Curriculum/Instruction

A comprehensive picture of effective curriculum that addresses three essential areas:
 
Content-Instruction-Assessment


Content - What to teach
 
Instruction - How to teach 

Assessment - How do we know
 







ContentIn 2007, Iowa passed state mandated standards in the areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and the 21st Century Skills of Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, Civic Literacy, Technology Literacy, and Employability Skills. The national Common Core in Literacy and Mathematics was then adopted in 2010 retaining some of the Iowa Core content that was not included in the Common Core. These sets of content standards guide a large majority of our curriculum K-12. In the fine arts, and other specialized courses within secondary grade levels in particular we also refer to other state, national and industry standards. 


InstructionThere are five characteristics of effective instruction identified by the Iowa Core Curriculum as forming the foundation of classroom instruction. These are not exclusive of one another, but instead compliment instruction as a whole. The characteristics include: Teaching for Understanding, Assessment for Learning, Rigor and Relevance, Student Centered Classrooms, and Teaching for Learner Differences. Two other aspects of instruction that have a strong emphasis in our classrooms are Concept Based Instruction, and Inquiry Based Classrooms. 


Assessment"Assessment is, in part, the process of gathering evidence of student learning to inform instructional decisions. Local district assessment systems promote student success when they help to inform decisions that both support and verify learning; that is, when the system is designed to serve both formative and summative purposes across all relevant levels of assessment use". (Chappuis, Commodore, and Stiggins, 2010) Assessments FOR learning as well as assessments OF learning must be planned for as classroom systems of assessment are developed.


Chappuis, Commodore, and Stiggins. Assessment Balance and Quality: An Action Guide for School Leaders. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. Print.

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