The following is the third in a four part series written by WCS Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning and Assessment Tim Gaddis.
Williamson County Schools continues to prepare for the implementation of Open Education Resource (OER) science curricula in 2018-2019. School districts that have implemented OER curricula share that the best times for districts to undertake this work is during state textbook adoption years and in years when states are adopting new standards. Both of these conditions are in place for Tennessee in 2018-2019.
How will teachers use open education resource materials?
OER science materials will be collected, organized, and curated in ways that ensure teachers have all the resources they need to cover essential content, while still allowing the flexibility necessary for meeting the needs of diverse learners.
As always, teachers will use the WCS Scope and Sequences as the framework for planning their instruction. The scope and sequences, organized by 9-week grading periods, identify the Tennessee Academic Standards to be covered, the student-friendly “I can” statements aligned to those standards, and resources to support student learning. While teachers must cover the content of the scope and sequences by quarters, they have the freedom to set their pacing and strategies to meet the needs of the students they serve. Teachers determine the essential concepts for each unit, and then they determine what lessons are needed for their students. With the OER curricula, they will be able to support those lessons with vetted materials, including articles, scholarly publications, videos, simulations, data repositories, and more. They’ll use the OER resources to help them create hands-on learning experiences that have proven successful in science classrooms across the nation. When it’s time to assess student understanding, teachers will be able to select formative and summative assessments from the district, or they may choose to create their own.