For nearly 10 years, Bri has focused on creating content to address the questions and concerns educators have about teaching classes, preparing students for certifications, and making the most of the AES curriculum system.
It’s important to note that these goals are allin additionto the grades you’d give in any other typical class.
Students will still have to complete lessons, homework, formative assessments, summative assessments, and other projects that are graded.
But that’s standard for any class! As a result, you don’t need to say you’ll use “grades” as a measure of whether students have met your class’s goals.
Instead, your goals should be directly related to your class, how it functions, and how your students’ lives will improve as a result.
Once you have your outcome statement down on paper, it’s time to start thinking about your class’s details!
3. Essential Resources
Your class’s essential resources include anything you need for your students to teach everything in your class.
For traditional classrooms, this section of the curriculum is easier than others because it includes a short list of textbooks, notebooks, andmaybewriting utensils.
For modern classrooms, this list can get surprisingly long — sometimes with dozens of items!
That’s because modern classrooms have a demand for teaching the same material in multiple ways. This allows teachers to accommodate students who learn differently without leaving any of them behind the rest of the class.
In addition to simple notebooks, textbooks, and writing utensils, you may also discover that you need:
Interactive screens / Smartboards
Other rooms in your school
This is just a sample listing — you may discover that you needmoreclassroom materials as you develop your curriculum!
There’s nothing wrong with that. If you only have a rough idea of the teaching resources you’ll need for a class, you can always come back to this section after you complete the rest of your curriculum.
Once you’ve completed this section, it’s time to discusshowyou’ll teach your class!
4. Strategy Framework
Your strategy framework shows the different teaching methods you’ll use to help your students learn.
Some of the most common strategy frameworks and teaching strategies include:
We’ll start with the oldest and most well-known form of education in the world —lecture.
Every teacher has experienced (and probably delivered) lectures.
Lectures commonly take the form of an educator standing in front of their students and delivering information orally.
Teachers may choose to use visual aids like whiteboards, chalkboards, smartboards, or demonstration materials, but these resources all revolve around the lecture itself.
Lectures are considered the standard in education because they’ve been used since before Socrates. Essentially, it’s the classical way to teach students of any age.
But there’s an issue with that — students today use much more advanced technology than the students of Ancient Greece.
As a result, lectures aren’t always the best course of action for a modern classroom.
Fortunately, modern technology offers you a lot of alternatives — including online learning.
Online learning means you’re using education tools that exist on the Internet to help teach your students.
Sometimes, these tools are called “cloud-based” education solutions because they’re accessible 24/7 from your web browser.
Online learning is a great way to reach students who are both experts and amateurs when it comes to using technology.
That’s because these online tools are designed to be as simple as possible while offering an outstanding educational experience.
Online learning works great for delivering videos, graphics, activities, self-paced lessons, and other teaching resources into a classroom.
Online learning is also a cornerstone teaching strategy in a larger educational concept — blended learning.
Blended learning is the practice of using multiple teaching strategiesin a single class.
So when you use lecture, online learning, and textbooks to teach your students, you’re technically teaching with blended learning!
Blended learning is an effective education strategy because it teaches students the same information in multiple ways.
Some students are auditory learners. Others are visual learners. Still others are hands-on learners!
By practicing blended learning, you acknowledge these differences in your students’ learning preferences and create ways to help all of your students learn.
That way, you don’t leave any of your students behind!
You can even go the extra mile with blended learning and include a highly-specialized form of teaching that also allows your students to socialize with one another.
This strategy is called cooperative learning!
Cooperative learning is the practice of creating small groups of students in your class and having them teach one another.
The core ofcooperative learningis based on trust and accountability. Students learn different parts of a large concept and teach that information to one another.
That way, every student gets a strong idea of a concept while meeting and interacting with their peers.
At the end of a cooperative learning session, it’s important for you to pull your entire class back together to talk about what they learned.
As the different groups speak, you can correct any misinformation that different students may have acquired.
Altogether, you just helped your students learn a new concept while meeting one another and taking responsibility for a portion of their education!
This kind of work can also be helpful if you want to use our next teaching strategy — differentiated instruction.
Differentiated instruction means tailoring your teaching strategy to students’ individual learning needs.
Formative assessments work best when you use them to evaluate how much (or how well) a student is learning in a class.You’re examining how well students are “forming” information and connections in their brains.
Formative assessments are great because they let you see how well your students learn without grading them for every single assignment they complete.
You can have a lot of fun with formative assessments too! Because they’re not always graded, formative assessments can go in almost any direction, including:
The main goal of formative assessments is understanding what your students do and don’t know.
This gives you essential information to incorporate in review activities when you get closer to the end of a unit or marking period.
If most of your students struggle with a certain topic, you know you have to go over it with students before the class ends.
Then, whenever you conclude a major portion of your class, you can use a summative assessment to see what students have learned!
Summative assessments work best when you use them to evaluatewhata student has learned in a class.You’re testing the “summary” of all information that students have learned throughout a unit or marking period.
Summative assessments tend to be more rigid when it comes to your options because they require objective criteria for you to grade.
As a result, teachers use summative assessments like:
Essays / papers
All of these summative assessment options come with answer keys or grading rubrics for the sake of quantifyingwhatstudents have learned in your class.
These grades are often weighed more heavily in comparison to other factors like classroom participation and homework.
In many classes, students don’t pass the course unless they get a satisfactory mark on their summative assessments.
Naturally, it’s up to you to determine how much you want to weigh these assessments. The most important part of summative assessments is a clear vision into what your students have learned.
This is especially important if you work in a state that has a lot of standards and requirements for classes you teach!
6. Standards Alignment
Your alignment with existing standards ensures that you’re teaching your students the proper information to help them succeed in life.
This information varies from state to state since public education is so heavily based on the state level.
You may also get a list of standards from your district or even your immediate supervisor that ensures you teach the same information as a teacher in another school.
Overall, standards ensure a degree of uniformity in curriculum for important topics.
That’s why so many health science and computer applications classes have strict standards — every class in the state needs to teach the same fundamental information for students to succeed later in life!
If you’re having a hard time finding your state, district, or school standards, check first with your immediate supervisor.
If that doesn’t work, you can always ask your colleagues or contact your district office.
Curriculum maps are tricky to create, if you’ve never made one before. It’s phenomenally helpful for most teachers because a curriculum map shows you exactly what you need to teach, when, and the materials you need to teach it.
In other words, a curriculum map makes your upcoming marking period easier!
Once you have your curriculum mapped to your standards, it’s finally time to jump intowhatyou’ll teach in your class by creating your course syllabus.
7. Course Syllabus
Your course syllabustells your administrators, colleagues, and students about the specific information you’ll teach your class.
A syllabus is typically an extensive document, detailing each lesson to be taught, the day on which lessons will be taught, the homework to be assigned, and the expectations of students at the end of each unit.
As a result, the syllabus is the area wheremostteachers spend the bulk of their time in planning. It takes a lot of time and energy to create a document that showcases exactly how your class will work day by day.
This is even more stressful if you teach a semester- or year-long course that covers a wealth of information.
If you’ve never created a full syllabus before, check with a peer, mentor, or supervisor to see if they have a template you can use.