Curriculum®, in a nutshell
Dr. Kathie F. Nunley
One of the best
aspects of Layered Curriculum is its flexibility. The model was designed
to be very open, to allow for you to fit it to your teaching style
and the needs of your particular classroom. Remember, you only need
3 components to make a Layered Curriculum classroom:
and More Complex Thinking
That's it! There
are many, many ways to accomplish these components.
When you add Choice,
remember it doesn't have to be in every learning objective. Look for
places to add choice whenever possible. Start by adding a choice in
homework one day this week, or a choice in what type of quiz a student
takes. Ultimately you want to move up to providing choices in HOW
they learn the specific learning objectives for your course.
piece involves you looking for ways to hold students accountable (the
awarding of marks or points) for the actual learning of the objective,
not just "doing the assignment". This adds tremendous transparency
to your classroom. Let students be aware (preferably in a written
form) of what they are expected to know or be able to do in order
to pass off that objective. Then after they complete the assignment,
have them prove or demonstrate they learned it. I like Oral Defense,
but it is not an essential component to a Layered Curriculum classroom,
so don't let that overwhelm you.
To promote higher
and more complex thinking, we add layers. Everyone starts at the
bottom layer with the more simple types of thinking - rote, basic
facts, etc. Then everyone progresses through layers, each requiring
a more complex thought process. The actual assignments do not need
to be more complex, but the thought process does. In Layered Curriculum,
this is accomplished by hooking your grading scheme into the layers.
So students must progress throughthe layers in order to improve their
grade in the unit of study.
And one final
reminder - all students should be expected to attempt all the Layers.
For more detailed
information, read the text
"Layered Curriculum" or the new supplement "Enhancing
your Layered Curriculum Classroom".
F. Nunley is an educational psychologist, author, researcher and speaker
living in southern New Hampshire. Developer of the Layered Curriculum®
method of instruction, Dr. Nunley has authored several books and articles
on teaching in mixed-ability classrooms and other problems facing
today's teachers. Full references and additional teaching and
parental tips are available at: http://Help4Teachers.com Email her:
Kathie (at) brains.org
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