Monday, August 10, 2015

First Day Back

Professional Development day today.  Another day of it tomorrow.  On Wednesday we have the day to get our classrooms ready, and Thursday the kids show up.

If nothing else, I'll be busy Wednesday!

Today, though, we were supposed to start creating "curriculum maps" for our courses.  What is a curriculum map, you ask?  What does it include?  Well, looking at such documents from different schools around the state I'd have to say a curriculum map is whatever you want it to be, and includes whatever you want to include on it.  It's another waste of time, except perhaps to give to a rookie so they know how long to spend on certain topics--which means it's kinda sorta like a souped-up pacing guide, which was the document to have just a couple years ago.

We're getting new books this year for the courses I teach.  I know, I know, "the book isn't the curriculum", but it's got to be more than just a problem set, too.  In theory we pay for books in which the topics to be learned are already organized into a logical sequence other words, the book kind of is a major part of the curriculum.  How do we do curriculum guides when we don't have the books we're supposed to pilot this year?  Just do them for the current book, of course, and then cut/paste when we get the new books!

BTW, we don't "pilot" textbooks in my district anymore.  That would require too much organization.  No, we'll get some books for a couple months late in the school year and we'll do a "mini-pilot" or something.  We don't use them for a year, do a thorough evaluation of them, and compare them to the other books under consideration.  No, we half-ass it.

Getting fired up already.  I'm ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-ack!


Mr. W said...

oh man Curriculum maps? We started work on those 2 years ago. We had about 4 teachers from algebra 1, geometry, and algebra 2 spend about 3 days working on them.

That was 2 years ago. Where are hey now? Beats me, we made them presented them and they were never mentioned again.

maxutils said...

It was my understanding that those effing awful math books, such as they are, were piloted last Spring … did no one at your school participate?

Darren said...

Different levels are piloted at different times--but the process is the same, no one truly "pilots" books for a year in our district anymore.

Mr. W said...

Speaking of piloting, yours truly is piloting 2 new math books this year, but only til February. We chose Big Ideas Math, my favorite, and Pearson's new book. Since I have a class set of Chromebooks I am really hoping the Big Ideas Math is a solid choice

Chanman said...

Ha! You nailed one of my educational pet peeves. Have you ever noticed that no one from on high can ever seem to tell us exactly what "curriculum" is? They only seem to be able to tell us what it is NOT. The book is not the curriculum. The standards are not the curriculum. Your lesson plans are not the curriculum.