My district has decided to use the model curriculum that New Jersey created. Each course is broken down into five units, spanning seven weeks each.
From the NJDOE website:
Unit 1 begins with setting the stage for work with expressions and equations through understanding quantities and the relationships between them. The work in unit 2 will build on the grade 8 concepts for linear and exponential relationships. Success in unit 2 will lay the groundwork for later units where the students will extend this knowledge to quadratic and exponential functions.The standards included in unit 3 blend the conceptual understandings of expressions and equations with procedural fluency and problem solving. The students will not encounter solutions of quadratic equations that are complex.The standards presented in unit 4 involve functions and extending the concepts of integer exponents to concepts of rational exponents. The understandings will be applied to other types of equations in future courses. Unit 5 will build on previous work with descriptive statistics. Linear models will be used to assess how a model fits data.
Our current curriculum is pretty traditional. We use this book:
...start in chapter 1 and go from there. There are a couple sections that are skipped here and there, but overall it's pretty straightforward.
Instead of taking our current curriculum and trying to fit in the standards it feels more like we are starting from scratch. The NJ Model curriculum is totally different than what I'm used to. We are taking the model curriculum, interpreting each objective and then trying to figure out how to teach it. Often the objectives match up with a textbook section, but they're certainly not in order. A number of objectives aren't in the textbook at all so we're also looking for outside resources to include.
I'm still not entirely sure what my feelings are on the whole thing. It isn't optional so complaining is pointless, but I think that it's going to be a significant change. It seems that many of the sections I have taught aren't quite there anymore. It's also no longer really possible to just plan by flipping the page to the next section...it's going to take significantly more effort to plan lessons. And being the person that is going to introduce this change to the teachers in my school will also be quite interesting.
So who else out there is writing curriculum? What are you thoughts?
If anyone else is using the NJ Model Curriculum I would LOVE to hear from you.
Coming up is a couple different resources I've found to be really valuable in helping to unpack and make sense of the standards.