I’m always comparing school and sports, and the school year is a very long, sometimes grueling season. There are things I think of doing during the school year that I know won’t get done until the summer, when the offseason starts and I have a chance to rest, recuperate, and focus on getting better for next year. I have three things in particular I want to accomplish that are getting me excited for the summer: Continue reading

What Bloom Would Say About My Curriculum

Now that the school year is coming to a close, I’m starting to reflect on the year as a whole, what I will keep the same and what I’ll change.  This year was a big step forward for me in terms of curriculum development.  I created a standards-based curriculum in which I analyzed the learning anchors and devised units that would allow students to learn them one or two at a time.  As I look back on how the curriculum played out this school year, I find myself asking the question, “What would Bloom say about my curriculum?” (“What Would Bloom Do?” bracelets patent-pending.) Continue reading

An In-Depth Look at the Year Outline

Year Outline

A couple weeks ago, I explained how I came to use the English Anchors as the “backbone” of my curriculum planning.  In this follow up post, I’m going to dig into the details of this outline and explain why and how I mapped it out as I did.  It isn’t totally finished, but it’s bound to change anyway over the course of the school year.  Even though I think it’s important to map out a curriculum, it has to be viewed as a living document. Continue reading

Curriculum Writing for English

Last year, I found out I was going to have a job as a full-time teacher two weeks before the school year started.  I outlined my curriculum as much as possible, but these outlining sessions didn’t produce more than a few pages of random notes. With the school year quickly approaching, I fell back on the few curricular staples I had: the books.  I ended up dividing the year into three HUGE units based around the three full-length books we would be reading: The House on Mango Street, Things Fall Apart, and Macbeth. The issue I found doing it this way was that each unit was so big and overwhelming (for both the students and myself) that they didn’t feel organized into any logical structure. Continue reading