Understanding curriculum immensely helps with the ability to adapt the curriculum to students needs. Assessing standards, creating assessments from the standards, developing a lesson, while considering students needs takes diligent effort but yields academic success. One of the most common weaknesses in curriculum is not using a variety of verbs in standards or learning targets. The greater the variety of verbs will help create a variety of assessments, which can be utilized in adapting to learning styles. Ainsworth (2010) mentions “unwrapping,” standards, which can help formation of lessons and assessments.
Meeting standards via lessons-
Standards were created as guidelines to challenge students at appropriate levels and to ensure students are meeting expectations. The purpose of lessons is to meet standards and benchmarks to ensure students are reaching their learning capabilities. If students cannot reach those standards teachers need to reassess lesson plans and the plan for individual student achievement. “Writing a detailed plan is also worth doing because it gives the educator clarity of thought about what to teach, how to teach it, and which students need a different approach to ensure their learning (Ainsworth, 2010).” Clarity in lessons will not only help a teacher conduct a smooth running class but it will help students understanding of lesson target learning outcomes.
Creating learning target to meet students needs-
Learning targets are imperative to help make the connection between academic language used in standards and benchmarks to the language students will understand. Educators need to make learning targets clear and available for the students to access any time. Learning targets being available visually, verbally, or both helps students understand goals and objectives of the lessons. Also learning targets are helpful for teacher adapting language to their audience.
Writing and implement lessons where students are actively engaged in the learning
Ainsworth (2010) suggest some key components for ensuring students are actively engaged in the classroom:
-Authentic (genuine, valid, real)
-Relevant to life situations and contexts • Interdisciplinary (as distinguished from “thematic”)
-Use embedded informational technologies
-Highly motivational, not routine
-Mentally stimulating, thought-provoking
-Incorporate the full spectrum of thinking-skill rigor, especially: reasoning, application, analysis, synthesis, creativity, self-assessment, and reflection
-Include both collaborative and individual work
Utilizing these methods proves to be effective in engagement and academic achievement. Methods can be used both in assessment or classroom practice. To assist in producing metacognitive activities teachers in Physical Education classes can relate most information to student’s personal lives. Articles summaries, video analysis, and performance analysis, leadership activities can all lead to a higher sense of engagement.
Differentiating for my learners, and meeting learning targets-
To assist students in meeting daily learning targets teachers need to implement a variety of learning strategies. Demonstrations and verbal/written explanations are the best way to reach all students with different learning styles. With informal and formal assessments altering to be fair for students obtaining the learning target.
Reflection and collaboration-
Modification of lessons is key in adapting to students needs. The most important time to modify a lesson is directly after teaching the lesson. Taking not on what worked and didn’t work will assist in evolving the lesson to be perfect in the future. Reaching out to colleagues is a great resource to prefect lessons as well. For example, chemistry teachers can assist in development of Physical Education lesson due to the overlap in curriculum. Collaboration can spark new ideas for assessments and teaching methods.
Ainsworth, Larry (2011-04-16). Rigorous Curriculum Design: How to Create Curricular Units of Study that Align Standards, Instruction, and Assessment (Kindle Location 2531). Lead + Learn Press. Kindle Edition.