Curriculum Design Resources

  • Curriculum Design Resources 
    Educational research indicates a guaranteed and viable curriculum is one of the most important factors impacting student achievement (Marzano, 2003). The Orchard Park Central School District anchors our curricula in the New York State Learning Standards, Common Core Learning Standards, and our Comprehensive District Education Plan, which fosters an innovative learning environment. These learning expectations are complimented by the work of educational leaders: Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, and Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Wiggins and McTighe have influenced our use of ‘Essential Questions’ to focus teaching and learning, while Hayes Jacobs’ curriculum mapping theory influences our curriculum writing process. 

    What is ‘Essential Questions’ learning?
    Essential questions (EQs) help target standards as you organize curriculum content into coherent units that yield focused and thoughtful learning.  In the classroom, EQs are used to stimulate students’ discussions and promote a deeper understanding of the content. (Wiggins & McTighe, 2013).

    Curriculum Mapping
    Curriculum mapping is a 21st century approach to design and articulate curriculum (Hayes Jacobs, 2010).  Curriculum maps outline the essential questions to focus our instruction, the content to focus our teaching, and the skills students will demonstrate to bring precision to our assessments.  Curriculum maps are aligned vertically and horizontally, meaning there is alignment within a given grade level/department as well as alignment with the learning before and after a particular unit of study, with the goal of an effective and meaningful educational journey for our students from Kindergarten through graduation.  Our curriculum maps are digital documents, making it convenient and efficient for our teachers to access online. Our curricula is regularly reviewed, revised, and enhanced to support academic achievement in an ever-evolving, global society.


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