Monday, June 10, 2013

Curriculum Planning is so FUN ...?

Contain yourselves.  I know how much you love sitting in a staff meeting and knocking out a few curriculum maps with your grade level team.  This is why we became teachers.  ...right?

School's out, but the teachers were back last week to curriculum plan using the Common Core Standards.  We are switching to Math, ELA, and Social Studies in our school next year.  I feel like we're behind, but people keep trying to convince me otherwise.  Kansas just adopted Social Studies at the end of April, but they haven't adopted Science yet, so we won't be starting it until next year.

Do you do this?  I mean, I know we plan out our entire year to be sure that we hit everything.  If you have someone in your district that does this for you, please don't tell me about it.  It's a lot of work.

Luckily, I adore this kind of monotonous curriculum planning paperwork that most teachers hate.  I don't know why, but I'm well aware that I'm the odd duck in staff meetings.   If there were, in fact, a position available where I could go through and do this for each grade, I would definitely apply (ok, correction, DO tell me if someone in your district does this, and then tell me if there's an opening!).

Here's what we did (and I thought it was so cool!).  First, we picked which subject we wanted to plan- our fourth grade team chose Social Studies.  We thought it would be easier.  We were wrong.  Social Studies doesn't appear to have spelled out "standards" like Math and ELA, but rather "topics" with suggested things to hit.  We will need to revisit it, but we got this beginning part done.

Using the Social Studies Common Core (Kansas edition), we highlighted and color coded parts of the standards.  We did verbs in yellow, nouns in orange, and details in pink.  {see below}

Now we can easily see what the kids are supposed to do with the material.  The first column of our curriculum map is supposed to list the actions the students should be able to "do"- analyze, recognize, evaluate, investigate, etc.  That way you know how to approach what you are teaching- if the kids need to know how to recognize something versus they need to draw a conclusion about it- but it also helps you figure out how to assess each standard.   

If we get this all written out in the near future, I'll try to post the final product since this is just in the beginning stages.  Maybe.  Unless it is finally finished the day before school and I'm super overwhelmed with everything going on.

What part of Common Core are you tackling this year?  All of it?  None of it (I see you, Texas and Nebraska!)?  Part of it (Hi, Minnesota!)?  How are you keeping it all straight?


  1. Our district flew the plane of CC this year while they were still building the was a disaster! I am fortunate to work in a district where everything is mapped out for us which helped keep my head just above water this year. I felt so unorganized, which is why I was determined to clean out my files! If you need any resources let me know, I can send you our district maps if needed. It could give you an idea on where to start. Good luck!


  2. Our district is also working on a CC plans. I serve on the ELA committee and it is a lot of work...I sure hope it is useful when we are done. :) Have a great day!
    Creating Lifelong Learners