Atlas was created over twenty years ago to give schools a systematic way to plan their curriculum, bring curriculum transparency across school divisions, provide data points to drive conversations on curriculum improvement, and create opportunities for collaboration between teachers of different grades and disciplines.
Most recently, we’ve added a new feature focused on Lesson Planning. Giving teachers a tool to translate and unpack the written curriculum to instructional practices is what motivated us to build the Lesson Planning Tool. We did not set out to build another electronic alternative to replace teachers’ beautiful leather-bound day planners, but instead, built the Lesson Planner in Atlas with four major goals in mind:
- To encourage mindfulness and goal-orientation during the instructional planning process. If the units in your written curriculum are like the railroad your team builds with the destination set for student growth, the lessons teachers design are like the trains that run on that track. Good instruction engages and challenges students while keeping a sharp focus on the content, skills and other non-academic goals identified in the unit.
- To allow teachers who teach the same course in different buildings to learn from each other and work collaboratively. Teachers within the same district, who teach the same unit based on the district curriculum, may orchestrate their learning activities very differently. Seeing how others teach that unit, and collaborating with them to share ideas can improve student learning. Teachers choose who they collaborate with for each lesson. We are hoping this feature opens up the possibility for teachers to collaboratively design lessons with colleagues outside their subject and grade area!
- To provide curriculum and instruction leaders at the district or school level a way to manage the instructional planning process. District leaders can better guide the curriculum process if they know how the units planned are actually implemented in the classroom. In Atlas, you can easily see the various ways each unit is taught in different buildings, identify good practices and use those to inform curriculum improvements.
- To provide insights at each course level as to what’s taught verus what’s planned. In the coming school year, we will be working on a course summary page that shows how the taught curriculum may differ from the planned curriculum.
To find out how Lesson Planning works in Atlas, please visit our Support Center.