Vertical Alignment

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3 thoughts on “Vertical Alignment”

  1. Sometimes just for thrills I try to put myself in the shoes of the Curriculum Czar. She’s the keeper of the documents- so she’s the only one who seems to care that we organize our stuff in some kind or coherent sequence. She really thinks they are helpful charts and lists….
    Because we really don’t use any of the docs that we had to produce, my elementary (grades 1-4) colleagues & I came up with a short list of need-to-know structures by grade. For example in 3rd and 4th we added the less hi-frequency structures from Brandon wants a Dog and Isabela’s Adventures respectively, so that we could be fairly sure the kids would understand the books in the spring without any big surprises. (For example, for Brandon, we will make sure to include/pre-load ‘picks up’ and ‘returns’ – recoge and regresa). By backwards planning from stories, novels, favorite MT clips, etc., we can easily populate the
    mandatory charts and documents.
    Aside from the few dozen ‘must knows’, we are free to teach whatever and however we like, and we each use different materials to prompt our stories.
    We also are required to give cornerstone assessments, so we compare notes on what our kids have acquired so far before we sit down and write them together. Sometimes we scramble to teach a particular structure before the Cornerstone assessment, but otherwise there is no sequence.
    When we pass the 4th graders upstream, the receiving Spanish teachers don’t really attend to our documentation. They look at /listen to and work with the kids before them. The work they do involves more reading and writing, and a whole lot broader input. When our Ss leave after 8th grade, they move on to a more traditional HS, though there are cracks in the wall and when our first graduating
    class – who’ve had the full 1st through 8th cycle of CI arrive in 9th grade (a few more years) we are hoping they’ll make some noise.

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