Curriculum Ladders are a visual representation of the range of complexity for a set of skills. These ladders use skills from NWEA’s instructional resource, DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning. The ladders help identify small groups of students with similar instructional needs and make it easier to see the range of skills as you work to address students’ instructional needs and to plan for future learning.




To Use the Ladders:

Print off the ladder and write the names of your students in the boxes on the left side of the ladder, based on each student’s RIT score and/or based on classroom performance and teacher observation. The RIT score represents a student’s Instructional Level; these are skills the student should be working on right now. The goal is for each student to move up at least one rung on the ladder.

Once you know each student’s place on the ladder, you may want to differentiate using flexible groupingtiered assignments or other methods so that each student is working at their appropriate level. The ladders may also be effective for guiding students in goal-setting and to help aides and parents see the direction a student is heading with a particular skill, to see what comes next.


The Idea Behind the Ladder: 
“Standards and Curriculum Differentiation” – Deborah Burns
Material from DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning is provided by courtesy of Northwest Evaluation Association and may not be republished, rewritten, or redistributed. All rights reserved.

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