Lesson planning and curriculum design are one of teachers’ most important duties. After all, if the curriculum isn’t effective, students won’t be set up for success for standardized tests and future grade levels. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources to help Indiana educators create a top-notch curriculum. Here are Keep Indiana Learning’s tips for taking on the challenge.
Take It One Standard at a Time
Looking at state standards as a whole can feel extremely overwhelming to create an effective curriculum. Our advice? Take it one standard at a time. For instance, if you’re teaching a new computer science class, lay out the standards and analyze each one. What can you do to teach each concept effectively? Once you’re finished brainstorming, take a look at your ideas. You may be able to combine some in the same lesson, and others may need their own modules. Whittling down course standards is the best way to ensure you don’t panic trying to do everything at once! If you need a little more help, check out Keep Indiana Learning’s resources for ILEARN priority standards.
Keep Up with Professional Development
Lifelong learning applies to educators too! We encourage teachers to “level” up their professional development with online courses, workshops, podcasts, and much more. Seeking further education is a great way to ensure you stay up to date on the latest teaching strategies, new discoveries in the subjects you teach, and ways to make class more engaging. Keep Indiana Learning offers frequent live events that can help you sharpen your skills. Our goal is to provide high-quality, transformative professional learning and a network of support for all Indiana educators.
Build Authentic Assessments
Preparing children for standardized tests such as ILEARN is vital in public education. While tests aren’t everything, it is important to ensure students know what to expect on exam day. In the lead-up to a standardized test, take some time to assess your students’ current knowledge. Think of ways to build authentic assessments that reflect your students’ authentic learning rather than their ability to ace a test. When teachers prioritize critical thinking and subject fluency, they set the most children up for success.
Take a Look at the Data
Numbers aren’t everyone’s strong suit. But even if you aren’t a statistics person, looking at the data is instrumental in building an effective curriculum. For example, if the data shows a low literacy rate in your area, you can rethink your lesson plan to incorporate even more reading and analysis activities. If students score low in math, you can increase your focus on that subject matter. All students are unique, and data gives us the tools to serve as many students as possible with the same curriculum.
Embrace All Subjects You’re Covering
What kinds of posters are prominently displayed in your classroom? Which educational features do you highlight? Most of the time, books and language are prioritized in a classroom. While there’s nothing wrong with promoting a love for reading, it’s best to embrace all the subjects you teach. If you teach both math and English, make sure you have just as many math resources available. Checking out resources from Math Connect is an excellent way to build a mathematics culture in the classroom.
Support Your Fellow Teachers
Between classroom management and grading papers, it can be easy to feel isolated. But even when you feel the work piling up, it’s important to stay connected with your fellow teachers. Supporting the educators around you can go a long way to boosting morale and learning from others’ successes and mistakes. You can build a Professional Learning Network through Keep Indiana Learning, too! Stay up to date on our social channels below, subscribe to our newsletter, and attend events. We are dedicated to creating a collaborative community in Indiana!
Use Your Resources
At Keep Indiana Learning, we believe in providing as many resources as possible to new and veteran educators. Our complimentary resource center features everything from strategies to prepare your kids for ILEARN to general classroom management. Whatever question you have or challenge you’re trying to conquer, we have a specialized resource for you.
Keep Indiana Learning is an empowering, collaborative community dedicated to transforming the landscape of education. We work to break down barriers to equitable and engaging learning experiences for teachers and students alike. As you prepare your students for a lifetime of success, you may need some help along the way. Our resources are designed to help the highest number of students without a premium price tag. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.