Teaching the whole curriculum is hard enough when we have all our students in the classroom, face-to-face each day, learning in our familiar surroundings. At the moment though, this isn’t the case, however, it doesn’t mean that learning becomes less important.
We know learning matters, including social-emotional learning, which now, more than ever, is an area we need to focus on.
But what about the curriculum?
The curriculum is our bread and butter, it’s what we do well. Just as a baker spends hours learning to make bread, mastering a variety of loaves, we spend hours learning the curriculum, teaching it in interesting, engaging and relevant ways. Our picnic basket if full of bread, all different types, to meet everyone’s desired taste.
Our picnic basket at the moment though has become a little different, it’s not as big, doesn’t hold as much as we have to leave some things behind. We don’t have the time we are used to having like we would if we were at school, our classrooms aren’t the same and our students have different needs right now.
So how do we know what we should fit in our picnic basket at the moment?
We need to focus on three key things:
We know our curriculum is already overcrowded and in a ‘normal’ school year it’s hard teach it all, throw in a pandemic and it’s almost impossible. So, what do we do? We need to focus on essential learning for our students. We need to break out curriculum into 3 categories; Like, Might and Must.
When we use the Australian Curriculum, it’s is important we focus on the Achievement Standards to help us know what we MUST teach. Start here. Use each sentence as a Learning Intention to help you know what you MUST teach and to help your students know what they MUST learn. This then forms your explicit teaching time, face-to-face (online) Think of this as everyone’s favourite soft white loaf.
In a classroom setting our MIGHT is the stuff we would do if we found ourselves with a bit more time, once our essential learning (MUST) is taken care of. It’s the wholemeal loaf you would go to if all the white bread was gone. MIGHT is also what we use for students who show a bit more of an interest or are ready to take their learning further (differentiation comes into play here, think Gluten-free, it’s always an option). MIGHT learning is not our MUST, but at times it blurs over, it could be where we find ourselves thinking things like ‘MIGHT do it again’, ‘MIGHT come back to it later’, ‘MIGHT consolidate this in a literacy rotation next week’.
LIKE to do is always the fun stuff, the things we save until the end if we really do have time! It’s the fruit loaf or Boston Bun! Right now, though, some LIKE lessons are going to be important. This is the stuff students can mostly do without you, they don’t require heaps of explicit teaching, but do require students to learn, learn about their interests, themselves and learn just for fun – the best type of learning!
Hope that helps… Keep it simple. Is it Like, Might or Must?