Five Ways to Use Curriculum Ladders – For the Teachers

Curriculum Ladders list skills in order of difficulty/complexity, making it easier to visualize the progression of skills, to identify where students are and to plan for what students are ready to learn.


1) Flexible Grouping

Identify where students are on the curriculum ladder – what the students are ready to learn right now. Group students for instruction and activities with others at the same place on the ladder.


2) Differentiation

Assign classwork or homework to students based on the skills at each students’ place on the ladder.


3) Self-Assessment

Give each student one ladder. Consider limiting them to one or two ladder sections above and below their current level of skill/understanding. Have students cross off skills they believe they have mastered and highlight skills they would like to learn. Use as a pre-assessment at the beginning of a unit of study and then revisit a few times so students can record and recognize how much they’ve learned.


4) Goal Setting

Identify skills (or have students choose skills) above the student’s level on the ladder that each would work to master within a set period of time (ie. unit, quarter, semester).


5) Skills Progression

Use to get perspective on the progression of academic skills. For example, once students have mastered a particular skill, use the ladder to identify what should come next.


Five Ways to Use Curriculum Ladders
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