PHASE 1 Collecting the Data

Teachers/staff must record at least three data fields: Content, Skills,and Assessments. The teachers may, or may not, have a personal- or consensus-projected map to base their diary mapping on.Usually, for the initial mapping year, teachers are asked to diary map one specific content area. As each year of the curriculum mapping initiative grows, more content areas and detailed information will be included in both the diary and projected maps. Before teachers are asked to diary map, they must first be provided with adequate training--in two regards. First, learning what a “quality” recording format looks likes for the three essential fields so that one’s maps are readable by all, as well as how to show alignment of content, skills, and assessments--to each other and to standards. Secondly, how one uses the technology system chosen to record the curriculum-mapping data. Note: A school/district is not required to use a curriculum-mapping technology system to begin the mapping process, but it is HIGHLY recommended.

The First Read-Through is a crucial component of Phase 1 and is often times overlooked! After the teachers have begun diary mapping, usually after the second month of recording, the teachers are placed in pre-planned vertical (both across grade levels and content areas) first read-through teams wherein the team members read copies of each others’ diary maps solely for the purpose of “ease of readability.” Teachers are not looking for gaps, repetitions, etc., at this time!

Each team member reads the team member’s personal diary maps and records his/her notes concerning positives and confusions on a provided data-recording sheet before the actual team meeting. The read-through team then meets to share the positives/concerns of each other’s diary maps. The read-through experience proves eye-opening for everyone involved! After this meeting time, the quality of everyone’s diary maps increase ten-fold due to the non-judgmental nature of the meeting. The participants realize that everyone must be able to read one’s diary map, not just the creator of the map.

PHASE 2 The Like-Group (Horizontal) Review

A horizontal review team, which represents same grade level and/or same discipline, meets for a specific pre-announced focus. Usually in the initial CM year, about half-way through theyear, the horizontal teams meet to discuss their personal findings concerning their own gradelevel/discipline’s gaps, repetitions, alignments, etc. The teachers first review each other’s diary maps independently, making notes on a data-recording sheet. The horizontal team then meets to discuss individual notes concerning the meeting’s pre-determined purpose/intent. A designated recorder writes the team’s consensus notes based on what is shared. If appropriate (dependent on the reason for the review), the horizontal team members will next meet in a mixed-group review.

PHASE 3 The Mixed-Group (Vertical) Review

Based on a pre-determined focus (during the first CM year, a mixed-group review usually meets to look for across-the-grade-levels gaps, repetitions, alignment, etc., in content and skills, as well as proper selection of assessments based on the skills and instructional methods), the predetermined
vertical teams (a mixture of grade levels, disciplines, support staff, etc.) meet to discuss what the horizontal-team meeting consensus recording sheets stated, as well as recording what is discussed during the vertical-team meeting. A recorder takes consensus mixed-group review notes that will be shared with all teams in preparation for Phase 4.

PHASE 4 The Large-Group Discussion / Approval Review

After the mixed-group (vertical) reviews have been completed and cumulative notes have been copied and distributed to the school or district teachers/staff for a pre-meeting review, the entire staff meets to discuss the findings and determines immediate changes, slow-to-implement changes and/or needs-further-investigation-before-considering-any-changes. Also, how, when, where, and who will be responsible for the changes being voted upon or further researched.

PHASE 5 Changes Made or Continued Investigation

Based on the discussions and decisions made during Phase 4, the majority-vote changes are made to the curriculum or to curriculum-support structures that effect/affect curriculum instruction (i.e., length of class time; when students are allowed to be pulled out of classrooms, when benchmark assessments are given, etc.). If “continued investigation” was the majority vote, a research team is formed to study the issue(s) and reports back to the horizontal and/or vertical teams in a pre-determined amount of time. Then, after revisiting Phase 4, based on the research-team’s findings, a vote on needed (or not needed) changes is taken.

PHASE 6 Preparing for another Round of “Examining Data”.

Since curriculum mapping is an on-going process wherein the collection and examination of mapped data (as well as other data resources that address a school or district’s curriculum, essential learning, and functions), is necessary to create and/or modify best practices, there will always be a need or focus to be addressed. The cycle of on-going examination can be done via grade levels (horizontal-team reviews), across grade levels and/or content areas (vertical-team reviews), intra-district feeder patterns (community-of-schools reviews), and/or inter-district (all the-schools-within-the-district).