HOW TO ALIGN Arts Curriculum to BENEFIT Student Achievement and Social/Emotional Wellness?


Why is Curriculum Alignment Important?

The guaranteed and viable curriculum is important for students so that all students have the opportunity to achieve at the same level and be prepared for the next steps of their education. Learning should not be dependent on which teacher you get, and all students must be exposed to the same content and skills. Students must be assessed periodically to determine whether they have reached the intended level of mastery.  These assessments should be identical for all students, and they should know what the expectations are and how they will be evaluated. Reflecting on assessment results offers the opportunity to modify the curriculum and identify students who need intervention through remediation or enhancement. If the results of the testing show gaps, both the curriculum map and instruction can be adjusted.

Using a guaranteed curriculum helps to assess the level of instruction from analyzing the outcomes. There needs to be as much certainty as possible to be sure students have the opportunity to learn what they need to learn to achieve and be prepared for the next level.  In summary, all students must have experience and exposure to the same content. The arts need this alignment as they don’t follow a standard procedure or text and are often performance oriented. That is not an excuse for not having a plan.

INSTRUCTION IS EVERYTHING!

TAKE AWAY TIPS :

  • ANALYZE STATE AND NATIONAL CONTENT STANDARDS
  • ASK ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS AND DETERMINE OUTCOMES
  • CREATE VIABLE CURRICULUM MAP
  • CURRICULUM MAP MUST BE ATTAINABLE IN TIME FRAME
  • ALIGN CURRICULUM FOR EACH GRADE LEVEL AT EACH SCHOOL SO CONTENT MATCHES.
  • TEACHERS MUST WORK IN TEAMS   –  PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
  • HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL ALIGNMENT OF CURRICULUM
  • MENTORS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COACH TO WORK WITH TEAMS  INTRA and INTER-SCHOOL
  • CREATE THINKING ASSESSMENTS TO ENHANCE ALL LEARNING SKILLS FOR THE ARTS AND ACADEMICS
  • COLLECT, REVIEW AND ANALYZE DATA
  • TWEAK CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENTS

STEPS TO CURRICULUM ALIGNMENT:

  • ANALYZE AND EVALUATE WHAT IS IN PLACE.
  • OBSERVE CLASSES IN ALL SCHOOLS.
  • ALIGNED WITH CURRENT STATE AND/OR NATIONAL STANDARDS?
  • PACING GUIDE? REALISTIC? WHAT IS REALISTIC?
  • COLLECT DATA. TWEAK AND FINE TUNE CURRICULUM MAP.
  • PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES? EFFECTIVE?
  • AFTER REVIEW, DETERMINE WHAT YOU WANT STUDENTS TO KNOW AND BE ABLE TO DO.
  • ASSESSMENTS. ALL ARTS COURSES MUST HAVE APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENTS TO FULFILL THE CURRICULUM.

This process sounds pretty easy, not too complicated, yet it is not happening in a organized way in a lot of school districts. Teachers still implement curriculum as they see fit. They may do minimal teaching to the map. The why of this fact I think you know. The reason not to do this anymore has been explained. Instruction is paramount. We as educators must insure that all students are receiving a quality education, the same quality education. Implementation of what students need to know and be able to do can be more complex. Teachers can personalize here. Professional development to show teachers how to create student-centered classrooms with differentiated learning can happen. Teachers need help to  get there.

WHAT IS THE “HELP?”

  • Strong, well-aligned Curriculum Map.
  • Possibilities for differentiated learning using technology in the classroom.
  • Emphasis on small groups and team work. (COLLABORATION)
  • Communication through blogs, wikis and even chat. (PHONES ARE OK!)
  • Projects and essential questions as a regular part of work for writing, discussion and commentary. (Critical Thinking)
  • Relationships of academics to arts. Use the hands-on nature of the arts for fostering creativity, problem solving and critical thinking, communication and collaboration.  IT IS NOT ARTS AND CRAFTS!
  • Schools need more teachers on special assignment to aid in curriculum implementation that is integrated.
  • Schools need more teachers on special assignment to aid in the evolving use of technology.
  • Teachers need to open their minds and begin to participate more in Professional Learning Communities to learn from their colleagues and benefit the needs of students. Modeling will help with this aspect.

By using a guaranteed curriculum, it helps to assess the level of instruction from analyzing the outcomes. There needs to be as much certainty as possible to be sure students have the opportunity to learn what they need to learn to achieve and be prepared for the next level.  In summary, all students must have experience and exposure to the same content.

This post is just a framework. Anything that involves real live people takes some finesse and sensitivity. The key must-have here is the need for aligned curriculum. While this process is being done, the addition of integrated components can be accomplished.

I encourage your comments and feedback. We need to learn from each other to make the outcomes the best possible for the students.

Categories: 21st Century Education, Arts Integrated Education, creativity, critical thinking, Education reform, extrinsic reward, Innovation, intrinsic reward, mastery, motivation, self-esteem, social/emotional wellness, STEAM, STEM education, storytelling, student blog, technology in the classroom, Uncategorized, web 2.0 for classroom, write to express

2 comments

  1. Hello-
    Are you still in Colorado? I have been presenting workshops on arts integration since 2005, and have recently developed a new workshop that shows teachers how to create performance assessments that align to the new CCSS. I’d love to collaborate with you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 513 other followers

%d bloggers like this: