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Curriculum is a Roadmap

“Curriculum” is discussed on a daily basis in conversations within schools among administrators, teachers, support staff, and outside stakeholders. Strangely enough, it is a term that carries fundamental misconceptions that make those conversations difficult. Unless everyone involved in the conversation has the same definition for curriculum, what is said and what is heard are often very different.Read More

Book Briefing: The Other Side of the Report Card

In honor of School Library Month, this E-Hint is inspired by a new book: The Other Side of the Report Card: Assessing Students’ Social, Emotional, and Character Development by Maurice Elias, Joseph Ferrito and Dominic Moceri (2016). As curriculum developers, we know that academic learning should be thoughtfully planned, and that instruction and assessment should be carefully aligned to standards. However, we may occasionally ask ourselves, “What about the other aspects of development, for example, self-management and social awareness?Read More

CLI Checklist for Administrators

Sometimes administrators are unable to serve as members of the Curriculum Coordinating Council or Subject Area Committees. In these cases it is important to remember that their assistance in the curriculum development process is essential. The following checklist details what all administrators should be doing within each year of the CLI Model.Read More

How Can School Officials Respond to Critics of the CCSS?

Many school district educators are now asked challenging questions about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Much political debate centers on whether the CCSS should be supported or discarded. Perhaps some of the debate is due to a fundamental misunderstanding of what the CCSS actually are. One school district representative recently asked, “What do we say to folks who challenge what we are doing because they don’t like the CCSS?” Here are some suggestions.Read More

Learning Object Repositories as Classroom Resources

On the horizon for educators is a new resource just now beginning to take shape in some states. If you have not yet heard about “content repositories” or “Learning Object Repositories,” consider this E-hint your first introduction to a new kind of digital library. A Learning Object Repository is an idea birthed, in part, from the use of various software designed for online learning, each of which is referred to as a “Learning Content Management System,” or LCMS for short.Read More

Subcommittees for the Subject Area Committees

When subject area committees (SACs) convene to write curriculum, they quickly recognize there are many responsibilities involved with this phase of the process. In an effort to organize and manage the multiple tasks involved, a SAC may decide to make use of subcommittees. Ideally, a SAC has a teacher representative for each grade level/course of the target subject; however, a subcommittee can function well as long as there is a …Read More

Traditional Math Courses vs Integrated Math Courses: How to Decide?

The Common Core State Standards for Math (CCSS) are arranged by specific grade levels in kindergarten through eighth grade. Although the standards are divided into specific strands at the high school level (geometry, algebra, etc.), they are listed as appropriate for ninth through twelfth grade students without designation as to which standards are to be included for each grade. This structure allows school districts to make individual decisions about how …Read More

Questions that Arise When Aligning with the Common Core State Standards

Districts across the nation are in the process of incorporating the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) into their local curriculums. Unlike past sets of “grade-banded” state standards that required districts to decide the grade level where a skill will be taught within a given group of grades (i.e. K-2, 3-5, 6-8), the CCSS identifies a specific grade for placement of each skill. However, even though the question of where the …Read More