2010-05-09 / Viewpoints

Chalk Talk

By Melinda Soule M.S. Asst. Principal K-8 Curriculum Director Chesaning Union Schools

The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) is given to all students in third through ninth grade. Students are tested in math and reading/writing in third through eighth grade, science in fifth and eighth grade and social studies in sixth and ninth grade. MEAP scores were recently released for public viewing. Chesaning Union School District is very proud of its students for the effort they put forth on this assessment. Our students scored very well on the test, ranking first in the county in several areas.

Each year when MEAP scores are released the staff spends a great deal of time studying the scores and identifying strengths and weaknesses in our curriculum. At this time we also take a careful look at instructional tools and techniques that are being used in the classroom. The data we collect from our MEAP scores drives instruction throughout the year.

At Chesaning Union Schools we use research based best practices in instruction. Our curriculum is delivered through standards based instruction ensuring a guaranteed and viable curriculum for every student. Standards-based notebooks have been created and implemented in fourth through eighth grade math and social studies classes, as well as fifth through eighth grade science classes. Pacing calendars have been developed in each subject area to ensure that all standards are taught in a timely manner.

In addition to creating and implementing standards based unit notebooks in math, science, and social studies, the district also purchased new social studies textbooks and teaching materials for first through eighth grade this year. These materials support the new grade level content expectations (GLCEs) put forth by the state of Michigan. With changes in curriculum and expectations shifting between grades, we are fortunate to have the resources available to teach our students in these tough economic times.

Another very important aspect of curriculum and instruction is the use of technology in the classroom. Technological advances are occurring at a rapid pace and it is our goal at Chesaning Union Schools to stay abreast of these advances to ensure that our students are competitive when they graduate from our district. Some of our recent updates to technology include Smart Boards, Elmo projectors, and lap top computers at the elementary level. Distance Learning Labs at all levels allow our students to connect with other educational forums throughout the world for experience they would otherwise not be able to take advantage of.

The dedication to curriculum and instruction at Chesaning Union Schools is evident in our student achievement. The staff at Chesaning Union Schools continues to focus on data to drive instruction in all areas of the curriculum.

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