PARENT GUIDE TO
ELEMENTARY TEACHING & LEARNING
Educators at Center Grove Community Schools work to ensure that each child receives an exceptional educational experience. A foundation to an exceptional experience is a "guaranteed and viable" curriculum. GUARANTEED means that each student has the opportunity to learn the same content taught in specific grade levels across all schools. VIABLE means that there is a sufficient amount of time to learn the content. Essential Learnings, or learning targets/objectives/goals, are integral to a guaranteed and viable curriculum.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL LEARNINGS?
Essential Learnings are created by teacher experts from all schools, and they articulate the skills, content, and concepts aligned with state standards. Essential Learnings (or "ELs") determine the non-negotiable areas of proficiency to be attained by ALL students.
WHY ARE ESSENTIAL LEARNINGS IMPORTANT?
Essential Learnings allow for deep learning of concepts and consistency across buildings in topics of instruction. Educational researcher, Robert Marzano, analyzed state and national standards and determined that school would need to be changed from K-12 to K-22 in order for teachers to teach every standard to the level of deep understanding in every student. In his research, he determined that in one grade level there were over 200 standards and 3,093 benchmarks! With this amount of volume, teachers have to make judgment calls regarding the content on which to focus or omit, which makes it difficult for subsequent teachers to know what students have learned and what they haven't yet been exposed to. Therefore, Essential Learnings provide a clear focus for the learning that must occur in each course. They specify the topics that students must learn in order to be ready for the next level or next related topic within a course. Center Grove Essential Learnings have been developed by teams of CG teachers, called "Curriculum Collaborators," from every school who are subject experts.
Overall, Essential Learnings:
- Promote clarity
- Promote consistency
- Provide pacing for assessments
- Create ownership of the curriculum
HOW IS PROGRESS MEASURED ON ESSENTIAL LEARNINGS?
A progression of learning, called a Proficiency Scale, is developed for each Essential Learning. A Proficiency Scale is a four point scale that describes students' levels of knowledge and understanding.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?