Curriculum Mapping and Massachusetts State Frameworks

Beginning in June of 2011 teachers from all grades and subject areas collaborated on the articulation of a student-centered PreK-12 horizontally and vertically aligned curriculum for the Bourne Public Schools.  Using the most recent versions of the Massachusetts State Frameworks as their basis, teachers have identified important concepts that all students must know and understand.  They have also identified what students should be able to do in acquisition and application of skills, particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy.  The principles of backwards design were implemented in this mapping process.  Teachers continue to collaborate on developing common assessments to help us determine if our students understand and are able to do what we feel is crucial in each discipline and grade. 

 

English Language Arts

Several areas have been identified to ensure our students acquire the necessary competencies for success in a changing world. These include:

  • Reading complex texts closely to be able to analyze, compare, and synthesize ideas across texts;
  • Writing effectively when using and/or analyzing sources;
  • Conducting and reporting on research;
  • Speaking and listening;
  • Using language (having command of academic English and grammar both spoken and written).

The use of various kinds of technology to learn and to independently demonstrate learning is also expected.

Our curriculum has been developed with these requirements in mind and the way that teachers teach and assess will evolve over time.  There is now more emphasis on non-fiction text, more demand to substantiate claims from evidence in the text, and increased requirements for writing about (summarizing, analyzing, comparing/contrasting, etc.) the text providing evidence.  Students also spend more time working with one another in collaborative efforts to gain crucial speaking and listening skills as well as develop skills critical for working effectively in teams.  Our goal is that students leaving our schools will be able to independently apply these literacy skills in pursuit of their lifetime aspirations.

 

Mathematics   

  Key principles of the Massachusetts State Frameworks include:

  • Focus and coherence;
  • Connecting content and practices;
  • Higher expectations for conceptual understanding, fluency and application.

PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), the consortium developing the state assessments for both ELA and mathematics provides an excellent overview of priority concepts, understandings, and skills for our students. 

  • Grade K-5 Eureka math curriculum (A Story of Units) focuses on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals within the context of solving problems.  Geometry and measurement, and data representations, are connected to arithmetic (numbers and operations). 
  • Middle school students  progress into ratio and proportional reasoning with arithmetic moving into algebra.  Grades 6,7 and 8  explicitly address quantitative relationships with functions by grade 8.  Statistics is introduced with studies of data distributions, associations between two variables, and sampling.
  • High school courses emphasize modeling of algebra, functions, geometry, and statistics and  algebraic expressions become increasingly more complex.

 

For more information on PARCC and PARCC assessments, please visit http://www.parcconline.org/about-parcc.

 

Science

This fall the Next Generation Science Standards were publicly reviewed and adoption is expected in the spring of 2016.