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Challenges Met Lessons Learned. Shaler Area School District Shannon Howard, Assistant High School Principal Anne Frazier, Department Co-Chair Kate Elder , Department Co-Chair Heather Tomko, Teacher. Shaler Area High School. Background information. Shaler Area School District.

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challenges met lessons learned

Challenges MetLessons Learned

Shaler Area School District

Shannon Howard, Assistant High School Principal

Anne Frazier, Department Co-Chair

Kate Elder , Department Co-Chair

Heather Tomko, Teacher

shaler area school district
Shaler Area School District
  • Shaler Area School District is a suburban public school district serving students from Etna, Millvale, Reserve, and Shaler
  • 5 Primary Buildings (K-3)
  • 1 Elementary School (4-6)
  • 1 Middle School (7-8)
  • 1 High School (9-12)
  • 5027 students in district
challenges
Challenges
  • Horizontal and Vertical Alignment, especially between buildings
  • Merging the curriculum document (as it was) with the format used with the Curriculum Mapper
  • The “blank page”
  • Time
why a template
Why a Template?
  • Wanted a graphic organizer to help with information gathering (visual learner, linear process spiral thinker)
  • Only certain members of the department were working on the mapping process
  • Everyone’s input needed for building units in courses
  • We needed a way to have all information for input in hand for each meeting
design
Design
  • Includes major components of each course unit in EdInsight:
how we used it
How We Used It
  • Gave a copy of the template to each member of the department
  • Each individual teacher outlined major units taught in each course
  • Grade level teams collaborated on changes to common units
  • Input team used completed templates to map courses
benefits of using the template
Benefits of Using the Template
  • Forced conversation about course structure
    • Common units = horizontal alignment
    • Essential skills to be taught v. unessential = helped grade level teams see where we were focusing instruction and time
    • Complete revision of CP 10 World Literature
    • Assessments  formative v. summative
  • Helped input team work more efficiently
our experience with curriculum mapping
Our Experience with Curriculum Mapping
  • Used already established baseline curriculum, so it was an easier process for our group and a logical starting point for the high school.
    • Common mid-term & Final
    • Common novel units
  • Forced us to standardize grammar concepts which we weren’t previously doing
    • Subject/Verb agreement
    • Apostrophes
  • Used the template to guide us through the process.
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Establish a common departmental vocabulary for mapping process (i.e., EdInsight input categories).
  • Establish common goals for department and grade levels (i.e., horizontal and vertical alignment).
  • Spend more time in the early stages making department-wide decisions and gathering information
    • input doesn’t take as long if process and goals are clear.
  • Realize this may not be a quick process, but it is extremely valuable!