Navigating to Successful Student Outcomes with Standards-…

standards, performance expectations that define mastery of the standards, and methods of assessing student mastery of those standards.

Practice Tip

Instructional Materials

A few things to keep in mind about instructional materials:

Instructional materials are publisher-created resources designed to help teachers teach and students learn the knowledge and skills required by the standards. The terms instructional materials and curriculum are often used interchangeably because, like a district curriculum, many instructional materials provide units of study, daily lesson plans, and assessments. Moreover, many teachers rely so heavily on their instructional materials that the materials become the de facto curriculum.

Instructional materials are most often created for a broad audience (either state or national) Materials created for a national audience may not align with the grade level standards in your state No “out of the box” material will ever follow the order of instruction prescribed by a district curriculum exactly.

However, it is important to keep in mind that publishers design instructional materials to support

educators across districts and even states. Thus, the units of study or pacing guide in an instructional material may not be aligned to every state’s standar ds or every district’s curriculum. For these reasons, teachers should use instructional materials to support the instruction prescribed by the district curriculum rather than as the curriculum. Working in concert, the district’s curriculum and instructio nal materials help teachers ensure that students receive the instruction they need to master state standards and progress to the next grade level.

Building a Culture of Standards Alignment

Building a culture of standards alignment will help ensure that everyone is working towards that shared goal. With a clear understanding of the distinction between the

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