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The Teacher Handbook series for preschool to grade 5 consists of the the Teacher Handbooks, Instructional Masters, Art Resources, and Text Resources. More…
Ensure a Successful Implementation
Among those schools that have experienced the most success with Core Knowledge several common practices are shared. These schools:
- have adminstrators who are knowledgeable about and intimately involved with all aspects of the instructional program,
- appoint a Core Knowledge coordinator to support their ongoing use of the Sequence,
- use a comprehensive curriculum plan to guide instruction,
- select and use sequential reading and math programs of proven effectiveness, and
- develop a school-wide implementation plan to document how they will address a variety of factors that support success.
School-wide Implementation Plan
A school-wide implementation plan addresses in detail how schools will:
Establish Weekly Common Planning Time for Teachers
The most successful Core Knowledge schools implement a minimum of 90 minutes per week of (preferably uninterrupted) planning time per grade level team. Providing common planning time allows teachers to collaboratively create lesson plans, share best practices, coordinate pacing of the curriculum, diagnose individual student needs, and plan enrichment and intervention groupings and activities. Common planning time should also involve "specialists" who teach art, music, physical education, special education, English language learners, and technology. Ongoing participation from media specialists, cluster teachers and administrators is also helpful.
Ensure Full Participation in Professional Development
The most successful Core Knowledge schools ensure that their principal, Core Knowledge coordinator, and all teachers participate in the complete professional development program offered by the Core Knowledge Foundation.
These schools also provide opportunities for their teachers to participate in training and activities that further develop their knowledge and understanding of topics covered in the Core Knowledge Sequence.
Provide Necessary Materials and Resources
The most successful Core Knowledge schools create an inventory of the instructional resources and materials that they have available to teach the topics covered in the Sequence. They develop a plan to acquire additional resources and ensure that their annual budget includes funding to maintain and grow this inventory.
Conduct Program Evaluation
The most successful Core Knowledge schools collect information and data to help them evaluate progress, identify strengths and weaknesses, and measure success of their Core Knowledge implementation.
These schools document what kinds of information and data are needed to ensure that desirable outcomes are being achieved. Sources of information and data, collections methods, collection frequency, and what resources are available to collect the desired information and data are also included in the plan.
Continually Assess Student Learning
The most successful Core Knowledge schools recognize the connection between assessment and learning. These schools employ teachers who use ongoing assessment to inform the planning of lessons, activities, and experiences. These schools also use more formal curriculum referenced assessment methods to ensure student mastery of instructional content.
Core Knowledge curriculum-referenced tests, published by Questar Assessment, are available for grades 1 through 5. These comprehensive, end-of-year exams reflect the specific subject matter outlined in the Core Knowledge Sequence, and offer teachers a way to assess how well their students are learning and retaining the material they teach.
Sustain Their Implementation
The most successful Core Knowledge schools thoughtfully consider how to sustain and grow their Core Knowledge implementation. These schools annually revisit their vision and mission with regard to Core Knowledge. They solicit ongoing feedback from teachers, parents, and students to continually improve, motivate, and energize their Core Knowledge community.
Communicate with and Involve Parents
The most successful Core Knowledge schools develop strong partnerships with parents. When parents understand the curriculum, they are better able to offer support in the classroom and extend learning beyond the classroom. Open communication and involvement is the key to the useful exchange of ideas, feedback, and support.
The most successful Core Knowledge schools stay connected with the Core Knowledge Foundation. An active and ongoing relationship with the Foundation allows schools to learn about the latest resources, professional development offerings, and support options.