Curriculum mapping might sound complicated and seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be, though! By keeping it as simple as possible and taking a good look at your road map for the school year, it can actually save you stress and time down the road. This post has some helpful tips for getting started, and I’m even including a FREE EDITABLE Curriculum Map Template for you!
Basically, curriculum mapping is creating a map of the things you need to cover during the school year. When you are able to work on this with your grade-level teammates, it is even easier. Then, if all grade-levels within a particular school can communicate their goals and what their maps include, things can flow much better from year to year. Students benefit greatly from the elimination of repeated tasks and projects.
Let’s take a closer look at the WHY and HOW of Curriculum Mapping:
Why Curriculum Mapping can benefit you:
- By looking at the big picture, you can identify the best path to reach the destination
- Helps with pacing
- Connect topics across subjects
- Less scrambling at assessment time
How to get started with Curriculum Mapping:
- Begin with the end in mind
- Make a list of major topics and units you will be teaching
- Use a Planning Map to assign the topics to months, weeks, etc.
- Consider holidays & breaks
- Add standards
If you get stressed out about covering ALL the standards before testing time (lets face it, we ALL do!), then curriculum mapping and pacing guides can be a HUGE help! I prefer to keep it simple, with a basic outline for the year.
Here’s how I do it in a nutshell:
- Use your Free Editable Curriculum Map Template to get started.
- Write down all the major topics you need to cover in a year.
- Assign each topic to a month that makes sense. Keep in mind that some subjects have topics that must build on each other.
- Once you have a loose year-long plan in place, complete a monthly or unit plan in the same manner.
Keep these things in mind as you are creating your map:
- Does your district already have a curriculum map in place? If so, align the special activities and units you want to do with that map.
- Are you required to use a textbook series in a specific order? If so, keep the textbook’s pacing guide in mind as you create your own map.
- Are there specific content areas that you will want to explore more in depth with your students? Leave more time.
- Will you have holiday breaks or testing? Leave time free on your map.
Ready to get started? Use the tips I’ve provided above and download your Free Editable Curriculum Map Template today! The editable file includes several pages to help you map out your year and create unit plans, monthly maps and yearly outlines.