Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Design Tools

Support for long-term planning of standards-based instruction

Determining critical skills and knowledge in literacy and math:

  • All standards matter. In reality, however, we often must de-emphasize some and focus on others when working within the parameters of the time and resources available. All students matter. Each one has different needs at different times in his or her educational journey. So, how do we proceed? Within our classroom systems of pre- and post evaluations and formative and summative assessment, teachers make informed decisions about what to teach, when to teach it, and to what depth necessary to best meet their students' needs.
  • To offer additional guidance about which standards to prioritize, we worked to cull the collective wisdom of FCPS teachers around which skills and what knowledge was essential or most "life-worthy"* (Perkins, 2014). We hoped to suggest a baseline of skills and knowledge that no student would graduate without having every opportunity to master. Taking into account course pre-requisites, we worked to show what these critical skills and knowledge might look like at each grade level. This agreed upon vertical alignment of critical skills will help guide teachers to the minimum level of competency they might demand of students leaving their classes and expect from students entering them the next year. Explore the resources below for more information.
  • Furthermore, we hope to create a universal understanding of math and language terms across grades so students might count on what are often ambiguous terms referenced similarly as they move through school. Though unfinished, the start of this effort is a tab on the bottom of the Literacy and Math critical skills document.

Understanding the Standards:

  • To support collaborative planning, FCPS teachers worked to deconstruct the standards in literacy and math, write learning targets, describe acceptable rigor, and to flesh out the skills, knowledge, and vocabulary embedded in each standard. These sheets include a planning guide which asks pivotal questions to assist in cohesive planning from standards to units of study, and to assessment.

Teachers might use these when planning together to:

    • Ensure a common understanding of each standard and the depth of rigor it requires
    • Identify pre, post, and formative assessment plans
    • Generate ideas for instruction that support the standard
    • Connect standards to each other and to other units of study
  • In the instructional practices section, our coaching team will continue to gather from our teachers and our experience instructional practices and strategies we think will be of most use to teachers. This, along with additional resources, completes the initial plan for this site.

Suggestions, questions or comments?

Contact your instructional coach or Assistant Superintendent, Sharla Six.