College Prep or Honors, and the curriculum should explain the expectations of each level. • Curriculum sets expectations that all classes are to reach.
What Does BMSD Curriculum Contain? (unit name)3rd Grade Multiplication/Division Concepts Key Learning: Students will understand the concepts of multiplication and division. Unit Essential Question: How are multiplication and division related?
Curriculum “Inputs” What skills/knowledge do students bring to the grade from prior learning? What do students need to know for the following grade/course? “Curriculum History” Academic Standards PA Academic Standards Common Core Standards What Guides Curriculum?
Academic Standards PA Standards Common Core Standards Mandated by NCLB (2002) Assessed through PSSA VERY lengthy, many goals “A mile wide and an inch thick” Encouraged school curriculums that “covered” topics Very broad assessments Developed by National Governors Association Adopted by 48 states to align grade level goals in USA Fewer topics taught in greater depth Assessments have higher expectations to match deeper learning
Math – Academic StandardsSample Question Willard has a stained glass window with one triangular piece, as shown below. 6 in. A = ½ bh 8 in. What is the area, in square inches, of the triangular piece? A. 14 B. 24 C. 48 D. 96
Common Core Sample Question • Triangle ADE is inside rectangle ABCD. Point E is halfway between points B and C on the rectangle. Side AB is 8 cm and side AD is 7 cm. • Part A: What is the area of triangle ADE? Show your work. • Part B: What is the ratio of the area of triangle ABE to the area of triangle ADE? • Part C. What is the ratio of the area of triangle CDE to the area of rectangle ABCD? C E B D A
Impact of Common Core • Greater rigor across all content areas • Revisions of mathematics and English/Language Arts curriculum (K-12) is expected to be done by July 31, 2013. • PSSA will be revised for grades 3-5 in 2014 and grade grades 6-8 in 2015. • Keystone Exams are already expecting deeper knowledge and understanding • Resulting curriculum changes will require new resources and instructional strategies
District Evaluation Common Assessments for grades, courses. Benchmark assessments throughout year instead of waiting until the end of the year. Time and effort placed into making instructional changes to reflect the needs shown in assessment. How is curriculum evaluated?
National and State Assessments • Keystone Exams – End of course assessments required for graduation • Revised PSSA for grade 3-8 • DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) • Use of assessment results as a portion of the Educator Evaluation process • Possibility of nationally developed assessments
Use of Evaluation Results to Make Curriculum Change • BMSD has been administering DIBELS exams for nine years. • An examination of the BMSD Kindergarten and First Grade DIBELS results from the last 5 years showed deficiencies (according to national norms)in the areas of phonics and phonemic awareness • Resulted in a pilot program (Fundations) used first for struggling readers and now for all students in grades K-1 as a preventative model.
Curriculum Areas of Need being studied: • High School Mathematics – Are we preparing students for success on Keystone Exams? • Balance of Fiction and Non-fiction in all language arts areas • Response to Intervention strategies for reading areas (both decoding and comprehension) • Reading and Writing goals in content areas (science, social studies, technology) • Are we addressing the needs of ALL students?