Teachers from seasoned veterans to dewy eyed greenhorns can often start the school year off anxious because of the daunting task that lays before them. Afterall, how is it possible to get through an entire year’s worth of curriculum and hit all of their goals? Not only that, how are they going to be able to teach everything required and teach it well? That’s where a blank curriculum map template can help.
1. Ensure Organization
Many teachers have great ideas and can create incredibly engaging units and lessons. However, their Achilles heel is their lack of organization. It doesn’t matter how great your ideas and lessons are if they don’t follow a logical path and build off of one another. A curriculum map allows the following groups of people to understand what is being taught and when.
- Members of the community
- Department heads
A curriculum map is just that, a map of the learning objectives for the year. It allows for several different groups of people to understand not only what the learning goals are but how they build and progress off of one another.
2. Communication and Collaboration
Two things that are imperative to educators in communication and collaboration. Curriculum maps allow for communication by showing what teachers across age groups and subject areas are trying to accomplish. This allows for:
- Teachers to know what level students are beginning the year at and where they need to be for the next year.
- Teachers to be able to identify many of the key learning goals from the previous year.
Curriculum mapping also allows for teachers to actively collaborate with other teachers who teach their same subject of the same grade level of student. This will allow for teachers across grade levels or across districts to actively work together to guide their students.
3. Ensures Alignment with Learning Standards
Learning standards guide teachers at all times and provide guideposts for teachers. By starting with the end of the year goals in mind it becomes much easier for teachers to make sure their lessons are building towards the ultimate goal. Curriculum mapping also allows for the following things:
- It standardizes the focus and learning goals for the entire school.
- It provides a clear path for students to accomplish and progress through each grade.
- Creates a standard, school-wide vocabulary.
4. Provides a Map for Student Success and Progress
Can you expect students to understand why they are doing the work in class that they are, if they don’t know where they are going? Curriculum maps help communicate the following things to students:
- What their learning goals for the year are.
- What skills will be reinforced in following years.
Curriculum maps can also help students to understand that their mastery of concepts is a work in progress. Someone that may not understand the concept of multiplication when it is first introduced will have plenty of time to practice and master the concept.
5. Self Reflection
Curriculum mapping allows for teachers to participate in reflection and ask the following questions:
- Were learning goals met?
- Were the goals assessed in the best way?
- What areas had high student engagement?
- What areas lacked engagement?
- What personal improvements could be made to meet student needs?
Every teacher wants to be better and help their students to the best of their ability. Curriculum mapping provides the perfect opportunity to do that before and after the school year begins.