Make sense of state and national standards across the disciplines. Align them to your curriculum and classroom practices. And achieve the greatest student success. In these politically charged times, the mere mention of standards often leads to heated discussion, misinterpretation, and confusion. On top of that, teachers must design standards-based units using a process that's cumbersome, difficult, and time consuming. But no more. Here's the first "how to" book for standards-based education. In it, former principal Janet Hurt looks at standards from a practical point of view, offering teachers step-by-step procedures for analyzing, interpreting, and integrating standards into their teaching, whatever the discipline. Hurt bases her book on the work of hundreds of teachers who wanted to align their curriculum into something more than a list of content and skills. Through compelling examples, she demonstrates that teachers can actually use standards (even substandard ones) to the benefit of both themselves and their students. Read Hurt and learn how to:
  • Examine standards to identify the conceptual learning embedded within, beneath, behind, and beyond them
  • Select relevant topics that nudge students toward a deeper understanding of "umbrella concepts"
  • Design a standards-based skeleton unit based on what we know about how students learn
  • Guide incremental student expectations and questions that help focus each unit
  • Design a standards-based curriculum map that is a by-product of developing units and higher-level concepts, not isolated topics
  • Tame standards by using them to teach to a higher level.
A must-read for all educators who deal with high-stakes accountability, standards-based education, professional development or training new teachers.