Curriculum ClarityFor over a year, I have been privileged to work with a group of grade one teachers and representatives from the department of education. We have been endeavoring to distill the hundreds of curriculum objectives for grade one into a clearer format. We chose to work with the language arts curriculum. All of us in the group had taught grade one for several years, and we knew where we wanted our students to be by the end of the year, but we wanted a clearer focus about where our students should be throughout the year, particularly at the reporting periods. Also, while we all felt confident assessing reading and writing, we felt less comfortable with areas such as viewing and representing. After much discussion, it was decided to use rubrics to help to clarify our thinking. With much sweat and rewording (and rewording and rewording) we have struggled through the curriculum. After each time we met together, we would take the rubrics back to our classroom and match them up against what was happening there. Then we would go back and do some more rewording. When we met together this time, we continued work an assessment piece that would match the rubric. There is just a bit of rewording left to do (we hope).
This experience has been some of the best professional development I have ever had. It has given me much more confidence in my knowledge of the curriculum and the way that I deliver it in my classroom. Those 659 objectives just might be attainable after all.