Teacher strand

In this suite of sessions, your teacher teams—made up of representatives from a given K–12 core content area and organized by content areas and grade-level bands—first engage in the foundational work of gaining a common depth of understanding and fluency with the standards. They then build on this knowledge to develop a District Curriculum Framework that guides the instruction delivered in every classroom in every school in the district.

Building the Foundation for an Aligned Standards-Based Instructional Program

Study the Standards

In this session (also listed in the leadership strand), representative teachers and leaders will work toward a deep level of understanding of the purpose, intent, depth, and clarity of the standards. This session is also designed to foster among teachers and leaders a sense of urgency and a commitment to engaging in an ongoing study of the standards on campuses and throughout the district.

Teachers and leaders will practice using tools to explore the horizontal and vertical alignment of the standards. These tools can be leveraged among groups of teachers to build a common understanding of the standards and to strengthen system-wide capacity for continuing study of—and alignment of the instructional program to—the standards. (One day for a cohort of up to 40 participants)

Extending Our Study: Professional Teaching Model

Teachers in representative teams will study the standards to develop their understanding of the vertical and horizontal alignment of the student expectations and to plan lessons that address implications for classroom practice. This study and lesson development will focus on areas within the standards in which content shifts significantly and for which there are potential challenges to classroom implementation.

By using diagnostic, goal-setting, mapping, and monitoring tools, these teachers will initiate or strengthen professional learning communities among their colleagues. (Five days per team throughout the school year; 3 grade-banded teams for a total of 15 days)

District Curriculum Framework: Development, Implementation, and Refinement

Following this study of the standards, the teacher teams will work with Dana Center staff using a coherent set of protocols to engage in a process to develop, implement, and refine a District Curriculum Framework. This Framework, which can be used to develop and study classroom lessons, includes

Scope and Sequence

Through collaborative processes, representative teachers, divided into grade-banded groups particular to content, will parse the standards into a document that outlines the relevant standards taught within units of study (organized by quarter).

The resulting document—and the processes learned—will provide a foundation for continued work by teacher teams to design units of study and create common lessons, and a platform from which to build a system-wide commitment to implementing the standards. (Two days per team; 3 grade-banded teams for a total of 6 days)

Units of Study

Representative teachers in the identified grade levels will develop Units of Study (by quarter) aligned to the standards identified in the Scope and Sequence document. These units will include an overview of the unit (total number of days, student learning expectations for both the content and the processes to be learned, and essential questions the students should be able to answer by the end of the unit) and a clarification of the standards within a vertically aligned instructional program. (Two days per team; 3 grade-banded teams for each of 4 quarters for a total of 24 days)

Implementation

In this phase, teacher team members and their colleagues draw on the processes they learned during the Scope and Sequence and Units of Study work, to engage as independent teams to

    • study the Units of Study collaboratively,
    • plan common lessons, and
    • document any revisions/refinements necessary in the Units of Study.

Instructional Materials Analysis & Selection

Representative teachers will engage in and learn a process for examining available instructional materials through the lens of the standards. This vetting of resources will provide viable options to bolster the District Curriculum Framework with aligned supporting resources. (One day for representatives from any core content area)

Curriculum Framework Refinement

In this phase, representative teachers will implement the refinements necessary to strengthen the District Curriculum Framework.

Participants will analyze the documentation they gathered through the collaborative process of implementing the curriculum framework, reflect on how well the framework aligns vertically and horizontally to the standards, and determine which refinements will strengthen the framework. (Two days for representatives from each of the 3 teacher teams, for a total of 6 days)