Sunday, May 19, 2013

Algebra 1: Scope and Sequence

My district has sent teachers (myself included) from the math departments at each of our schools with a list of priorities surrounding the adaptation of CCSS. The first few workshops (a total of 6 school days) were centered arround deconstructing the standards. As it turns out, our district ended up purchasing deconstructed standards from a third party rather than using the standards our sites had worked on throughout the year. Last month, I attended my second workshop regarding the Common Core where we made plans to meet this summer and begin designing scope and sequence documents for implementation next year. Although I won't be able to attend these summer meetings due to vacations, I have still been researching constantly regarding scope and sequence documents built by other schools, states, districts, or third party companies. It would be nice if rather than having teachers spinning their wheels (again) trying to develop scope and sequence from scratch only to have it purchased after the fact, my district simply adapted some of these pre-written documents available on line. The differences between what we do now and what we could be doing are striking and I thought I would take some time to compare them.

My calendar this year:

The thing that strikes me most about this plan is the amount of time wasted re-teaching material these students have "seen" (although usually not learned) for years. What a terrible tone to set as to the value of the curriculum.

Now, compare this calendar to a suggested calendar I found at another blog here. This scope and sequence seems much more focused on a core set of goals (linear equations in the first semester and polynomials and quadratics in the second). The best part of this new scope and sequence is the cohesion. Almost the entire year can be summed up and wrapped up with the common thread of function knowledge.

With the PARCC assessment looming, it seems likely that we will make a curricular shift away from "mile wide inch deep" and towards "2640 feet wide 2 inches deep" which is an exciting idea for this dissatisfied first year teacher.

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