Week 13: Curriculum and Instruction

April 13, 2014

Building curriculum can sometimes be a challenge. I have found while working with my ESL students it is better for me to build curriculum around things they do not have prior knowledge of. I build curriculum around things that are not taught in their native countries that are academic requirements in our school system and by the state. I have built my curriculum around World History, US History, Earth Science, and writing strategies. My students seem to able to grasp Biology, Geography, Math, and with some help Reading, but struggle in the areas I focus on. My students have no prior knowledge of US History or World History, they just have never learned the history of the world.Earth Science is not focused on in other countries and for ESL students writing is the last skill that develops for them. I have tried to meet their needs and often help them with grammar questions and problems. I have tried to model good use of grammar and help students with sentence structure problems and use of punctuation and capitalization (which they never use).

I use backward design lesson plans to help me develop well planned and thought out lesson. I generally include 4 or 5 activities to help students remember the lesson and apply what they have learned. I frequently repeat information for them and often use some of my activities as warm ups to help my students keep the information fresh in their minds. I also obtain information from their other teachers to help keep my lessons on track with what is going on in other classrooms. I think this extra collaboration helps my students work through some of the difficulties they have been facing.

I think for each of us curriculum is something different and has different elements that are unique to all of us. We all have our strengths and we should be able to build off of those to develop a strong curriculum that works for us and our students so they can excel!

Categories: Foundations of American Education.

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