Newton-Conover City Schools K-5 teacher representatives from each elementary school met with Tammy Brown, Elementary Director, and the Instructional Coaches(Scarlet Davis and Amber Humphrey) on August 11 and 12 to take a deeper look into curriculum. The curriculum days began with an overview of UbD (Understanding by Design). Understanding by Design, UbD, works within the standards-driven curriculum to help teachers clarify learning goals, devise assessments of student understanding, and craft effective and engaging learning activities. Grant Wiggins states, “Understanding is the ability to transfer learning to new, different and unique experiences.” The primary goal of UbD is student understanding: the ability to make meaning of “big ideas” and transfer their learning. After learning about UbD, the teachers were actively involved in creating Stage One of UbD in Science. During this stage, teachers had to identify the desired results, unpack the learning, prioritize learning goals, determine expectations, and clarify learning outcomes.
On August 12, we focused on the math curriculum. We began by looking at the current adoption of Math Expressions. This program combined elements of standards-based instruction with the best traditional approaches for teaching mathematics. Through objects, drawings, conceptual language, and real-world examples, this program helped students make sense of mathematics. The teachers reviewed last year’s pacing guides, studied the math standards, then created new pacing guides and assessments for the upcoming year.
On August 21, during the half day staff development, the teachers who worked during the curriculum days will be presenting the material that we worked on these two days. To learn more about Understanding by Design, click here.