Your Curriculum

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MrsPatten, Jun 25, 2008.

?

Your curriculum--check all that apply

  1. Structured Reading

    27 vote(s)
    46.6%
  2. Structured Math

    27 vote(s)
    46.6%
  3. Neither are structured

    27 vote(s)
    46.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. MrsPatten

    MrsPatten Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    I've been reading all these questions/ideas on how to teach x-concept and making up units. I want to know how many people actually have the flexibility to make up their own lessons. I know at our school we have very little flexibility in how we implement our programs but it's all laid out for us. We do Saxon math and Reading Street which are very structured programs. We're pretty much expected to follow it to a "T."
     
  2.  
  3. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    I teach in a school that allows us a lot of flexibility in what and when we teach. I do follow the series we use in math and reading to an extent, but my scope and sequence is not set in stone. Our science and social studies curriculum are made up completely from scratch with our grade level team.
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    We have a math curriculum (Investigations- new edition next year) but we don't have to follow the scope and sequence provided by the program. We are supposed to adapt in order to meet the needs of the kids.

    We have always created our own social studies, which is to be integrated, or the theme that is the basis of other learning.

    Next year for the first time we will school wide be using a literacy framework (Four Blocks) and science kits (Foss) to guide our instruction. However, we will still be creating our own themes and lessons.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    Likes Received:
    1,886

    Jun 25, 2008

    Complete freedom. We do have math textbooks that some teachers follow page by page and others used rarely. We have resources in the schools but are not expected to follow any set program as long as we are following the curriculum expectations (standards) set by the provincial Ministry of Education.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,066
    Likes Received:
    1,534

    Jun 25, 2008

    In Kentucky we are required to follow the state Core Content for Assessment, which specifies what we're expected to follow. It's divided by grade level, content, and skill.

    Each grade level content area has a curriculum map that outlines when each skill is taught. Outside of that, we're free to use whatever resources we wish to teach the content. Well, the math department uses Connected Math units, which are pre-made units.
     
  7. MrsPatten

    MrsPatten Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    I think that I confused some. I'm fairly certain that every state/school has a curriculum map and a Course of Study. I'm talking about a program that tells you "Okay, on day one you're going to read this poem, talk about these vocab words, then you'll have the kids do these centers while you meet with your other groups where you'll read Sam, Come Back from the basal reader." Or do you get to choose when you'll cover what and what way you'll teach it.
     
  8. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    We have a scope and sequence for each grade level subject, but how my teachers implement it is entirely up to them. Each grade has a set of textbooks for each subject, but, again, how we use them is up to us. I tend to use the books as a reference or initial introduction, but most of my lessons are definitely out of the book.
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    No one tells me when to teach something or specifically what to teach, if that makes it more clear. We have curriculum to guide us, but how we use it is up to us.
     
  10. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    9

    Jun 25, 2008

    The district has selected texts for reading and math, but we don't have to follow it...at all. I know teachers in the building that don't even pull out the textbooks and just do their own thing.
     
  11. little317

    little317 Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,289
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    We are required to teacher our reading curriculum using the MacMillan Treasures. We have to strictly follow that. Due to our State Math Standards changing, we will actually have more freedom in how we teach math. We used to have to rely more on our Harcourt Math textbooks, however, we will not have to cover us many skills, so we will have to supplement quite a bit.
    We have Scott Foresman for science, and we jump around a bit so that we are following our district science map.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jun 25, 2008


    No, I do not use such a program and would not want to.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 25, 2008

    My first year I taught kinder and they used Saxon Phonics. I didn't like this for kinder since it was so structured. Last year in 2nd, we had a lot of wiggle room in our curriculum which I liked.
     
  14. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,237
    Likes Received:
    9

    Jun 25, 2008

    We have a curriculum map, but it just tells what we should teach in each grading period. Like quarter one might say adding fractions, multiplying fractions, decimals. Some teachers don't even follow that.
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    682

    Jun 25, 2008

    We have no scripted programs (except K which uses Saxon). We have texts for all subjects which we can use or not, at our discretion. We may supplement or replace resources.
    Timing for all units is totally up to the teachers.
     
  16. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jun 25, 2008

    I'm *supposed* to have a strcutured program, but I push the boundries as far as I can. I don't like "teaching to the test" which is basically what I'm supposed to do. I resist loudly. My P doesn't complain much, since my kids perform well (very well on the FCAT and MUCH better than the rest of the school). I suppose since I'm getting results they let me do what I want.
     
  17. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 25, 2008

    We have a highly structured program, and we have curriculum components for all parts of our curriculum that come with pacing guides. We have seperate documents for LA, Math, Science, SS. However, while we are expected to adhere to the pacing guides pretty closely, and our LA curriculum is especially rigid (OCR - scripted), we are lucky to be allowed wiggle room to present the material in various ways to meet the students' needs. SO, if you are studying rhyming and you come across a great idea that really works, you are more than welcome to substitute that idea for one of the scripted lessons....as long as you teach the content, you're pretty safe.
    Kim
     
  18. GD2BQN

    GD2BQN Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    We have a curriculum map that tells us what standards should be done when but NO we are not told how to do it. We have a 1/4-ly assessment that we give the students that tells us where our students are but if I don't teach the standards my students might not do so well.

    I don't like that we do not have a little more management going on. I don't want micro-managing but if we were all on the same game plan maybe our bldg. would be doing---could be doing more than we are now!!
     
  19. MorningGlory

    MorningGlory Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    Technically, the cirriculm is Hign Scope. We don't follow that closely though.
     
  20. JustT

    JustT Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 25, 2008

    Some subjects like math and science has a calendar of skills that need to be taught by a specific day. Reading seems to have lessons shown by the day. Then there is the benchmark that will supposedly show if your students have mastered a skill.

    When there isn't flexibility... it tends to extinguish my creativity flair and I feel like a robot with pretend excitement.

    Sometimes I get the feeling we get criticized if you follow the curriculum and you get criticized if you don't. :dunno: (I close my door and make sure everyone knows I am doing what I am supposed to be doing... whatever that is:lol: .... and yes, that is everything)
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Jun 25, 2008

    I have complete flexibility in how I teach my curriculum. I'd say that most teachers in my district do as well, except maybe those who teach remedial reading or math.
     
  22. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jun 25, 2008

    The entire district has a set pacing guide for Language Art and Math. The district gives testing to make sure the teachers are following it. If you wish to get around it you must have the kids in your class able to do the test well otherwise you will have administration bugging you or bugging your school if it is a school wide issue.
     
  23. maroki

    maroki Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 26, 2008

    Our reading and math programs are both highly structured, and we are expected to have fidelity to both. We are a Reading First school so our fidelity to our reading program is highly monitored, but our math program is not as monitored. We also have FOSS kits for science that we are expected to use. When we don't have FOSS kits we teach lessons and units we create that work towards our GLEs. Our district also adopted a new social studies curriculum very close to the end of last year, so I'm assuming we'll be using that for at least some of our social studies lessons this year.
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,066
    Likes Received:
    1,534

    Jun 26, 2008

    That may be true for public schools, but not for private.
     
  25. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 26, 2008

    When I first began teaching back in '82, there was a lot of flexibility in teaching. As long as we taught the standards, we were fine. NCLB upset the apple cart and I left the field of elementary education after my last school adopted the concept of "standardized instruction." I found that when all teachers at a grade level have to write lesson plans together, the instruction is invariably dumbed down to the level of the weakest teacher.

    I used to be one of those odd teachers who "dressed up" to teach various subjects. For example, when I taught about the "age of exploration," I came to school dressed as a Spanish Conquistador. I wore custom fitted thigh high leather boots, baggy trousers, a puff sleeved shirt, a custom fitted steel breastplate, and a steel combed morion helmet complete with white plume. Over my shoulders I wore a flowing cape. I had an antique leather shield on my arm and leather gauntlets on my hands. I even had a pointy beard and mustache.

    Students had to learn some Spanish to interact with me. In reading we read about the Spanish explorers. In language arts we explored the use of nautical flags and students designed their own flags. In science, students were challenged to use string and pulleys to hoist the signal flags they made in language arts. In math we studied equivalent fractions using parts of Spanish "doubloons" that were made by pasting images of Spanish coins to cardboard circles that were then cut into fractional parts. In health we learned about the importance of vitamins by examining shipboard diet and learning about scurvy.

    We had a blast ... and when I was told that I couldn't teach this way anymore, I quit my job and left the field of elementary education.

    I subsequently pursued a culinary arts degree, worked in the food service industry for six years, and am now back in education - this time as a high school chef instructor of a culinary arts program.

    As the only teacher in the culinary arts department, I again enjoy the flexibility to teach as I would like. I am still bound to use the state standards but the sequence of instruction and the way I choose to teach each lesson is up to me.

    Best of all, since I'm no longer a core academic teacher, I no longer have to teach to the test. :)
     
  26. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,719
    Likes Received:
    481

    Jun 26, 2008

    I have to respectfully disagree that planning together dumbs down the instruction. This can be an excellent way to collaborate and get fresh ideas.
    I used to teach at an America's Choice school, and there was several "genre studies" we had to complete in literacy that were pretty scripted, but as long as you covered the same concept, you could modify it a bit. My new school will have no required mandates for my grade level/subject matter (4th/5th grade Reading), so I will have the flexibility to teach my standards in the best manner I choose.
     
  27. ~~Pam~~

    ~~Pam~~ Companion

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 26, 2008

    We do not have scripted curriculum. Like many, we have the curriculum and a pacing GUIDE (not a rule) and we go from there. We have total freedom in HOW we present the curriculum. I feel like this freedom allows for each teacher's personality to shine and for them to feel comfortable in presenting the curriculum.
     
  28. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 26, 2008

    I'm in KY too..as long as we get in the Core Content, how we teach and in what way is up to us. Our curriculum map can be..itsy bitsy flexible and is a living document for us.
     
  29. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 27, 2008

    Standardized instruction is wonderful for novice teachers who are learning how to teach ... but given the description of how I taught the age of exploration, can you imagine how I felt when I learned I had to teach to the text? Everything was read the textbook and do the worksheet ... or read the textbook and answer the chapter review questions.

    Instruction was absolutely boring ... but that's the way the other six teachers wanted it.
     
  30. bluelightstar

    bluelightstar Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 27, 2008

    I've found that there's nothing more enjoyable and freeing than NOT teaching a state test class...
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m,
  2. catnfiddle,
  3. Ima Teacher
Total: 188 (members: 4, guests: 167, robots: 17)
test