It's that time of year again (or it is as we write this at least), time to plan for the coming year. Many teachers are tasked with creating curriculum maps, pacing guides and lesson plans during their summer break. And while there are a few of us who actually enjoy planning out all 180 days of school in advance, we know most of our fellow teachers would rather be enjoying their oh-so-rare free time!
To save you some effort and stress over the summer we've put together a full curriculum map. It's designed for our complete honors biology curriculum but we've left it fully editable so you can tailor it to your class and school specific requirements.
Our curriculum map is a high-level overview of the concepts and standards covered in the course. If you need more detail just opt-in below to get our pacing guides, they provide a more detailed look at what's covered in the course.
Our curriculum map is a high-level overview of the concepts and standards covered in the honors biology course. Each of the 23 units is listed sequentially with the broad concepts taught by the lessons in that unit. The NGSS and CCSS which are covered by the lessons are also listed, providing a birds-eye view of the year and allowing easy rearrangement of the order of units.
The overview provided by the curriculum map also allows rapid changes to be made in course structure and standards alignment. If your school follows separate state standards you can easily replace or ad to the NGSS and CCSS already provided.
If you're teaching a class other than biology, or you want to go through the exercise of making your own curriculum map, we have some tips!
This is an opportunity to map out the order and flow of the concepts you're teaching in a particular class. In many cases, getting the basics of a large amount of information on paper can change your perspective on it. Do the concepts progress in a logical order? Is one specific chapter lacking in depth? Is valuable time that could be devoted to helping your students master a difficult topic being wasted on unnecessary side concepts elsewhere in your curriculum? These are just some of the improvements that can come to mind when you gain the ability to see the entire year in context.
Here are some suggestions about where to start if you feel lost or overwhelmed:
1. Simply replace the text in our curriculum map with the major concepts and titles of each chapter of your curriculum.
2. Take a look at the major concepts of each chapter and consider the following:
a) Does the order make logical sense?
b) Will your students have the prerequisite skills for these topics at that point of the year?
c) Is the depth similar to that of other chapters?
d) Are difficult topics getting enough attention?
3. Try rearranging some problem areas and see how that changes the flow of your curriculum. How has your perspective changed? Take a moment to jot down some goals that will help you make the improvements you've just designed.
Once you're happy with your curriculum map, set your new goals into action by building a pacing guide. Pacing guides are an effective way to make sure your timing for each chapter makes sense before diving into a more specific planning tool, such as daily or weekly lesson plans.
Our pacing guides are the next level of detail in course planning. They give the name of each unit, every lesson and their standards, and how many days each unit will take to cover.
We'd love to share our pacing guides with you! Enter your info below and we'll send them straight to your inbox.
The final, and most detailed step, in course planning is creating the lesson plans. These cover the information for every single day of the entire year. They include the lesson name, standards covered, materials needed, the objective for the day, the assessments used and the homework.
Creating lesson plans is a great deal of work and really shows that you have a thorough curriculum. We save access to these for our members. If you'd like to learn more about our complete biology curriculum and how you can save hours of work just click here!
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.