What to Look for in a New Curriculum

This upcoming school year, our school will be looking at adopting a new high school ELA curriculum.  I have a very limited background when it comes to school districts and their adoption or development of curriculums.  I have seen many documents online as I have done my own research for my own, which was based solely on the incorporation of the state standards, researched-based strategies, and strong texts.

I have been through several textbook series and curriculum support presentations in my career, and this summer would be no different.  Before the presentations began, I sat down and made a list of all the features I would want the ideal ELA curriculum to have:

  • Standard-based lessons and activities
  • Reading, Speaking, Listening activities
  • Close Reading
  • A strong writing program
    • Synthesizing information presented into a product
    • “Beyond-the-text” assignments
    • MLA/APA/Citations/Plagiarism support
    • How to do research – online and in libraries
  • Rubrics
  • The text selection would be both rigor-appropriate, but also high interest
  • Technology & multimedia must be incorporated
  • Digital copies of the texts for the students and teachers
  • Differentiated options
  • Support for ELL/ESL students
  • A user-friendly interface
  • Support for teachers (professional development, customer service support)
  • Options for teachers to customize the content/assessments/assignments

Educator Question of the Day: What other features do you look for in a new curriculum?

August Goals

It took me awhile to come up with my goals for August because I knew that despite the roll I was on, both planning and reading-wise, my schedule would be changing quite a bit.  It would be unrealistic for me to expect to maintain either levels of productivity.  With that being said, I was able to come up with three goals for the three major areas of my life.  I really did take the time to ensure that they were S.M.A.R.T. goals, which isn’t something I always do.

smart-goal-photo2

Reading Goals for August:

1.  Read daily for a minimum of either 30 minutes or 50 pages.

2.  Complete five full novels – (20 nonfiction articles = 1 novel).

3.  Write a review for each of the novels (nonfiction article sets) I complete.

4.  BONUS: Daily, read two articles my friends/colleagues share with me (either via email or Facebook).

Professional Goals for August:

1.  Convert my text notes from the previous year into Evernote.

2.  Create departmental meeting documents

  • Individual Meeting Form
  • Monthly Meeting Agenda (department-specific)
  • Create individual meeting schedule for the 1st quarter

3.  Create a database of articles to read for our PLC time

Personal Goals for August:

1.  Create weekly dinner menus the week in advance – preferably by Sunday.

2.  Create weekly shopping list based upon the menu created.

3.  Find an outside bookclub to attend

  • Meetup.com
  • Local libraries
  • Barnes and Noble(?)

4.  BONUS: Family Budget

  • Update budget daily – easily done on Quickens
  • Create and maintain a travel budget/savings

July 2015 Wrap Up

Highlights of the Month

Top Posts

Top 5 Posts of July:

5.  What is Your Reading Style?

4.  Analyzing Fiction and Nonfiction Strategies

3.  How to Begin your PrePlanning

2.  Planning Tools

1.  The Reading I Didn’t Do and Classroom Bootcamp 

Books I’ve Read:

Classroom FYI: