Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Curriculum squish

While the goal of multiple standards is to create a strong knowledge, skill, and concept foundation for all learners in a manageable way, curriculum squish continues--why?

If we were to teach the standards alone in bland ways, we probably wouldn't face the challenge of fitting it all in that we face, but the fact that we want to teach these standards in deep and meaningful ways creates squish. When we promote collaborative study, project based learning, field studies, expert visitors, STEAM, and more, we lengthen the time it takes to study the standards with depth and breadth, and this added time creates the challenges we face with fitting it all in.

This time-depth tension is not all bad, but can be stressful as you face pressure from some areas of school life. So how do you deal with this?

It's a matter of give and take. If you give science a bit more time one week, you might give math a little more time the week after that. Yet if your team needs some conflict resolution talk, community building, and other social-emotional focus, you may need to make time for that. Teaching is a dance--there's no one way to do it well and every year is different because your students are different and the world around you is a bit different too.

In general, I like to keep a schedule of events a few months ahead in order to make sure we fit in all the teaching goals. While we may behind with some concepts, the schedule shows how we'll catch up in time so that by the end-of-year tests we'll have taught all the standards with the best depth and breadth we can provide. Onward.