Short-range Curriculum Map

Short-range planning and curriculum maps have a place in any school, district, and curriculum.  The process needs to have the full involvement of the entire faculty. For curriculum mapping to be successful, teachers must believe that it will improve their teaching (DeClark, 2002). The administrators need to believe in this process as well. The mapping process needs to have goals that the entire faculty is aware of.

Students need to see the big picture of learning before they can learn the material before them (DeClark, 2002). Each year students report to teachers, “I did this last year in Mrs. …class”; this repetition can be avoided with the use of mapping. Repetition in teaching should be brief and used only to provide a stronger foundation for new content. When using the mapping process, teachers need to note how their instruction could be relevant to other discipline areas.  By doing this, teachers can put units of instruction together and students learning can become stronger.

Curriculum maps utilize backward design and should contain essential questions that are relevant to the subject matter and the student (Hammond & Bransford, 2005).  Teachers should know where they want the students to be by the end of a school year; they then design their curriculum around this central goal. All the lessons, activities, and assessments should be focused toward the accomplishment of this.  Mapping allows teachers learn how to define their content by using these essential questions. It also lets teachers know what concepts were taught in prior years.  Using maps help students see how learning from year to year is linked.

To begin a short-range map, a teacher needs to have his or her lesson plans available and an honest mind.  The first step in this process needs to be completed individually. This is where the teacher writes down the instruction and activities they use to teach the various concepts in their content area. Then they meet as a department to review each other’s map and make suggestions as to how each can be changes or what needs to be continued.  Then the department reviews the curriculum and the maps along with the standards.  This serves as a way to revise the map and to ensure that the material taught is at their grade level and, if not, it needed to be removed.  The purpose is to make the revisions and develop a map with the needed corrections. Finally, all the schools meet and each make the other aware of what is being taught when.  By doing this, each school and level knows what each school is teaching and repetition can be avoided.

Writing has had several changes over the several decades; Henk and colleagues in 2003 and 2004 saw these changes in in the initial way instruction was provided.  At one point, teachers concerned with the end result, the final paper produced by the student. Today, the focus is on the process that writers employ during writing (Glatthorn, Boschee, & Whitehead, 2006).

Teachers now teach the process of writing to students while letting them know that writing is a recursive process.  In the past, students were taught the writing process had to be followed step by step, which turned students off because some of the stages were followed, but not in sequential order.  There are five steps in the writing process, beginning with the prewriting stage and ending with a finished product.  The teacher that I co-teach with and other seventh grade teachers have added a sixth stage to the process so that students understand the recursive process.  The stage added is that of revisiting: this is where after the students have published their work they have the option (at a later time) to go back and change their final product if they want to. This is not a mandatory stage, but if students realize that they have left portions out of their graded papers this option allows them the opportunity to add the new information.

Writing can only be learned through constant practice.  Teachers need to model for students the proper way to write.  Often in writing teachers would give students topics to write about and the entire class would write on the same topic.  Today writing has changed because teachers are now ‘topic helpers’; they help students find their own topics and voice, model the process and strategies, and foster am accepting and dynamic communication environment (Glatthorn, et al., 2006).

There need to be some changes in thinking in regards to the curriculum and how material is presented to students.  Students need to be involved and interacting with the material that is being taught in all classes. In order for this to occur, teachers need to prepare high-quality lessons that require students to think rather than lessons that give students all the answers.  In orders for students to be successful in a class, their teachers need to be current on the content, pedagogy, and bond with their students in a way that relationships can form  (Lewis, 2004, and Glatthorn, et al., 2006). Teachers also need to incorporate thinking skills into their lesson plans so that the students have an opportunity to form those skills daily in each class.

The Six Correlates of Effective Schools by Ronald Edmunds and John Frederickson is a process that has been proven to help students gain the skills necessary to move forward to the next grade level in school.  The levels of this process include schools having a stated and focused mission statement, a safe climate for learning, high expectations everyone from students to administrators, opportunities for students to learn and time on task, instructional leaders, and positive home-school relationships (Glatthorn, et al., 2006).  Using this process integrates thinking into the curriculum.

Good speaking and listening skills are important to student success for their success in school and in the workplace (Glatthorn, et al., 2006).  These skills are learned through social contact and mimicking others.  Speaking is developmental; instruction should be done on a daily basis and should be a necessary component of all curriculums.  Listening skills are mandatory for success in all content areas and life experiences.  Both skills can be improved when taught.  Teachers should instruct communication daily as situations arise in the classroom, use direct instruction, practice, and positive feedback to students, give students different chances and opportunities to practice their speech, and take diversity into consideration when discussing or trying to correct speech (Glatthorn, et al., 2006).  Instruction for listening should include but is not limited to teaching listening strategies directly and allowing students time to practice in a variety of situations, varying the types of listening from interpersonal, small group to public communication and finally it should be taught cross the curriculum in all discipline areas.

Curriculum maps and instruction in the classrooms should also include technology.  Teachers use technology for a variety of reason in the classrooms.  Instruction can be delivered through the use of an overhead, Dukane projector, or by using and ELMO.  These tools can help hold the attention of some learners and should not be overused in the event that some students are turned off by the use of technology in the classroom.  The available Internet and the Web sites can open up a wide range of avenues for student learning.  Teachers can include Web quest into their lessons and students can research topic using computers.  Teachers that have not utilized technology are missing out on an experience that will enhance instruction for the teacher and learning for the students.

Short-range Curriculum MAP

 

Months of a Quarter or semester Standards Essential Questions Understandings Skills

(including technology)

Assessment Learning Activities (including technology)
September

 

Week One

 

 

South Carolina State Standards

 

7-1(.1, .4)

7.2 (.1)

7.3 .2

7-4(.1, .6)

7-5 (.2, .3,)

7-6 (.5, .4)

 

What are text sets and their purpose?

What purpose do journals serve in writing?

What is involved in the writing process?

How is the writing process followed and used by writers?

What type of vocabulary can be used in narratives?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowledge: Students will know:

! The steps of the writing process and how to follow them.

! The purpose of text sets.

! How to read for enjoyment.

! That writing is recursive.

! How good writers are supposed to write.

! What Latin and Greek roots are and how to use in words and writing.

! How to use parentheses correctly.

! The importance of journaling.

! How to format paper whether typed or written.

! How to peer critique others’ writing.

! Read text sets and discuss determining author’s purpose for writing.

! The parts of a personal narrative.

 

 

 

 

Students will be able to:

State or follow the procedures for class writing.

Use the class library.

Use the habits of good writers.

Format paper when typing or writing.

Read quietly for sustained amounts of time.

Make writing folders and use during writing.

Peer edit classmates work for content and conventions.

List several interest to be or ideas to be used on their personal seed list.

Write personal narratives (paragraphs in general) that have correct use of conventions.

Communicate through reading and speaking.

 

 

Teacher observation

 

Writer’s notebooks

 

Writer’s Toolbox

 

Teacher questions during discussion

 

Completed personal narratives

 

Student participation

 

Writing rubrics

Writing process quiz

 

STEMS quiz

 

Agenda check of  outside weekly reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classes= 50 min 5x wkly (Inclusion)

Make folders to use during writing.  Two manila folders and the writing process needed.

 

Read the poem “The Unwritten” and discuss.

 

Silent reading of personal narratives or other text of choice

 

Write in journals in response to read aloud

 

Peer review practice-review sample writings (from last years students) discuss

Cornell notes-habits of good writers

 

Read weekly for one hour

 

Homework:  Seed list of writing topics for possible journal entries and papers.

 

Months of a Quarter or semester Standards Essential Questions Understandings Skills

(including technology)

Assessment Learning Activities (including technology)
September

 

Week Two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina State Standards

 

7-1(.1, .4)

7.2 (.1)

7.3 .2

7-4(.1, .6)

7-5 (.2, .3,)

7-6 (.5, .4)

 

What are text sets and their purpose?

What purpose do journals serve in writing?

What is involved in the writing process?

How is the writing process followed and used by writers?

What type of vocabulary can be used in narratives?

What are personal narratives place in writing?

What strategies do I use to organize my thoughts to begin writing?

Knowledge: Students will know:

! The steps of the writing process and how to follow.

! The purpose of text sets.

! How to read for enjoyment.

! That writing is recursive.

! How good writers are supposed to write.

! What Latin and Greek roots are and how to use in words and writing.

! How to use parentheses correctly.

! The importance of journaling.

! How to format paper whether typed or written.

! How to peer critique others writing.

! Read text sets and discuss determining author’s purpose for writing.

! How to use prewriting strategies to organize thoughts in writing.

! The parts of a personal narrative.

 

Students will be able to:

state or follow the procedures for class writing.

Use the class library.

Use the habits of good writers.

Format paper when typing or writing.

Read quietly for sustained amounts of time.

Make writing folders and use during writing.

Peer edit classmates work for content and conventions.

List several interests or ideas to be used on their personal seed list.

Write personal narratives (paragraphs in general) that have correct use of conventions.

Communicate through reading and speaking.

Teacher observation

 

Writer’s notebooks

 

Writer’s Toolbox

 

Teacher questions during discussion

 

Quiz

 

Completed personal narratives

 

Student participation

 

Writing rubrics

Writing process quiz

 

STEMS quiz

 

Agenda check of  outside weekly reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silent reading of personal narratives

 

Read/review/discuss personal narrative text sets (“My Grandpa” and “Racist Warehouse”).

 

Brainstorm topics for individual personal

narrative

 

Begin graphic organizer developing information for topic.

 

Read aloud: sections of Moss, Marissa. Amelia’s Notebook.

 

Journal responses

 

Writing process quiz

 

Conferences-discuss topics

 

Read one hour weekly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Months of a Quarter or semester Standards Essential Questions Understandings Skills

(including technology)

Assessment Learning Activities (including technology)
September

 

Week Three

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina State Standards

 

7-1(.1, .4)

7.2 (.1)

7.3 .2

7-4(.1, .6)

7-5 (.2, .3,)

7-6 (.5, .4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are text sets and their purpose?

What purpose do journals serve in writing?

What is involved in the writing process?

How is the writing process followed and used by writers?

What type of vocabulary can be used in narratives?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowledge: Students will be know:

! The steps of the writing process and how to follow.

! The purpose of text sets.

! How to read for enjoyment.

! That writing is recursive.

! How good writers are supposed to write.

! What Latin and Greek roots are and how to use in words and writing.

! How to use parentheses correctly.

! The importance of journaling.

! How to format paper whether typed or written.

! How to peer critique others’ writing.

! Read text sets and discuss determining author’s purpose for writing.

! How to use prewriting strategies to organize thoughts in writing.

! The parts of a personal narrative.

! How to determine word meanings from Stems.

State or follow the procedures for class writing.

Use the class library.

Use the habits of good writers.

Format paper when typing on computer or writing.

Read quietly for sustained amounts of time.

Make writing folders and use during writing.

Peer edit classmates’ work for content and conventions.

List several interest or ideas to be used on their personal seed list.

Write personal narratives (paragraphs in general) that have correct use of conventions.

Communicate through reading and speaking.

 

 

 

MAP Test (Measures of Academic Progress)

 

Teacher observation

 

Writer’s notebooks

 

Writer’s Toolbox

 

Teacher questions during discussion

 

Completed personal narratives

 

Student participation

 

Writing rubrics

Writing process quiz

 

STEMS quiz

 

Agenda check of  outside weekly reading

 

 

 

 

Lesson on parentheses (handouts and C-notes)

 

Literature book page 648-648 questions 1-5.

 

Use at least two (2) sets of parentheses in writings.

 

Writing conferences/mini lesson drafting

 

Review text sets

(“The Giver”)

 

Life experiences timeline highlighting up and downs

 

Begin writing introduction for personal narrative

 

Journal responses

 

Read one hour weekly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Months of a Quarter or semester Standards Essential Questions Understandings Skills

(including technology)

Assessment Learning Activities (including technology)
September

 

Week Four

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina State Standards

 

7-1(.1, .4)

7.2 (.1)

7.3 .2

7-4(.1, .6)

7-5 (.2, .3,)

7-6 (.5, .4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are text sets and their purpose?

What purpose do journals serve in writing?

What is involved in the writing process?

How is the writing process followed and used by writers?

What type of vocabulary can be used in narratives?

How do I “hook” readers with my writing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowledge: Students will know:

! The steps of the writing process and how to follow.

! The purpose of text sets.

! How to read for enjoyment.

! That writing is recursive.

! How good writers are supposed to write.

! What Latin and Greek roots are and how to use in words and writing.

! How to use parentheses correctly.

! The importance of journaling.

! How to format paper whether typed or written.

! How to peer critique others’ writing.

! Read text sets and discuss determining author’s purpose for writing.

! How to use prewriting strategies to organize thoughts in writing.

! The parts of a personal narrative.

!  How to determine word meanings from Stems.

! How to use hooks to keep readers engaged in their writing.

 

Students will be able to:

State or follow the procedures for class writing.

Use the class library.

Use the habits of good writers.

Format paper when typing or writing.

Read quietly for sustained amounts of time.

Make writing folders and use during writing.

Peer edit classmates’ work for content and conventions.

List several interests or ideas to be used on their personal seed list.

 

Communicate through reading and speaking.

 

Write mistake free narratives with details in order.

 

Listen for details and experiences or learned concepts.

 

Teacher observation

 

Writer’s notebooks

 

Writer’s Toolbox

 

Teacher questions during discussion

 

Completed personal narratives

 

Student participation

 

Writing rubrics

Writing process quiz

 

STEMS quiz

 

Agenda check of  outside weekly reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peer edit each others’ introductions

 

Read introductions aloud to class.

 

Continue journal entries

 

Conferences-writing

 

Begin body of personal narrative paper

 

Text set review- practice

 

Mini lesson on revision and editing

 

 

Read one hour weekly

 

Begin body of paper include ending

 

Text set review- practice

 

Write final copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

The curriculum map I design is for a seventh grade English Language Arts class.  The class is co-taught by a general education and special education teacher.  Students’ ability levels vary and some are labeled learning disabled.  Most students are doing well in this class with the material.  The map is scheduled for five weeks; however, our district mandates that all students in grades 6-8 take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test once each nine weeks.

Teachers need to include speaking, listening, and writing skills in all core content areas for students to be successful learners.  The assessment needs to also match the instruction and the skills the students were to learn.  Teachers today have several options as to how to present lessons to their classes, technology needs to be included to enhance the learning experience for the students.  In order for the mapping process to run smoothly at any school, all teachers and administrators need to by into the fact that it is a process that will improve student learning.  The time involved may seem like a lot in the beginning, but the students will benefit and that is why teachers teach.

 

References:

Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J., (2005). Preparing teachers for a changing world: what teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass.

DeClark, T. (2002). Curriculum mapping: A how-to-guide. The Science Teacher, 69(4), 29-31. 

Glatthorn, A., Boschee, F., & Whitehead, B., (2006). Curriculum leadership development and implementation.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J., (2007). Schooling by design: mission, action, and achievement.  Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.