Where is This Information?
In the How to Implement A Story of Units, you will have a great opportunity to dig into those “Big Ideas” that just get more in depth in higher levels.
To highlight some main concepts:
In A Story of Units Curriculum Overview, there is a pre-k through grade 5 overview. This is showing main concepts such as numbers, geometry, number and geometry, measurement, and fractions. It lays out when each concept is introduced, how long the duration is, and then shows when it will be used again in a higher grade at a deeper level. This is great for teachers to see how in depth their teaching should be to prepare students for the next phase.
The largest overarching topic is numbers or number sense. This is the foundation of the program to provide students the tools they need to become fluent mathematicians.
For example, to show the progression of counting, in pre-k students are counting to five, then in K they are counting to 10. When they reach first grade, they will do sums and differences to 10. In second, they will learn sums and differences to 100. In third, it further deepens the concept to multiplication and division and problem solving. Then in fourth, they use place value, rounding, and algorithm for addition and subtraction.
This basic concept is never dropped after it is taught and students have learned it. However, it is threaded through in a well-developed and planned out way to become more in depth with each level up.
How Does This Help Me?
Knowing this information about the program before you begin is also a true advantage. Think of it as panning out the lens. I know how easy it is to be focused in on the here and now, so trying this is tough, but useful.
When you pan out and look at the big picture you will see how important the concepts are. You will know your place and role in the big picture to keep students on track and prepared.
This will also help you dig students deeply into the curriculum to give them a strong basis to take on the next grade level with ease and ready to build onto. Think of the less is more approach. Students are given less big overarching topics with more depth.
What Else Can I Do?
After you are familiar with this resource, A Story of Units Curriculum Overview, develop a math committee of at least one teacher from each grade level. These teachers can sit together and discuss specifically what each looks like for their grade level.
Looking over this resource in this way is very powerful. Planning out the curriculum this way is giving all teachers the “why” in this program.
Many times teacher may look at certain units and lesson and think, “Why do my students need to learn this now?”
Using this visual helps to create the cohesive goals and learning outcomes. This will help teachers to become aware of how and why they need to teach concepts this way. It will also motivate teachers to become better at teaching over-arching concepts knowing how beneficial it will be for their students to master these skills before moving on.
This approach really pulls school staff together for the benefit of professional growth and the students’ success!
- Classroom Teacher
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