Curriculum

Elementary students receive a dynamic foundation in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, along with ‘specials’ in general music, art, physical education (PE) and technology/engineering (STEM). 

Our curriculum is aligned with state standards and sequentially develops students’ abilities in critical thinking and problem solving. Students engage in rigorous and relevant learning experiences that prepare them to be college and career ready with a guaranteed and viable curriculum.

 

“A Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum”

Background 

In 2003, Dr. Robert Marzano coined the phrase “guaranteed and viable curriculum” in What Works in Schools:  Translating Research into Practice.  Marzano cites the implementation of a guaranteed and viable curriculum as a requirement for school improvement as one of the leading indicators for student growth and achievement.  These sentiments have been echoed by numerous educational scholars. http://ebusiness.ascd.org/serverfiles/productimages/102271b.jpg

“Guaranteed” means that all students, regardless of their teacher or school will have access to the same standards-based researched content and resources across the entire district giving opportunity and access for 100% of our students.  While instruction may not be identical or scripted, teachers consistently and reliably address the same standards, learning goals and expectations for student growth. This process is often supported with appropriate opportunities for collaboration, calibration and coordination of learning.

“Viable” means that the curriculum is realistic in scope and has made careful decisions to narrow the universe of knowledge into developmentally appropriate and challenging learning targets for our students.  Viable curriculum has to pass the dual test of being 1) accessible to students and 2) being reasonable for the teachers to teach to mastery, not just “cover.”

Process 

Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 implemented an updated round of the curriculum review and revision cycle in 2014.  This work, done by pK-12+ vertical alignment teacher teams, represents a thoughtful and purposeful processing over the past year.  These curriculum documents should be considered a work-in-progress as teams continue to respond to changes in standards, incorporate current educational research and further define the learning needs of the districts’ students to be college and career ready. The process used to create these foundational curriculum design map documents has the following features:

  • All of the content is the product of classroom teachers who know the students and know the content.

  • Each vertical alignment curriculum team in both ELA and Math, to the extent possible, included a representative of each grade level (K-12) with direct experience teaching the grade level and content.

  • All documents were created as Microsoft Word documents to allow them to be edited as professional time allows.  Documents are not in any type of proprietary software with a recurring maintenance cost.

  • All documents submitted have been posted to the district website under a “Curriculum” tab which allows educators, families and community members to access them in a predictable place.

  • Professional staff not only can access a specific grade level but can also look at previous and future learning goals to better understand where each course fits into the learning progression.

  • The vertical team process attempts to reduce redundancies, identify gaps, make connections across grade levels and improve pK-12 sequencing.

Goals

The goals of the curriculum review and revision process are to:

  • Implement KSDE 5R Accreditation Model procedures, specifically in the Relevance area to improve curriculum alignment with Kansas College and Career Readiness Standards (KCCRS).

  • Communicate to all teachers in a particular grade or course what curriculum should be in professional development in Aug. 2015.

  • Communicate to educators, students and families what students will learn in each course with emphasis on vocabulary.

  • Focus on important, enduring understandings with essential questions which will provide the foundation and background for continued success.

  • Coach teachers to be accountable for delivering the intended curriculum to ensure consistency.

  • Eventually, teachers may add supplemental resources, common assessments and rubrics to benchmark student learning and generate data for teachers improve practice and consistency.

To Do

Responsibilities of teachers:

  • Access curriculum documents created by their peers from the district website.

  • Look at learning goals and alignment that precede and follow their grade or course assignment.

  • Continue in the dialogue to improve the accuracy and focus of the curriculum documents.

  • Identify areas where content may be co-taught, integrated, utilized, supplemented or reinforced across subject areas to support student learning. 

  • Identify and share instructional resources that are necessary to provide a rich and differentiated learning experience.

  • Implement content coverage reflected in new curriculum documents.http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/blog-curric_mattersv2.jpg