Allowing curriculum planning to remain curious

I’ll be meeting my students tomorrow. All 3 of them. There may be 4, but most likely 3. There also maybe a few more before the next month or so is over.

I’m wondering a little bit what exactly we will do together all day long 🙂

Things I am planning:

An academic curriculum, steeped in their goals for the future.

The students I will have are from 16-19 years old, have very limited academic skills, a diverse range of language ability (from Anglo to bilingual), and need to learn basic life skills.

Some may ask – why an academic curriculum? I call it academic, though life skills will certainly play a large role. I respect my students too much to not keep my expectations and goals for them rigorous.

Our first unit will be on the theme of Bridges. We’ll explore imagery, poetry, construction, social skills, personal goals…all kinds of things can be explored around bridges.

I also want to use photography. For those who don’t find words to come easily, we will still develop sequencing and story-telling skills through visual essays. VoiceThread should be helpful here.

We will also develop vocabulary – in both English and French. I will be incorporating a word wall into our classroom for sure!

What else…

Possible landscaping. There are these courtyards throughout the building that are filled with overgrown plants and some weeds. But we won’t just be weeding and cleaning up. I’d like to see them possibly design the areas into usable space. There is a greenhouse in the school, so we can do some work over the winter as well.

Morals and Ethics – learning how to take a considered opinion, how to gather data in order to do so – both internal (emotions) and external data.

Math to do with travel, cooking, planning.

But a lot of my planning needs to be done after I meet these students. The curriculum is up to me. So I will be basing it on their very specific needs, interests, abilities, and styles peppered with my own 🙂

So, while I have some great ideas brewing, I need to focus on being curious about my students first.

6 thoughts on “Allowing curriculum planning to remain curious

  1. Tracy, I really appreciate your expose here, intertwining theory and practice 🙂

    It’s a simple yet insightful way of demonstrating how teaching can include ICT tools without taking over the process (in fact enhancing it as I see it!) – something I often feel teachers struggle with if they have yet to delve into ed technologies (or even more, have had negative experiences with ICTs in teaching or learning).

    To me, this really sounds like an emergent design process as well – what are your thoughts on that? (I know you previously sent me a paper about emergent design).

    I’d love for our curriculum team to see this as an emerging curriculum design process too! 🙂
    I would certainly like to point our teachers to your post here too. Especially when you say:
    “But a lot of my planning needs to be done after I meet these students. ”

    Yeah! True learner-centredness! And should we perhaps be developing ‘word walls’ for newbie e-learning teachers too?!

    Cheers, Marg

  2. Pingback: :: ed(ge)ucation design :: » Blog Archive » Quote for the week: the curious curriculum

  3. Marg, I’ve made a new post where I reflect on your question about emergent design in the classroom.

    This blog is one way I intertwine ICT and the teaching process, as a reflective tool for myself as well as a way to get some feedback on my reflection.

    Another way I am using blogs in the classroom is here, in a more hands-on way with the kids:

    Miss Rosen’s Classroom.

    I like the idea of the ICT word wall for teachers! Could go in the staffroom, perhaps…

    Thanks for the great questions!

  4. Pingback: remaining curious

  5. keep up the fantastic work , I read few content on this web site and I think that your weblog is rattling interesting and has circles of wonderful info

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