A Guaranteed, Equitable, Viable Curriculum—A Scope and Sequence Map
So many standards, so little time. Every teacher knows this feeling. With that being said, teachers must be purposeful when planning out their scope and sequence for the year. Sounds easy, right?!? Most teachers would agree that it’s just not that easy. Thankfully, after building a guaranteed, equitable, viable curriculum map that scaffolds standards appropriately, we finally feel like we have a scope and sequence that will ensure standards are taught in a sequential flow.
A guaranteed and viable curriculum ensures that all students have an equal opportunity to learn. Each student will have access to an effective or highly effective teacher and access to the same content, knowledge, and skills.
What is a guaranteed curriculum?
Every student is provided the opportunity to learn a core curriculum which provides them with the highest probability of success in school.
What is a viable curriculum?
Schools make sure that the necessary time is available and protected so students will be able to learn the guaranteed curriculum within the time frames available during the academic year (not rushed and covered).
Creating a horizontal sequence of what needs to be learned across individual grade levels or subjects as well as a vertical sequence from grade level to grade level or from subject to subject is necessary if one wants to build cohesion in what and how we teach.
Providing teachers with a correlation to the standards and assessments is an attempt to assure students are as well prepared as possible. To understand that there are differences in the standards is necessary. Knowing the differences between priority standards verses supporting standards will help to define the direction you want to have curriculum planning go. In other words, what is the prerequisite information that you want students to have prior to learning new skills or information?
Other factors to consider:
Districts and schools have “non-negotiables” built into their yearly delivery of instruction. These are the things that you cannot change. For example, standardized testing takes up a “chunk of time” in the school year where there will be less time to teach new material. These tests examine what students have learned. Our sequence map factors in review time because teachers feel it is necessary so that students are prepared for standardized tests.
Another factor when considering the building of an appropriate scope and sequence map is that when students return to school after being away, “a summer slide” occurs. These are just two examples of items out of our immediate control that impact the new learning that can actually take place.
Who is responsible for the development of an appropriate curriculum map?
Teachers and administrators who understand the necessary components that will impact learning and have an understanding of how to build capacity and fidelity about how we learn need to be a part of our ongoing discussion. The journey is not complete for us. We are on the journey but want to share what our discoveries are thus far. Creating a curriculum framework that is practical and can be easily adapted to your requirements is what we want to share as you think about a scope and sequence map that includes a guaranteed, equitable, viable curriculum.