Developing Curriculum

Graded’s written curriculum is based on adopted standards for each subject area. The “Core” Curriculum Maps are public documents in Atlas Rubicon. They contain:

Philosophy: statements of beliefs about the way learners acquire the skills, knowledge, and understanding in the various subject disciplines

Curriculum Overviews or Course Descriptions: a summary of the key learning for a particular grade level or course

Scope and Sequence: maps of units

Essential Questions: the open ended key questions that students will work towards answering throughout the unit

“Power” Standards: broad statements of learning for the subject disciplines

“Power” Assessments (Benchmarks): performance expectations for each grade level or course

Key Resources and Activities: the cornerstone resources and activities that all students will have experience with and be exposed to in the course

Teacher “Personal” Maps are derived from the “Core” Maps but contain all of the activities and resources that maybe only a particular class or group of students my experience, in other words, the things within the curriculum that teachers have a choice on – the “how”. These maps are not public but are also housed in Rubicon.

Curriculum Development 

Graded’s Curriculum is standards based and has been adapted from internationally recognized standards from the USA and other countries and schools around the world. It is continuously reviewed so that it is relevant, aligned, challenging, and dynamic and also to ensure that it is based on current best practices.

Our curriculum development process entails an annual review of particular subjects and programs. The review process includes evaluating current practices and resources, reviewing the subject/program philosophy statement, reviewing standards for best alignment, identifying best teaching and assessment practices, and planning for professional development and supporting resources.

Planning 

Planning is considered an essential aspect of teaching and learning at Graded. Teachers design engaging, relevant, and challenging units of study that are continuously renewed to ensure that they are reaching all learners and their diverse needs.

Curriculum Roles and Responsibilities 

Curriculum development and implementation is the shared responsibility of faculty, Teaching and Learning staff, and the Leadership Team. The Director of Teaching and Learning works closely with the coaches, faculty, and principals to ensure that the curriculum supports our mission and Core Values, reflects latest research, and is continuously developed.

Teachers:

  • Plan units collaboratively as a grade level/department and with other specialists
  • Provide students with the big ideas and learning goals, assessment criteria, rubrics and exemplars where appropriate
  • Provide continuous feedback to students on their learning
  • Communicate with parents
  • Suggest major changes to curriculum to teaching and learning staff through the review process
  • Develop and implement all essential agreements
  • Identify and seek opportunities to grow professionally that align with Graded’s Mission and Core Values

Grade Level/Department/Vertical Teams:

  • Develop and implement essential agreements based on research and “best practice”
  • Implement the aspects of curriculum to ensure consistency across all grade levels
  • Review student work and evaluate it against commonly developed and agreed upon expectations
  • Make suggestions and give constructive feedback to Teaching and Learning staff and colleagues
  • Manage the collection of work samples, models, assessments

Teaching and Learning Staff (Instructional Coaches, Librarians, Director):

  • Inspire curricular improvement across all disciplines
  • Provide leadership for thoughtful and inclusive curricular decision making
  • Provide support and resources for improvements to the program
  • Define the formats to be used in documenting and communicating curriculum
  • Serve as a catalyst for the professional learning of all teachers
  • Facilitate and plan professional development

Principals:

  • Ensure a structure and a process exists to promote and support on-going curriculum alignment and improvement
  • Ensure the integrity of essential agreements
  • Facilitate the growth of the professional development program
  • Provide leadership and support
  • Encourage innovation and risk-taking

Director

  • Ensure that inspiring and inclusive curricular development is a continuous process
  • Advocate for curricular development and improvement within the community
  • Provide resources to allow for continual reflection and collaboration

Resources

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Verbs

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