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Sunday, July 08, 2018

Reading and Research: Updating the Curriculum Program

Summer reading and research moves educators to update their curriculum programs. You can't teach more of the same after you've read about new studies and ideas that will positively impact your students and the way you teach.

Yet, we don't work in silos, so any changes we make will impact our colleagues and the school in general so it's best to read and research in ways that focus on the the common goals of a system and school as well as your own individual goals.

My goal set for the year ahead is in line with the system's goals which are, in part, to uplift academic achievement and embed greater social emotional learning (SEL). The reading I've selected to do this summer supports these goals and what I can do on my own and with my grade-level team to meet this challenge.

As I think about the reading and research I've done to date, I recognize that I'll have to be very deliberate with the way I schedule and use time. To add new teaching/learning means that I have to make room for that and it also means that I need to synthesize the new with the old or simply replace the old with new activities and endeavor.

To do this, I'll focus heavily on my three areas of effort including math education, STEAM events, and SEL. Whenever possible I'll integrate the three areas of focus together into worthy project/problem based learning events, and when that's not possible, I'll carve out time for this learning each week.

My colleagues and I will need to address this as we work out the schedule together and with the greater team. We will have to answer questions such as these:

  • When can we create time for SEL and how can that be integrated into each of our areas of leadership and teaching?
  • Where can we embed SEL into our current teaching by updating, revising, and enriching existing efforts?
  • Where do students' IEPs and 504s demonstrate need and support for greater SEL and/or other specific skills and how can we schedule well so that children receive the supports they are entitled too?
  • During the first six weeks of school, how will we coordinate our efforts to build a dynamic grade-level learning community--what will we do on our own and what will we do together?