As each summer comes and goes from one school year to the next, I find myself being less and less motivated to do school work during my break. I think that is pretty normal. But the one thing I make sure I do each summer is curriculum mapping. Today I want to share with you how you can create your own curriculum map for your upcoming year.
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I never actually called it “curriculum mapping.” That is the fancy term for basically figuring when you will teach what during the school year. I always called it my “Year at a Glance” because that is the document our district curriculum used.
Most districts should come with some sort of curriculum to help guide you through the year. If not, it’s not hard to do, just time consuming. And even if your district does provide a curriculum and year at a glance, I still think it is important to create your own version that works for your specific classroom.
I used my Year at a Glance each week when I sat down to lesson plan with my partner. It served as a guide to keep us (mostly) on pace.
Curriculum Mapping Process
Let’s run through the process of curriculum mapping following the 6 steps listed below. Or, you can watch the Curriculum Mapping video I created!
1. Layout Chart Paper
I am a visual learner, so the big chart paper with everything written down and color coded helps me sort my thoughts. I just got a big piece of paper, drew a grid on it, and labeled each box a different month of the year. Easy peasy.
You can also add any holidays, school celebrations, or month themes you want to be mindful at this point.
2. Find Your Standards or Curriculum Map
The next thing you need to do is find out if your district already provides a map for the year. If it does, great! Find it, print it out, write on it! Notice the time frame it gives you to teach each unit or set of standards. Get it ready to markup.
If your district doesn’t have a map for the year, then print off your grade level standards (TEKS in Texas) for the subject(s) you teach. Then you will need to think about what standards come before others and you will need to line up when you will teach what. (For example, in second grade math, you have to teach number sense before you can do addition or subtraction. So that would need to come first during the year.)
Once you’ve gotten your standards, you’ll want to write each unit or topic in the appropriate month box. I decided to color code all my stuff, just to make it easier to see. But I literally just wrote “Unit 1: Making Sense of Numbers” at the top of the September box. I wrote it in blue cause that’s the color I chose for Math.
Repeat for all subjects you teach.
3. Look Through Your Resources
This is where things get a bit more fun. You can look through your TPT items, your folders on your computer, files in the filing cabinet. And jot each item down on a sticky note. Or, each item you want to use this year.
Be mindful of the seasons and what holiday type activities you can incorporate into your lessons.
4. Add Resources to Your Chart
Now you will take those stickies and put them on the chart. The best part about them being on a sticky note is that you can move them around in the order you want to use them or within different units if they apply to more than one.
These items aren’t an exhaustive list. These are just your main resources that you want to use. I don’t know about you, but I was notorious about buying things from TPT or downloading a freebie and completely forgetting about it. This process of outlining my items and putting them with each unit reminded me to use them when that time came.
5. Create Your Curriculum Map
You have just outlined everything with pen and paper. Now you are going to head to the computer and create a spreadsheet, so to speak, of what you will do each week. If you want to see what I am talking about, watch the Curriculum Mapping video above at 15:02 and I show you exactly what mine looks like.
6. Revisit, Review, Redo
If you have been teaching for longer than three minutes, you know that things change all the time and you are almost ALWAYS behind schedule, not ahead.
The Y.A.G. (or Curriculum Map) is a fluid document, always changing. The thing I liked about creating my own was that I could move things around to fit my needs. The district pacing guide (in my case) didn’t account for time spent assessing. Or for the week with two assemblies, one class counseling session, and the huge fit thrown by Mr. Difficult. (Or even for the 3 day vacation I took in the middle of the year BECAUSE I CAN!).
My personal Y.A.G allowed me to stay on task and adjust when I needed to.
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If you didn’t catch it in the video, I am moving! My husband and I are headed to Germany for a two year stent with his company. We are so, so, SO excited for this journey. This means I will not be in the classroom for the foreseeable future. While I am sad to be leaving, I am really grateful for an opportunity to step out of a “typical” job and pursue my passions here with The Simply Organized Teacher.
With the move comes more time for me to be able to create free content for you. But also time for me to do one on one coaching and consulting with you! If you would like help creating a Curriculum Map or just figuring out how to handle “Mr. Difficult” then drop me a line, I’d love to set that up with you!
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Other helpful planning blogs:
Until next time,
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