Curriculum maps aren’t necessary something people get excited about. It seems like extra, unnecessary paperwork. Thinking of activity ideas, making resources, and bulletin board decoration are all things that teachers can readily get into. But curriculum maps? Eh. Not me. Not me at all. Curriculum maps are my jam. They take those overwhelming, overarching IEP goals and space them out ever so nicely through the school year. Curriculum maps are the back bone to my lesson plan. They ensure that my instruction is sequential and makes sense. I’d give up coffee for a week to avoid bulletin board decorating but curriculum maps? Bring them on!
I love curriculum maps. Maybe I have drank the kool-aide but curriculum maps immensely relieve my trying-to-fit-it-all-in anxiety. Our IEP goals tend to be massive concepts that include a bunch of little skills that need to be mastered. Creating curriculum maps allow me to schedule out the pacing of this instruction. Scheduling out all of the concepts really helps me because I know I don’t have to try and worry about a certain concept now because it’s scheduled on my curriculum map for later in the year. I like to create curriculum maps for groups of students or specific students depending on how they are grouped.
So don’t let this process become overly complicated. Keep it simple! Simple is key! Set up a curriculum map for each group of students that you see or do it for any students you see individually. I like breaking down the map into 3 sections: fall, winter, and spring. I prefer doing it by season rather than by month because it gives me a little more flexibility. Break up your map by months or seasons. Review the IEP goals and other areas you will be targeting for each student. Break up the skills needed to master each goal into the month or season sections. Use a little backwards planning. If you want your student to do X by the end of the year, where should they be at in the spring? Where should they be at mid-way through the year? Keep the goals simple and straightforward so you can use it as a quick reference.