Accessing Indiana's State Level Curriculum Maps
(No Login is required to access these maps
2. Once you are the Curriculum Map page, you will select your course from the list of courses.
3. Maps can be saved and printed by clicking the Print Course button at the top of the first page of the map, or
4. Maps can be accessed electronically by clicking on the Unit the teacher wishes to see.
View a short video providing a tour of how to navigate and think about using the curriculum map resources in developing your own curriculum.Secondary English Language Arts
Additional information about the Transition to the Common Core State Standards and curriculum maps is available at
http://www.doe.in.gov/commoncore. A quick training video on how to navigate the curriculum map software is also available through this link:http://media.doe.in.gov/curriculum/2010-08-03-CommonCore.html
The Importance of Quality Curriculum to Prepare Students for College, Careers, and Citizenship
"In the array of factors that define high-performing schools, curriculum alignment enjoys a position of exceptional prominence" (Murphy, 2007, p. 75).
Both research and expert opinion state that a rigorous, standards-based, grade- and content-level-aligned curriculum is one of the key components of high-performing schools. The importance of curriculum emerged in a 2006 report of 70 districts that applied for the Broad Prize, an award given to school districts that "significantly improve student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among ethnic groups and between low- and high-income students" (Zavadsky, 2006, p. 69–70). All five finalists (as well as finalists in succeeding years, McFadden, 2009) indicated that their success in part belonged to developing and implementing curricula that were detailed and properly sequenced, aligned between grades and across all schools, developed by classroom teachers and curriculum specialists from schools and district offices, and which often included higher expectations than the state standards. A guaranteed and viable curriculumreceives a ranking of first of 15 school-level factors that impact student achievement in Marzano’s (2003) review of the research. With limited time, financial and human resources available to teachers, schools, and districts, the Indiana Department of Education is taking bold steps to greatly advance our state by taking the first steps in designing ELA and math curriculum for our schools and educators.
It is also vital that schools prioritize their efforts. In Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning, Mike Schmoker (2011) states what we need to declare: “There will be no more initiatives—at least for a time. Instead we will focus only on what will have an immediate and dramatic impact on learning in your classrooms: ensuring implementation of a common, content-rich curriculum; good lessons; and plenty of meaningful literacy activities (such as close reading, writing, and discussion) across the curriculum” pp. 2-3. The implementation of coherent curriculum; effective lessons; and abundant amounts of purposeful reading, writing, and talking should be our highest priorities. These are not new practices, but they must be reinforced and carried out reliably (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2000, p. 14). Leaders should collect and share data on how many classrooms consistently exhibit common curriculum, sound lessons, and authentic literacy. Common assessments which reflect these three areas should also be monitored, and gains made both in implementation and achievement should be celebrated.
The demands of 21st century careers and citizenship are increasingly similar to what students need to be prepared for college—whether they decide to attend college or not. Forty-five percent of jobs available for our graduates will require post-secondary training, certification, or an apprenticeship. An additional 33% of jobs will require a Bachelor’s degree or more. It is increasingly clear that ALL students must be provided a coherent, content-rich curriculum that includes adequate opportunities for them to read, write, and talk thoughtfully to be prepared with the foundation to continue their education without having to take remedial coursework following graduation. This is what is demanded in the Common Core State Standards, and it is what we must provide our students now to ensure their success.
Teachers, content specialists, curriculum mapping experts, and university professors spent time working in teams this spring to develop curriculum maps which reflect Indiana’s Academic Standards and essential skills from the Common Core State Standards. Essential skills are those that students need to begin learning in the 2011-12 school year in order to be prepared for future Common Core assessments. This work included an analysis of the "deconstructed" Indiana Academic Standards and the Common Core State Standards and determination how best to combine the Learning Targets into meaningful groupings.
Deconstructing is the peeling away of the standard to expose the underlying explicit and implicit skills, which we call Learning Targets. In some cases, additional detail is added to the Indiana learning targets based on the skills required on assessments; this additional detail further clarifies the expectations of what students need to learn.
Students are guaranteed curriculum when teachers ensure that what they teach is an agreed upon curriculum aligned with the Learning Targets; it is taught by all teachers; and it is aligned from one grade to the next with an increase in cognitive demand occurring at each grade level. Curriculum alignment ensures:
· students are prepared for the next grade level because they have gained the content knowledge and skills the next year’s teacher expects them to have mastered;
· students remain motivated through increased demand and less repetition in the curriculum;
· inherent alignment to Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress–Plus (ISTEP+) eliminating the misguided belief that educators must "teach to the test."
What Is the Role of the District and the School?
The maps developed at the state level serve as a starting point for the development of district, school, and individual teacher curriculum. The state maps provide a shared meaning of the standards by providing the Learning Targets which make explicit the skills necessary to learn the standards as well as samples of Essential Questions, Big Ideas, vocabulary, instructional resources, strategies, and assessments. It is critical to understand that the standards are not curriculum. Standards define the minimum level of what content, skills, and knowledge we want students to be able to demonstrate.
Content knowledge matters. Schools need to design curriculum that simultaneously builds students’ content knowledge and their ability to think and reason. 21st century curriculum must include a shared body of subject-area content knowledge about which students are asked to read and resolve conflicting views, to exercise judgment, and to engage in critical thinking. 21st century curriculum must develop “citizens who are flexible, who embrace new ideas, who can reason well when faced with complex new ideas” (Berliner & Biddle, 1995, p. 300). All students need abundant opportunities to read, talk, and write—to make and evaluate logical arguments, solve problems, and offer potential solutions to problems. All students also benefit from opportunities to connect literature to their lives, to “create meaning from related readings,” and to do their own research (p. 319).
At the local level, teachers may need to further unpack or deconstruct the standards by identifying what additional skills the students sitting in their classrooms must also learn. Curriculum developers need to determine the format they will use to create their curriculum. They must decide the sequence for the standards informed by the state curriculum maps, which are aligned with state assessments (ISTEP+, Curriculum-Map Aligned Acuity assessments, and the future Common Core assessments). Schools are not required to use the sequence on the state maps. It is provided primarily for schools which are using Acuity so that curriculum and pre-test and post-test assessments for each quarter can be aligned. For schools which use Acuity and have a curricular program which has a sequence which should be followed, the Acuity Predictive assessments would be a more appropriate assessment track. Curriculum developers will need to decide which common assessments they will use to monitor student progress and to inform adjustments to the curriculum. These assessments should include writing assignments. Curriculum developers must also decide which instructional resources they will use. The resources largely define the content knowledge students will learn. Appendix B from the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards provides Text Exemplars and Sample Reading Tasks as a starting point for selecting texts for each discipline. Curriculum developers may also want to include in their curriculum documents which vocabulary is critical to teach, what instructional strategies teachers might use, and what big ideas and essential questions will guide students’ inquiry.
The best way to ensure students are prepared for college and careers and any assessments they will encounter is to ensure that they are prepared with Conley’s four intellectual standards:
1. Read to infer/interpret/draw conclusions.
2. Support arguments with evidence.
3. Resolve conflicting views encountered in source documents.
4. Solve complex problems with no obvious answer.
These four simple habits of mind can powerfully inform student reading, writing, and talking in every discipline when matched with disciplinary content (Conley, 2005). Curriculum design absolutely determines whether or not students ever have the opportunity to experience this type of learning.
If curriculum design begins with the content and skills identified from the standards, it is quite possible and very likely that schools will develop curriculum that will address the skills. However, this can mean that students learn these skills in isolated, low level, skills-based lessons with short, contrived passages, which build limited content knowledge and which rarely if ever provide the kinds of experiences described above. This curriculum can yield successful results on state assessments yet leave students completely unprepared for college, careers, and citizenship as many of our school systems are currently witnessing and is evidenced by the fact that more than half of our graduates must take remedial courses when they arrive on college campuses and in career training programs.
To prepare students well, we must take a different approach to curriculum design. As schools develop curriculum units, they must include the following:
· The precise amount of text and the number of books, including titles to be taught in common by all teachers for a given course;
· The number and length of papers to be written;
· Common rubrics by which students will be graded; and (Conley, 2005, pp. 82-83)
· The type and frequency of research and current events to be included.
Once the content for each course has been selected by determining the texts that will be used, teacher teams should develop text-based questions that will serve as the heart of the inquiry as students complete close, annotated reading, discussion, and writing. Literacy is integral to both what and how we teach; it’s the spine that holds everything together and ties content together in every subject. From the texts, teachers can determine which standards, content, skills, and/or learning targets naturally emerge from these texts. Rather than teaching the skills through the worksheets and activities that come with the adopted textbooks, teachers can teach the skills through the textbooks and authentic texts they have selected to build students’ content knowledge by having them read deeply and purposefully to answer interesting questions about the text and then discussing and writing (even briefly) about the text and what they learned from it. Teachers can also use formative assessments, such as Curriculum-Map Aligned Acuity pre-tests or Acuity Predictive tests to determine which content and skills from the standards students already know and which they need to learn, so teachers can be certain to focus on those through their text reading, discussion, and writing. There is no magic bullet of “Aligned to Common Core State Standards” resources that can produce 21st century college, career, and citizenship ready students.
Quality curriculum must be built by curriculum developers for each course. Using selected texts, curriculum developers should develop lessons and units listing the texts and textbook pages with good questions and prompts identifying the standards, content, skills, and/or learning targets which can be taught through those texts; develop common assessments, starting with the end-of-unit and end-of-grading-period assessments. Throughout, they should ensure that lessons and assessments include ample amounts of reading, discussion, and writing (Schmoker, p. 48). Importantly, data from common assessments become the primary tools for monitoring implementation and promoting improvement and should be the basis for team discussions.
What Is the Most Important Part of the Curriculum Improvement Process?
The answer is simple: the discussions held by teachers and administrators are the most important part of curriculum development. Although the process of writing and filling in charts or maps of what is taught can easily become the focal point, it should not be so. Teachers meeting in grade level and content area teams to discuss what should be taught, how the curriculum gets enacted, and studying the student results are the most important part of the curriculum improvement process. Much of the conversation needs to focus on the fact that we must appreciate the value of time and stop preventing students from engaging in immense amounts of reading, discussion, and writing. These are the indispensable and primary means of acquiring content knowledge and intellectual skills even—and especially—in the digital age (Phillips & Wong, 2010). Every student needs to spend hundreds of hours actually reading, writing, and speaking for intellectual purposes.
What Is the Role of Assessment?
Formative assessments aligned to curriculum are a critical component of successful schools. For those using Acuity, the diagnostic assessments have been aligned with the Standards/indicators and Learning Targets on the state curriculum maps to provide useful data to teachers. Schools using Acuity in grades 3-8 can opt to use the use either the new Curriculum Map-Aligned (CM-A) Acuity Pre- and Post-tests, the existing diagnostic Acuity assessments, or the predictive Acuity assessments. Your district test administrator can help in getting you the needed Acuity assessments. If your school is not using Acuity, then other forms of formative assessments and/or progress monitoring should be used. In addition to Acuity assessments, teacher teams should develop open-ended tasks which mirror expectations from the Common Core State Standards. Sample tasks can be found in Appendix B and C of the English Language Arts and Literacy Standards. These open-ended tasks could well be the same writing tasks mentioned previously and should serve as common assessments either on their own or coupled with other assessments. Schools should also have a consistent measure for determining students’ reading levels to ensure they are on track to successfully and independently read texts at the appropriate complexity level as indicated in Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards.
· Berliner, D., & Biddle, B. (1995). The manufactured crisis: Myths, fraud, and the attack on America’s public schools. Cambridge, MA, Perseus Books.
· Conley, D. (2005). College knowledge: What it really takes for students to succeed and what we can do to get them ready. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
· Marzano, R.J. (2003). What works in schools: Translating research into practice. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
· McFadden, L. (2009, April). District learning tied to student learning, Phi Delta Kappan,(90) 545-553.
· Murphy, J. (2007). Restructuring through learning-focused leadership. In H. J. Walberg (Ed.). Handbook on restructuring and substantial school improvement (pp. 63-75). Lincoln, IL: Center on Innovation and Improvement.
· Pfeffer, P. & Sutton, R. (2000). The knowing-doing gap. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
· Philips, V. & Wong C. (2010, February). Tying together the common core of standards, instruction, and assessments. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(5), 37-42.
· Schmoker, M. (2011). Focus: elevating the essentials to radically improve student learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
· Zavadsky, H., 2006. How NLCB drives success in urban schools.Educational Leadership, (64)3, 69-73.