Teacher Tips for Applying Curriculum

class curriculum engage extend interest lesson plan personalize students Jun 26, 2023

Teachers know their students as individuals and as a group, better than anyone. They know what interests and inspires their students. They also know what can potentially over-excite and overwhelm their students. So when it comes to applying curriculum, teachers are the best interpreters, managers, and decision-makers for their class.

Teachers, this is your permission to make the curriculum your own. When you are looking over lesson plans and making choices for the unit ahead, think about the children in your class and your style as a teacher. You are the only one with this information. Pick lessons that ignite curiosity in your class. Your students are much more likely to engage if the activity or information is interesting to them. Choose lessons that get you excited. You are better able to influence class participation if you genuinely enjoy what and how you are teaching.

When you decide on a lesson, make preparations to extend it as well as to cut it short. Students who are absorbed in the material, can be supported with additional activities. Extensions don’t have to be elaborate. They can be go-to resources such as Science Notebooks or book making. If a lesson is falling flat, don’t force yourself to finish it. Turn to a well-loved book to wrap up group time. Later, assess how to come back to the lesson. Should it be shorter? Do your students need to move more? Was movement disruptive? Ask yourself what may have gone wrong and don’t be afraid to try again.

Try everything, then take what you need and leave the rest. Putting on a puppet show may not be your go to choice when presenting information, but give it a shot! How does your class react? If it delights them, you may be inclined to use more puppets in the future. If it creates an overabundance of energy, you might prefer to put some limits on puppets for the year. Favorite lessons from past years may not garner the same delight from your current class. Lessons that have flopped in the past, might be the highlight of this year.

These nuances and differences from class to class are part of what makes teaching fulfilling. The lessons that present challenges, make the ones that go without a hitch, that much more rewarding.