2014 WINTER CURRICULUM NEWSLETTERThroughout the year, our assessment specialists upgraded our courses. We hired these educators from member school districts and trained them in best practices for assessment design. They also added student learning objectives, unit pre-tests and new course challenges.
STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVESMore states are adopting student learning objectives (SLO's) to improve student achievement in the classroom, and Blended Schools is here to help. We are adding student learning objectives to our course maps. These will appear at the unit level in our master curriculum maps and in the new unit introduction files in our master courses and in our Marketplace.
PRE-TESTS AND SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENTSOur new vocabulary and content pre-tests will give teachers a baseline of data. Based on this data, teachers can add content for remediation, allow students to skip content they have mastered or change the scope of content covered. This will ensure that every minute of instruction moves students toward a high level of academic growth. Our specialists will ensure our assessments are appropriate measures of student growth and teacher effectiveness.
NEW COURSE CHALLENGEEach of our courses will now include a new course challenge. This authentic assessment provides further opportunities for students to show growth. Students can tackle the challenge as a capstone problem-based learning experience, or the teacher can weave the experience throughout the course. This new feature guides students through solving an authentic problem tied to what they are learning. The students determine solutions and defend them with research and facts.
MORE EMPHASIS ON VOCABULARYIn addition to the assessment upgrades, we have added a full page devoted to concept vocabulary in each lesson package. Each lesson includes flashcards introducing the new terms, and it directs students to maintain a vocabulary notebook. We base these practices on research from the Marzano Institute, National Reading Panel and others. Students can maintain the journal offline in a hard copy notebook or a running word document with the template provided. We designed this notebook as a study aid for students, not as an assessment, but the teacher can elect to grade it.
Looking for the most recent course id to copy? Please use the Course Catalog on our website:
Look for course versions that say 3.2 for all the new features.
Here is a chart that tells you more about the 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 features in each version of our courses.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Continuous improvement - this is the latest round of upgrades to the courses. This team never stops working to ensure our teachers have the best possibly online curriculum for their students! Make sure your school is using K-12 online content from Blended Schools Network