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Using State Standards to Scale and Weigh Lessons, Units and Curriculum


Most math and science departments are given the task of aligning their current lessons, units and/or curriculum with their respective state standards. Usually this takes the form of checking off whether an existing unit "covers" which standard. This Excel-based tool instead requires teachers to give a 1-5 score as to how a unit measures up to each standard. In this case, the New Jersey State Math Standards were transferred to an Excel spreadsheet. Then beside each standard is a five point scale from low to high. The question is given: "To what extent does your lesson, unit of curriculum enable your students to achieve X standard?". In the end, you get a numerical rating which allows teachers to quantify the degree to which different lessons or units implement the standards. It permits a side-by-side comparison between two or more different instructional approaches or texts.