What are your students ready to learn?
|State standards and district directives give us guidelines as to what skills should be taught in each grade level. As teachers, though, we know that the students we work with every day don’t all come into our class ready for “grade level” work. Some students have already mastered these skills and are ready for something more. Other students need more basic, foundational skills to help get them closer to the standards.
The Learning Continuum is a tool from NWEA that lists skills from simple to more complex/difficult. If your school uses NWEA MAP Growth assessments, you can use students’ RIT scores to match them to the skills that the assessment shows that they are ready to be working on right now in class. More generally, the Learning Continuum can be a great tool for seeing the continuum of skills, understanding what skills come before and after those you think of as on “grade level” so that you can more easily plan lessons for students who need more basic skills and so that you have direction for the students who are ready for a challenge.
The curriculum ladders and lesson planning pages are designed to help you think about the skills that are most important for each student, as they relate to the standards we are required to teach.
Every child should have a chance to learn something new every day!
Curriculum Ladders are a visual representation of the range of complexity for a set of skills. 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.Curriculum Ladders are available for Math, Reading, and Language.
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 grouping, tiered 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
Lesson Planning Pages:
Lesson Planning Pages are available for Math, Reading, and Language. Sample lessons are also available for some skills.
1) Choose the set of skills on which the instruction will focus.
2) Highlight the Learning Continuum statements that relate to that standard/concept.
Consider: What skills to students need to get to the standard? What comes next for students who have already mastered the standard?
3) Enter students’ names in the boxes based on the MAP Growth RIT scores. If your students have not taken the MAP Growth assessments, use a pretest or previous classroom assessment data to determine what skills students are ready to learn.
4) Plan instruction for the largest group of students, including:
- the lesson/actvity (what students will do),
- the resources (the books, websites, manipulatives or other tools students will use), and
- the means of assessment (the way you will determine what students have learned).
If your student groups are similar in size, plan for the highest group first.
5) Adjust lesson plans for students who need more support or those ready for more of a challenge. (You may not always have both.) Ensure that all students have opportunities to work with quality materials, to practice, analyze and apply the skills and concepts, and to make connections to other subjects and/or the “real world.”
Consider: Not all parts of the lesson have to be changed. For example, you may choose to use the same activity and resources for all students, but adapt the means of assessment.
Material from the Learning Continuum is provided by courtesy of NWEA and may not be republished, rewritten, or redistributed. All rights reserved