Curriculum, Inst Practices & Assessment Defined

Curriculum, Inst Practices & Assessment Defined
Posted on 03/19/2021
Curriculum, Inst Practices & Assessment Defined

Curriculum, Instructional Practices/Methods, Resources and Assessment Defined

Many times educators use words like curriculum, instruction, resources, assessment, and those words can understandably be misconstrued or used interchangeably.  In order to fully understand what we teach in school, let’s look at the subtle differences between curriculum, instructional methods and strategies, resources and how they are used in our schools and classrooms to teach our children.

Curriculum - A curriculum is the framework or guide that teachers use to prepare and organize learning experiences for students.  It’s the WHAT of teaching.  It is a standards-based sequence of experiences and expectations in which students participate and practice in order to achieve proficiency. Michigan provides us with standards and expectations to be taught at each grade level, in each subject area.

Instructional Methods and Strategies - Instructional Strategies are the heart of teaching and learning. These are the methods and ways a teacher engages with students to interact with and learn the required curriculum. It involves using whole group lessons, small group lessons, questioning techniques, partnerships, thinking routines and many other research-based methods.  It’s the HOW of teaching.

Resources and Materials - Resources include text books, trade books, maps, software that assist with the delivery of curriculum and used by teachers and students to support instruction. The resources that are purchased and provided by the district to our students goes through a vetting process and supports the adopted curriculum. 

Assessments - Assessments are used to measure growth, proficiency and understanding of the curriculum.  Assessment results are used to plan future learning for students. Some assessments like M-Step, MI Access, PSAT, and SAT are assessments required by the state of Michigan. Other assessments like NWEA/MAP, Aimsweb Plus and Fountas and Pinnell are reading and math assessments required by our district.  Teachers also give assessments and quizzes in their classes to measure how well a student is progressing through the curriculum. 

All of these blend together in order to fully develop a robust, educational experience, preparing our children to grow in their independence and ability to be successful in whatever pathway they choose.  Learning is social and joyful! Your child is amazing and learning so much each and every day!  Thank you to our teachers, support staff, administrators, and you for continuing to find ways for our students to learn and grow.

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