Curriculum and Standards

What do we want all students to learn?

MPS Curriculum & Standards

 Research concludes that implementation of a guaranteed and viable curriculum plays a critical role in the improvement of student achievement. Guaranteed means that every child in every school receives essential instruction every day; viable means that the curriculum can be taught in the amount of time provided.  Middletown Public Schools is a Standards Based District.  We develop our curriculum based upon content standards.  Links to the developed curriculums and content standards are provided below.  

Instruction

Instruction is the creation and implementation of purposefully developed plans for the teaching of curriculum content. It is what teachers often concisely refer to as "planning" and "teaching."  The relationship between curriculum and instruction is so intimate that "curriculum and instruction" is frequently spoken as if it were one word.  With curriculum being the content of what is taught along with an overall process of how that content is to be taught, and instruction being the more detailed plans and the way those plans are implemented in order to teach the curriculum content, it becomes easy to understand that the two must be compatible in order to maximize student learning.

Instructional Strategies

Below are instructional strategies that are identified as best instructional strategies to improve student achievement across all content areas and across all grade levels. These strategies are based upon the works of Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock, Grant Wiggins, Jay McTighe, Carol Ann Tomlinson.  

 

Thematic Instruction

Students learn better from thematic, interdisciplinary instruction -- themes are a way of understanding new concepts and provide mental organizing schemes.

 

Identifying Similarities and Differences

Learning to classify and discern differences and similarities prepares students for employing metaphor, analogy, and higher-order thinking skills.

 

Summarizing and Note Taking

Effective summarizing requires analysis that leads to deeper understanding. Students benefit from taking notes in both linguistic and visual forms.

 

Reinforcing Effort

Student attitudes and beliefs have a significant effect on success in school. Achievement can increase when teachers show the connection between effort and success.

 

Homework and Practice

Homework can increase student understanding when assignments provide the opportunities needed to practice and apply new learning.

 

Non-linguistic Representation

We store knowledge in two forms: linguistic and non-linguistic. The more students use both systems, the better they are able to think about and recall knowledge.

 

Cooperative Grouping

Grouping can promote student learning and build interpersonal skills when done wisely and support structures are in place.

Setting Objectives

Teachers communicate learning goals to students every day. Focus students on meeting those goals and greatly improve their chances of success.  

 

Providing Feedback

Criteria for success and specific, timely feedback can help increase students understanding and improve learning.

 

Generating and Testing Hypotheses

Generating hypotheses and applying knowledge when testing requires careful orchestration of experience. Technology tools add authenticity to the learning experience.

 

Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers

Increase students' readiness for learning with cues and questions that connect new ideas to existing knowledge