The Association for the Supervision and Development of Curriculum (ASCD) is the premier organization for curriculum designers and instructional leaders. ASCD produces stellar professional development, hosts conferences that allow you to network with others, and publish leading books and magazines about instructional theories and practices. If you are not a member, join.
High-stakes accountability is here to stay, but this book delineates how to align what you teach to what will be tested. English offers a pragmatic approach to the work that has to be done, and he does it without edu-speak. You get plain language and simple advice, but really, that’s what it takes to meet high standards.
This book is a must read for any one writing curriculum because it addresses the need for vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment. Interestingly, it’s also the one curriculum I always see in superintendents’ offices. I think they might be on to something!
Curriculum planning is never complete because it follows a cyclical process. Even a well-established curriculum must be fined tuned, and this book provides the foundational guidelines that must be present in any well-planned curriculum. If you didn’t learn how to write learning objectives, Basic Principles has you covered. This is a great read for alternative certification teachers.
Asking the right questions — and letting students answer them — is critical to academic success. You may be tempted to ask simple yes/no questions and move on through the curriculum, but instead, focus on these EQs - essential questions for critical thinking.
UBD, as its been lovingly called, is a logical approach to curriculum design that appears based on a Covey or Fenwick English tenet — begin with the end in mind. If you know what the final outcome is supposed to be, you can then back build your scope and sequences to take students to where they should be academically.
If you read Understanding by Design and want to implement some of the concepts but find the thought of starting form scratch overwhelming, use this workbook of templates to get you on your way. Having ready-made templates saves you time so that you can get to the real work at hand — designing and delivering outstanding instruction.
Designing curriculum must take into consideration what your students are naturally good at rather than a very traditional and canned curriculum. The best curriculum reveals your talents, and the days of teaching a prescribed curriculum must be gone. Instead, the curriculum you teach should open up a world of possibility to students, not hold them back.