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Curriculum Alignment There is no doubt about the fact that the importance of selecting programs and lessons appropriate for each category of students is truly significant. It is also a matter of high importance to select a correct program for the specific area that is necessitated to be presented. This discussion addresses how lesson plans should be selected to accommodate all students regardless of their instructional level. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the importance of choosing those elementary school programs/lessons, which will offer a new and exciting vision for elementary school education, one that will rely heavily on elementary school learning programs and their people-building mission of teaching children to care and to build caring communities. The elementary schools of the 21st century are concerned with not only getting children ready for school, but getting schools ready for children. The educational institutions can accomplish this end by focusing on six crucial Cs designed to build strong cohesive classroom communities, which lay the foundation for successful classrooms. Those Cs are caring connections, communication, collaboration, community building, a commitment to character (child advocacy), and a curriculum with coherence that relates classroom to life learning. All students must feel safe, respected, and valued in order to learn new skills. Fear, discomfort, and anxiety are fundamentally incompatible with the learning process, and make teaching and learning difficult. Successful classrooms are those in which students feel supported in their learning, willing to take risks, challenged to become fully human with one another, and open to new possibilities. Elementary schools that emphasize the six Cs are destined to shape classrooms, children's lives, and a society that values community, concern for others, and an educational learning experience of al children regardless of their instructional level.
In order to help achieving these goals there is a need to structure the lesson program in appropriate way. It is important that the selection of lessons would help a student to build an effective Culturally Responsive Curricula. An example of this type of schedule would fulfill the following requirements: 1. Instructional Level: The Curriculum needs to be combined and include several disciplines, which would develop a student in different directions. This type of schedule should be centered on the student, reliable and connected to the actual life of a child, rather then trust one-time activities, additional parts and diluting regular curriculum with several minority students. The example of the Instructional Level program is elementary school Counseling. Elementary school counseling programs are in the people-building business. They exist for the purpose of helping children to create, package, and market themselves as independent, responsible, and self-managing human beings who are capable of making legal, ethical, and moral decisions that will benefit themselves, others, and society. Elementary school counseling programs are in the business of helping children to think critically, communicate their wants and needs thoughtfully, and care for themselves and others unconditionally. 2. Development level: It is important that the curriculum suggested for the student is capable of developing critical thinking skills. For this purpose perfectly fits a Critical Thinking Class, or the classes of literature structured in the correlation with this purpose.
It is also significant that at this level the books and lessons, that a child reads and attends respectively, are free from any cultural bias, such as portraying only certain nations as “superheroes”, while others are shown as negative characters. The explanation of the “one size fits all” kind is not a solution for this problem. What is more, children are able to participate in different games that deal with critical thinking during this lesson. The teacher must create a game when children have to unite in order to achieve one common goal (e.g. outlining a plan how to improve the school garden). The point of emphasis is that there should be no winners or losers: the children should instead focus on the common goal. 3. Curricular goals: Now I would like to present the main curricular goal that I base my alignment suggestions on, since I am certain that this is the primary objective that every student and his parents are seeking in the education. From my perspective, when we are speaking about the students of elementary school, it is significantly important to both help them discover what they are particularly good at, and to make sure that they grasp all the possible information provided, since they do not yet know which of them would they be eager to use further in lives. One of the most important issues in education is to help a student to learn as much necessary information in such a way, that he will enjoy it, be interested in what he studies, would be motivated to proceed learning and the information presented will be mastered and remembered as good as possible. An example of the appropriate program that satisfied the curriculum goal would be a general learning/teaching plan approved by the District and State Boards of Education.
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Such plan may be developed by the school or by the hired professionals. After developing elementary school curricular program goals (resources, activities, objectives, and goals), key program goal information can be transferred to program-planner sheets, one sheet for each goal to be addressed. Program planners are helpful memory aids because they provide teachers with the key information they need for each program priority goal being targeted for that year. The program planner identifies multiple delivery methods that may be utilized to address the same goal, service providers, service recipients, needed resources, budget allocations, and a calendar of activities. 4. Disabilities: Another important issue that needs to be considered during the process of constructing the Students Responsive Curriculum is the integration of strategies which make use of cooperative learning and whole language instruction. It also should have self-esteem building as a part of it, as well as understanding the broadness of learning approaches and various intelligences. For example, if children have some disabilities, it is also important that during their learning process they do not come across any bias about disabled people, who are portrayed having limited perspectives, compared to the others. The SRC could also be helping if the teachers applied it in this case as well. Choosing appropriate learning plan that will help teachers fight the disability bias is the most important aspect of the whole process. If the learning/teaching plan that aims to address issues of equal education to all students (including those with disabilities) is selected incorrectly, the objectives of building the positive and prejudice-free atmosphere will not be met and the program will fail.
5. Reading Levels: Children tend to read at different levels. Some students read faster than others. Such situation requires adequate assessment of the learning program that is chosen for a certain group of pupils. An example of the program that allows the teacher to discern among the various reading levels of the students would be a method that proposes selective reading and writing assignments for different pupils. In other words, the instructor assigns dissimilar readings (based on the person’s ability to read and comprehend) to different students and then checks whether the assigned reading was well understood by the student (a pupil is to complete either written response to the readings or narrate the story orally). The importance of choosing the lessons and programs in correspondence to the abilities and personal preferences of a specific student is quite significant. The arguments that support this idea, which can be perceived after reading throughout this essay even if the author does not specifically mentions it, can be found in the explanations given above. Besides, the level of child’s performance often depends on the level of his satisfaction from what he does. If the curriculum alignment is going to be responsive to child’s expectations, both his level of happiness and performance on subjects are going to be on a high level.
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