Why a model curriculum?
The purpose of providing a “model” is to assist districts and schools with implementation of the Common Core State Standards and New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards by providing an example from which to work and/or a product for implementation. Each unit contains targeted student learning objectives (SLOs) that elucidate what students need to know and be able to do within the unit. The six-week formative assessments included in the model curriculum help clarify the level of rigor expected from the standards and provide a set of assessment tools that are often difficult for districts and schools to create on their own.
What is the model curriculum?
The model curriculum (version 1.0) includes all standards of the grade-level content organized into five units of study, each with targeted SLOs, intended for six weeks of instruction each. Each unit contains the content of the grade that can be reasonably taught to proficiency in a six-week time period. The sequence of units in the model curriculum is a purposeful sequence of the target skills for each unit in each grade or course. The included formative assessments allow for measuring student proficiency of those target skills as the year of instruction progresses.
Use and Implementation
Some districts may use the model to compare current documents to, build from, rearrange, or select portions for implementation. The intent for districts implementing the curriculum is that districts, schools, and/or teachers will be able to easily craft unit and lesson plans by being attentive to the precise wording of the SLO. In addition, the unit assessments included in the model curriculum provide clarity about the level students need to reach to achieve proficiency.
A subsequent version of NJDOE’s model curriculum (version 2.0) will follow with sample lessons, videos of best practices relative to SLOs, suggestions of resources aligned to the Common Core, and resources for professional development in both content and pedagogy.
The work on the following pages has been the collaborative effort of the Department of Education with teachers, principals, district leaders, higher education faculty, and other experts in New Jersey and from around the country. We invite you to review the documents and look forward to your feedback – both positive and constructive.