Can I let you in on a little secret? I hate planning. I love creating and making engaging lesson plans, but trying to fit in all my standards for every subject for the entire year isn’t something I enjoy. It’s especially hard if you aren’t already given a pacing guide by your district or by your curriculum company. But, guys, once you do it, it is so WORTH IT!
Luckily, my team and I worked on this together a few years ago and now all I have to do is tweak it for changing standards or new curriculum adoptions. Otherwise, I just change the dates each year, and I am golden.
I will admit, it takes a little work, but once it is complete, you really have a document that will keep you on track and make sure you cover all of your content.
6 Steps to Creating A Curriculum Map
Step 1: Plug in the Dates for your year.
To save myself time, I wanted to just denote each week as Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, etc, thinking that it would make it easy for the next year. Having the dates are helpful because then you don’t forget about four day weeks, holidays, special events, etc. This will make a difference.
Step 2: Does your curriculum have a recommendation of how long it should take to teach each lesson/unit?
Many times your teacher manuals will have the amount of time recommended for each lesson. Just make sure you are looking at your curriculum as well and not just the teacher manual. For example, the math curriculum we were given has extra standards that we don’t teach and also is missing some standards for my state, so I have to make sure I include those myself.
Step 3: Find out if your district has a certain order you must teach the standards.
For example, in my district, we have a very specific order we have to teach our reading and writing units so that if you go to any of the schools in our district, we are all teaching the same unit at the same time.
Step 4: See if you can teach science and social studies in any order.
I LOVE it when all of my subjects match up in one big theme. That’s when the real learning takes place. For example, when we are teaching about graphing in math, that is the perfect time to also be teaching about weather in science. There are so many weather graphs and charts that we make and analyse.
Step 5: Plan the Order of the Units first.
Before I fill out the Curriculum Map, I plan out the order of each of my units first. That is how I can make sure they match up and make sense.
Step 6: Plug in your Map for each week.
Finally, I use all the info I have to plug in the units and indicate which week I will teach them. I never stick to this perfectly, because any good teacher knows you have to be reflective and just because it took me four weeks to teach that skill last year, doesn’t mean it will take me four weeks this year. Each class is different and as long as you are pretty close to your schedule, you will be fine.
To get your own Curriculum Map resource, click here.