Curricula for Newbies

As the days of summer move by too quickly, I find myself immersed in a tedious, yet immensely important, task.  I am in the process of digitizing a geometry curriculum that my mentor teacher at East Side Community High School has developed.  Sitting and scanning handout after handout, I can’t help but think: one of the best ways to support new teachers is to provide them with access to as many full curricula as possible.  When I say “full curricula,” I mean lesson plans, class handouts, power point presentations, tests, quizzes, etc.

In the first year of teaching, why are so many of us newbies required to BOTH endure the trials and tribulations associated with finding our teaching voices AND develop massive amounts of curriculum material from scratch.  When we talk about recruiting and developing teachers, it is sad that there is so much missing from the conversation, especially in terms of providing new teachers with a plethora of raw materials, which they can modify and easily adapt for their own classrooms.

I have already benefited from getting to work with Math for America Master Teachers.  Going forward, I think programs such as this one should require that their master teachers submit full, digitized curricula that can easily be shared with new/apprentice teachers.

Some schools are terrific at passing down curriculum from year to year, although sadly teachers at low-performing, urban schools are least likely to have access to good curriculum materials.  The internet is, of course, blossoming with available materials.  However, I have seen very few FULL curricula available, and materials are still quite scattered.

Here are a few places where I will be taking curriculum materials from, as I plan my first year of teaching:

  1. Dan Meyer’s Algebra Curriculum
  2. Dan Meyer’s Geometry Curriculum
  3. Sam Shah’s Algebra II shared materials
  4. Improving Learning in Mathematics materials

If you know of any good websites with significant curricula materials (middle school or high school), PLEASE SHARE!

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