Curriculum Development and Design: How to Make Creative Curriculum
It is all too common for students to sit in class trying to stay awake while listening to the teacher go on and on about the subject matter. It could be the most interesting subject to that student, but if the curriculum is not taught in a way that engages him, he will eventually get bored of sitting in class and listening. This article offers suggestions and tips to creating a creative curriculum. Planning and developing ahead of time can turn a basic lesson plan into a fun experience for both the teacher and the student.
Before your first class begins, write down the goals and objectives of the class as a whole. Knowing exactly what you have to teach is the first step before knowing how to teach it. Make sure that you have everything listed that needs to be implemented into the classroom discussions and activities. Have a clear understanding of what the students will come out of each lesson with.
Be specific with the timeline of the events. When planning for a creative curriculum it can be easy to get off track if the students are having fun and want to continue a specific lesson plan. Set a maximum amount of time to spend on a subject and stick to this so that the students get everything out of the class that they can. Also be prepared if a particular lesson does not go as long as planned, have a back-up plan.
Take a look into the type of students that you have in your classroom. Take note of their personalities as well as strengths and weaknesses. Also, notice if there are any students with special disabilities that need to be recognized. You may have to make adjustments to your curriculum if some students are not able to participate.
Make a list of the different ideas you have for lesson plans, instructions, projects and assignments. Take into account your students’ personalities and interests as well as their disabilities when making this list. Double check with the list of objectives that you made as the first step and compare it with the list that you have just created. Make sure to add anything that you may have forgotten to ensure the students are learning everything.
Review your list to ensure that you have a variety of items on the list. The last thing you want to do when planning a creative curriculum is have repetitive lesson plans and activities. Switch it up to include special projects one week followed by presentations and class discussions the following week. Make sure to include a by-week every once in a while to have the students choose how they want to learn the lesson for the next week.
Make sure the content of each lesson plan shows the hierarchy of information. Ensure that it is outlines appropriately so that students cannot miss the need to know information. Headings and subheading should be used when making handouts for the classroom. You can further break down the handout by using bold font and colors as well as bullets for listing items and important points.
Have your students complete a plethora of hands-on activities throughout the semester. If they are learning about the seasons of the year, take them out to experience it instead of just teaching about it. Show them the colors of the leaves in the fall and how the temperature changes. Let them experience the smell of fresh rain in April showers.
Make sure to do conference meetings with the parents and guardians of your students. Not only will you be able to discuss the progress of the students, but you will also be able to get feedback from the parents. If your students are going home excited about the lessons they have learned, you are doing a great job. If they are complaining or are not enthusiastic about your class, you may need to make some adjustments.
Take notes from students each semester to get feedback on what they liked and what they would have liked. This kind of feedback will help you create an even better curriculum next time. Make sure that you ask students at the end of each semester and do not take their comments with a grain of salt unless they request something outlandish. Apply any changes that you are able to do for the next time.
Complete a review of yourself after the semester has ended. Do this by looking at what your students reported on the survey. Take into consideration the type of participation you received throughout the semester and make adjustments if needed. Compare the students’ grades with each lesson to see how they took in the information.
For more information on creative curriculum and how to develop your own curriculum, visit the links listed below.
- Curriculum Development: Encyclopedia entry for in-depth information on curriculum development in Canada.
- ASCD: Link to organization for policy and professional development for educators.
- Guide to Curriculum Development: Link to a 31-page PDF document as a guide to curriculum development.
- What is Curriculum Development?: Information on what curriculum development is including links to additional information.
- Curriculum Development: Curriculum theory, development and philosophy.
- Curriculum Design Tools: Resource for design tools and classroom resources.
- Teaching Strategies: Curriculum Design: List of links to more information on curriculum design.
- New Horizons in Adult Education: Development information including curriculum design for adult education.
- Traditional Curriculum Design: Brief informational article on traditional curriculum design.
- Concept Mapping and Curriculum Design: Information on concept mapping and curriculum design.
- Online Education Degrees in Curriculum Design: List of degree programs for curriculum design.
- Curriculum Development: Article that discusses how to develop a curriculum using the backwards design method.
- How Can Schools Achieve a Creative Curriculum? Article that discusses how schools can achieve creative curriculums.
- The Basics of Creative Curriculum: PDF document that discusses the basics of creative curriculum.
- How to Develop a Creative Curriculum: How-to article on developing a creative curriculum.
- Teach Strategies: Informational document on the creative curriculum for preschool.
- Theory and Creative Curriculum: PDF document on creative curriculum theory.
- Creative Curriculum Review: Review of creative curriculum planning and creative curriculum centers.
- Creative Curriculum Making it Your Own: Worksheet for teaching and learning with the creative curriculum.
- Setting the Stage: Visual examples of how creative curriculum works in block scheduling.
- The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood: Standards and philosophy on creative curriculum on early childhood development.
- Creative Curriculum: Creative curriculum information.
- Curriculum: Information on creative curriculum and links to additional information.
- Comprehensive Curriculum Model: PDF document that discusses the creative curriculum model.
- Creative Curriculum Research: Research on the effect of creative curriculum in the classroom.
- Creative Curriculum: Information on creative curriculum and how it provides tools to parents, teachers and children.
- Curriculum-Creative Curriculum: List of books and additional information on creative curriculum.
- The Creative Curriculum: Informational PDF article about creative curriculum.
- Creative Curriculum: Article that discusses creative curriculum.