In its third year, teachers at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School are using Curriculum Mapping for vertical alignment in curriculum, which provides a clear picture in all areas from kindergarten through twelfth grade. This vertical alignment rids the curriculum of multiple redundancies, fills the gaps of state and national standards unmet, and promotes dialogue. Montgomery Catholic teachers meet as departments to collaborate on curriculum maps, share teaching techniques, and discuss ways to enhance state and national educational standards.
A “Curriculum Map” creates a framework for teachers, administrators, and school systems to focus on the balance between what is planned, the “lesson plan”, and what is actually taking place within each classroom, academic discipline, and grade level, the “curriculum map”. The curriculum map framework outlines the state standards, classroom activities, and assessments actually used in each class, grade, and subject area.
Curriculum mapping concentrates on three areas: communication, curricular dialogue, and coherency. Communication in curriculum mapping provides a venue for teachers and administrators to actively evaluate what is happening in the classroom, the planned and actual curricula, both within each grade/academic discipline and track these activities from year to year. The maps also help teachers and administrators to plan, execute, and identify gaps and teaching overlap both horizontally among grade levels and vertically for all grades, kindergarten through twelfth grade. The curricular dialogue provides an avenue for teachers to meet as departments where they make data-based decisions about grade-level, cross-grade level, within disciplinary and cross-disciplinary curricular and instructional practice decisions. This collaboration leads to curricular coherency.