Next Level Curriculum Mapping

In the beginning, our school mapped because the accreditation board told us we needed to articulate the curriculum beyond the row of binders that had been collecting dust in the Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction’s office for a number of years. I’m sure we also mapped because it’s a great idea, but as these things go (as I am sure you know) new initiatives can feel cumbersome and temporary at the same time. Nevertheless, we persisted.

Six years later, we had a very complete picture of our curriculum and a successful follow-up from the accreditation board. I could sense teachers thinking, “well, that’s done!” and calling it a day when it came to mapping. I couldn’t blame them! It occurred to me that we were going to need to re-envision our mapping process in order to make it newly relevant. We had an articulated curriculum, so now what? Below are some steps we’ve taken to look to the future of curriculum development and mapping. Here’s to the next six years of curriculum work!

Results of the Initial Curriculum Development Process

How the Curriculum Mapping Process Changes

What we need to know about our curriculum isn’t the same as it was all those years ago. We no longer need to gather data on the language teachers use to describe skills they are teaching; we’ve done that and codified it in our new Core Skills documents. We no longer need to catalog prerequisite skills for each class; our Scope and Sequence documents can tell us what those are.

So the question arose: what do we need to know? What are we doing that needs to be tracked, flagged, or otherwise made visible when we are analyzing our work?

It turns out that there are lots of things happening at our school now that weren’t happening when we started (because the process created a tidal wave of curricular changes). We need to know which school initiatives are happening when and where, who is deliberately integrating the school’s mission, where specific instructional strategies are happening (especially ones that we’ve spent time and money developing professionally).

We changed our template. We streamlined it so that it’s easier to map. We consolidated fields that were becoming redundancies. We eliminated some content that no longer served us. I say don’t be afraid to change your template! Once you are deep into this process, your needs will change. If they don’t, well, I would ask why.

From a Mapping Committee to a Curriculum PLC

Advice for Your Mapping Process

For more PD on curriculum mapping – from establishing your school’s process to evolving and changing it – click here!

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