Saturday, February 14, 2015

2/3 Down and Looking Ahead

Greetings Science Curriculum Fans!  Well, we are two thirds done with curriculum writing this year.   I think we are getting a little better each time.  How do I know?  During the reviews, we give each table a composition book to record suggested changes or concerns they have.  The number of comments drastically dropped between  the first review and second.  Not a scientific study but a point of data nonetheless.

As often happens, a discussion with the field test teachers led to an inspired project for me.  Each of the major curriculum offices create their own implementation calendars.  Mine is a suggested sequence by unit.  The reading office has their calendar by week.  The idea that came about was a combined calendar showing all the curriculum at once.  

I am still gathering input on the layout, but it has been met with a lot of interest from the few teachers who have seen the draft.

Moving ahead, I prepare for curriculum writing this summer.  As stated earlier (A Five Year Mission),  this summer we start work on grades three through five.  This summer will be a little different.  I started with teams of five teachers working on one unit.  That was a little ungainly and presented a curriculum draft with lots of voices to sort out and homogenize.  This summer the teams will be smaller with only three writers per unit.  Also, I solicited middle school science teachers and Gateway to Technology teachers.  As I look at the performance expectations, much of the content at grades four and five is currently taught in middle school.  Whats more, I really want the insights that the Gateway to Technology teachers bring.  They manage engineering projects with students everyday.  That kind of pedagogical knowledge will be worth its weight in gold.  

Stay tuned. Over the next few weeks.  I will give you some ideas about the storylines we are planning for this summer.  Here are a few hints: