From Simple Addition to Multiplicative Thinking – How Our Curriculum Spans the K-8 Years

January 26, 2017

A comprehensive K-8 curriculum map had long been a goal for Prospect Sierra. Our teachers excel in their planning, implementing, and evaluating of their curricula, and Abby Guinn, Heather Rogers, and Katherine Dinh shared a vision of an interactive virtual document that would serve as a glimpse into the scope and sequence of Prospect Sierra’s progressive, research based, and student centered teaching.

Three teachers, two from the elementary campus and one from the middle school campus, set out to gather and synthesize all that we do at Prospect Sierra. Our teachers are dedicated to meaningful and rigorous curricula, so formatting the map proved to be challenging. Much of what we teach is integrated in one way or another with another subject area, and all of what we teach falls under our 21st Century Skills. Once it all came together, it was impressive to see how it flowed and really did create a snapshot of our teaching. The team used previous curriculum descriptions and their own knowledge of the school to create a rough draft of the map.

After a presentation to the senior administrators, the map was shared with the faculty on both campuses. Teachers were asked to edit the sections they teach and provide feedback. The grid layout was also difficult for teachers who were eager to add more to the descriptions of their curricula. Upon sharing the vision for the project, which was to give both current and prospective parents a window into the curriculum year to year,  faculty collaborated to ensure that their sections were accurate.

The draft of the curriculum grid then moved on to editors and graphic designers who published it on the newly launched website. The curriculum map is meant to be a live document, with annual updates and opportunities for elementary and middle school faculty to provide feedback. Perhaps the most impressive take away from the curriculum grid is that the team was able to map out a K-8 scope and sequence for our changemakers and social justice curricula (located under “Prospect Sierra Values in Action”).

Our passion for educating students ready to create change, in direct connection with our 21st Century Skills, is what sets us apart from other rigorous independent schools. After creating the map, we were able to see that we really do integrate and balance our curriculum across the spectrum from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Check it out and lest us know what you think!

Beth Hall, Second Grade Lead Teacher