Earlier this year, I participated in a study group called “Explicit Direct Instruction,” where I learned the importance of having a finely-crafted lesson is essential to student learning. I have thought about how my lessons are designed and whether these lessons impact students as I only see them for 30 minutes a week for a lesson and for a 10-minute book exchange.
Since January, I have reviewed notes from past lessons and edited them. I have thoroughly looked at my standards to make I Can Statements for each. Instead of single lessons, I have combined lessons into units with themes. I Can Statements and standards are now tied to these units. My old lesson template has been edited and revised into an updated template.
Currently, two grade levels are done and half the units are done for the other five grade levels; I just need to fine-tune the standards, I Can Statements and assessments. I am well on my way to having this project done by mid-August, right before school starts. Here is an example of my first grade curriculum map that has the standard, I Can Statement and unit outlined. I have another document that breaks down the units by weeks, materials and assessments.
Though this has been a big project, I am happy it is almost over. When I started my job two years ago, no curriculum was provided to me. There are pros and cons to having to build a curriculum from the ground-up. Pros included my own ideas and using texts that engage students, while cons included lots of time spent on these lessons. This year, I am looking forward to having some more time to devote to other library programs, teacher-collaborations and more. I finally feel confident in my curriculum.