The goal of preparing all students to progress to the next grade level may sound routine but in reality, it requires herculean effort by teachers and campus and district leaders. Building a culture of standards alignment will ensure that everyone is rowing in the same direction for the next school year. If your campus or district does not have a culture of standards alignment, use these questions to build the infrastructure necessary to support one.
Identifying Instructional Materials to Use
Most campuses provide teachers with multiple instructional materials to use for each course. With limited planning time, one of the biggest challenges teachers face, is selecting the best resource(s) to support their lessons. If districts have the capacity, mapping the materials to the district curriculum will lighten teacher workloads, facilitate standards- aligned instruction, and support students’ mastery of the standards. This section discusses how to select materials to use either when planning a lesson or when mapping resources to the district curriculum.
Understanding a Material’s Intended Purpose
Using a material for its intended purpose is more likely to result in student success; the converse is also true. Thus, it is important to know the purpose of each of your materials.
Using a material in a way that it was not designed to be used is like squeezing an apple and expecting to get orange juice. In both cases, you will not get the results you hope for.
Core vs Supplemental Materials
Generally, a core or comprehensive material addresses all, or nearly all, of the standards for a particular grade and subject area. A supplemental material typically focuses on fewer standards. However, some supplemental materials address all or nearly all of the state standards for a given course. So, what do the labels core or comprehensive and supplemental really mean?
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