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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Let's Review and Recover

Greetings lovers of curriculum alignment! I hope all is going well in your worlds as the 2011-12 school year heads towards its inevitable end. I have found myself unable to add the next installment in the Alignment Foundations series this month. I will return to that in the beginning of June. In the meantime, I'd like to share links to all of the previous blog posts in the Foundations series, as well as provide an update on the curriculum alignment work I've been doing lately.

Foundation Series Links

Below are links to each of the Curriculum Alignment Foundations Series posts. Tell your friends.

Introduction to Curriculum Alignment Foundations Series
Foundations Series: What is Curriculum Alignment?
Foundations Series: What is Curriculum?
Foundations Series: What is Intended Curriculum?
Foundations Series: What is Enacted Curriculum?
Foundations Series: What is Assessed Curriculum?
Foundations Series: What is Learned Curriculum?
Foundations Series: What is Alignment?
Foundations Series: What is Directionality?

My Recent Curriculum Alignment Work

I have been working on several things lately. First and foremost, I've been working working with an amazing programmer, Lori Thelen, at Heartland Area Education Agency 11 in Johnston, IA to add cognitive complexity tools to the Iowa Curriculum Alignment Toolkit, or ICAT for short (check out Learning Station #1). For those of you unfamiliar, the ICAT is a web-based alignment tool I started building almost four years ago for educators in Iowa to use, free of charge. The ICAT allows teachers to reflect on the content of their enacted curriculum, and to then check to see the degree to which that aligns with the intended curriculum of the Iowa Core. We will be starting a field study in the coming weeks, and hopefully have it functional by the end of June, which is when my current contract with the Iowa Department of Education ends.

Relatedly, I designed and facilitated a study determining the cognitive complexity of the Iowa Core in English/Language Arts and Mathematics for grades K-2 and all of the Iowa-specific additions to the Iowa Core for grades K-12. I say additions, because Iowa is a Common Core State Standards state. We didn't have to do a study for grades 3-12 because WestEd did a cognitive complexity study of the Common Core in English/Language Arts and Mathematics for the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC). That means we were able to use the cognitive complexity information from the SBAC study for our Iowa Work. I am hopefully we will be able to provide a project report on our study, as well as guidance on appropriate use for the cognitive complexity data beyond the ICAT.

Final Thoughts

I've been quite busy lately, and I'm loving every minute of it. I'll be back next month, better than ever, with a new blog post in the Curriculum Alignment Foundations Series: What Are Dimensions. Until then, be great!


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