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?

September: Currently

I’m totally crashing another blog’s vibe on this post, but I absolutely love it!  Thank you Elise Blaha Cripe @ enJoy it


working on designing my crafting workspace in my office.  I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from crafting blogs and Pinterest lately.  It’s made me want to redefine my office as more than just one where work is completed.

reading The Scarlet Letter and soon Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk







feeling grateful that my best friend from home is here visiting!  Today we are planning a great day out, starting with a trip to the beach to watch the sunrise.

loving that I’ve been able to get my planning and resources completed a whole week in advance.

knowing that the weather is changing and sweater weather is right around the corner!!!

planning a field trip for my students to see “The Nutcracker” in December.



Genius Hour Presentation and a Change in Plans

I have been spending the day preparing my introduction to my version of #GeniusHour, Project Genius Nerdfighters.  This was my first attempt at creating a Prezi presentation, and I must say that I’m quite proud of myself.  The more I use the website, the fewer hours it should take me to create the presentations.

Please click on the picture below to be taken to the presentation.

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 4.29.02 PM

A HUGE shout-out to Crystal @stbmt374 and Rhoni @rhonimcfarlane for their inspirational presentations that helped me to create my own project.

In other news…

In the middle of my Prezi development, I received a phone call from the administration at our school with the news that our 11th grade ELA teacher had resigned and the position would be available to me if I would be willing to take over.  I only had to think about it momentarily and gleefully accepted!  I will be teaching 11th grade English, AP Language Arts, and one section of Intensive Reading.  Thankfully I can still use my planning board, but just exchange out titles.