Ever since I began hearing about the Ohio Department of Education’s model curriculum for ELA, I have thought, ‘Teachers will never use that!’ Each grade level document is long with lots of words (not that we ELA people don’t love words, but what classroom teacher has the time to read all. those. words?), and I’m not sure classroom teachers have seen or will see the value in the model curriculum.
…..unless someone provides some very practical guidance in how to use it!
That’s my queue. *Clears throat*
I’m working on a giant task in which I am trying to combine the frameworks of Understanding by Design (Wiggins/McTighe), fulcrum/context/texture texts (Wessling), and Response to Intervention into creating units that are 1) based on learning targets, 2) scaffolded but still requiring grade-level reading complexity, 3) accessible to learners of all abilities, and 4) incorporate good instruction: text-dependent questions (Coleman and Frey/Fisher), close reading (Frey/Fisher, Gallagher, Shanahan), and appropriate pre-reading (Gallagher).
Whew! Huge undertaking.
In starting the work today, I found myself actually using the model curriculum. And I thought, why not share with people the practical, very real, very appropriate use of ODE’s model curriculum? So, here we go.
I started my work by selecting standards I would use in this giant unit. Let me bring you into my work with step 2 in which I make meaning of the standards I have chosen:
Step 2: Make meaning of those standards—Right now in my planning, I have chosen 5 standards that are conveniently written in language that does not give me a concrete image of what I need students to know and do. So…using one of the many strategies available, I want to break them down in to something I can actually imagine. Because I really like deconstructing using the Chappuis (2012) method, I’m going to do a little combining of the Chappuis method with the Wiggins/McTighe “Sideways Approach”
First, I used the deconstruction template [CH1] created by ORC to guide my thinking for each standard. As I went through each standard, I consulted the ODE ELA Model Curriculum to refine what it meant.
Example Standard: RL.7.3. Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
From here, I was able to begin deconstructing the standard with a better, more well-informed understanding:
So, the practical application here was using the model curriculum to 1) better understand the expectation of the standard, 2) plan appropriate instructional strategies, and 3) brainstorm some ways to move the ODE suggested instructional strategies toward more formative assessment.
The model curriculum is helpful!
[CH1]I was once asked by a teacher if it would be beneficial to just sit down and deconstruct all the standards at once. If I had a collection of deconstructions as I’m creating this right now, I could skip this step because I’d already have the work ready to pull and go.