Its gotta be hard to be worthwhile

This week I am working on taking out some stumps of shrubs I took out last week. I have to clear them out so my wife can have her herb garden there. Its hard work. I have to dig deep to get those roots.


While I was digging yesterday on the first stump of three that I have to remove I began to think about curriculum.  Since I am in a pullout program I have to make my own curriculum. The units and lessons that I create must be hard and must have depth and complexity. I know my gifted students. Most of them want something that is challenging and is worthwhile.  They don’t just want more work or work that is redundant that has no meaning. They want to learn something that is real and can be used in the real world. Which is something that I have been working on adding to my units. I want them to have the opportunity to contact experts in the community to get information for thier projects. I am adding in more real world problems and issues in the units I am rewriting or creating new. Finally I am adding in choice of projects and the projects they have the choice of have multiple solutions and multiple pathways to get to a solution. Just like in the real world.

For the past few weeks I have been pouring over the Common Core standards using some of the suggestions of resources and trying to find my resources to help augment my lessons. I think the Common Core standards are a start but I don’t think they are the end all be all.

If you create your own curriculum,  what are you doing to add depth and complexity to your lessons and units?


3 thoughts on “Its gotta be hard to be worthwhile

  1. Endre

    Hi Jeffrey,

    Yes, it is challenging to write your own curriculum. Writing a curriculum requires non-stop thinking, trying and many times failing. I’ve been writing math curriculum through music since 2006. I feel that I’m just tapping the surface of the subject. I use strategy of sequence when I create a lesson plan. For example: I introduce No.4 through a music pattern or game and I keep using the same number until every student feel comfortable with it. Then I ask kudos to create their own pattern or game with the No.4.

  2. Peter Lydon (@peter_lydon)

    The Common Core will have to include a component that gives teachers permission to go beyond the curriculum and not just up to it.

    I don’t think it is necessary (or even desirable) to teach ‘everything’ on a particular topic or subject – though obviously more depth is better. I think the main advantage of developing your own curriculum is that it can give vent to your own passion for education and so place you in a position to inspire and motivate students to independently pick up where you leave off. Not only do you get them interested in a topic but you nudge them very gently into life-long learning habits.

  3. Pingback: How do you see the Common Core? | Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher

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