Building Unit Plans with SAS Curriculum Pathways

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Teachers can’t just give brilliant, isolated lectures or conduct fascinating, stand-alone activities and hope students will somehow connect these diverse components into a cohesive whole. To help students master the fundamentals of any discipline, teachers must build units of integrated materials that highlight essential connections and satisfy a variety of learning styles.

Our Plan Books provide models for building these kind of unit plans from the broad range of materials in SAS Curriculum Pathways. Teachers in every discipline can see how these materials support week-long plans on topics like reading for meaning in English language arts, quadratics in math, Newton’s laws and gravity in science, conflicts foreshadowing the civil war in social studies, and past tense verbs in Spanish. Teachers can then extrapolate from these models to form unit plans tailored to their own needs and the needs of their students.

Each Plan Book specifies a unit (e.g., biology: infectious diseases) and organizes a class for each day of the week according to three parts: purpose, resources, and procedures.

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Teachers can quickly see how to bundle various lessons, activities, tutorials, and interactive tools in Curriculum Pathways in ways that meet day-by-day classroom needs while promoting unit-wide goals.  We’ve made each Plan Book interactive, so simply clicking on the highlighted text opens up a snapshot of the specified material.

“Teachers are often surprised by the depth and diversity of materials in Curriculum Pathways,” says Mimi Stapleton, SAS curriculum specialist. “Once they become familiar with the product, however, they see that we have a range of materials to support unit-wide planning.”

That was the experience of Jennifer Hammock, a science teacher at Bolivar Middle School in Tennessee  and a participant in the Master Teacher Collaborative: "I used the topic of biodiversity as a starting point. I then went through the available resources and chose those that were appropriate for the grade level and standards. I was able to do a few additional searches to come up with other lessons that fit in nicely with the unit."

"I found that the search options were very helpful," Hammock adds. "As a teacher, I know the topics that need to be covered during a unit but often times catch myself falling into a routine of lecture, notes, reading, and working on handouts independently. SAS Curriculum Pathways offers the unique option to search by lesson type--such as inquiry, interactive tool, audio tutorial (great for review), and web based lessons. This feature allowed me to look at the majority of my instructional unit and vary my lesson type so that students stay engaged and we aren't falling into the traditional teacher lecture format."

Check out a Plan Book in your discipline to see how SAS Curriculum Pathways can help you build your unit plans.

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About Author

Tim McBride

Supervisor, Educational Multimedia Writing

Tim McBride has degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology and NC State University, where he taught English for several years. His first book of poetry, The Manageable Cold, was published recently by TriQuarterly Press at Northwestern University. He works as a writer and an editor on Curriculum Pathways. He lives in Cary, NC, with an American pit bull terrier named Charlie McCarthy and a Catahoula hog dog named Junk.

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