Freshman Academy

Swansea High Freshman Academy developed curriculum guides for each subject. These guides are based on the state standards.

In a standards-based classroom, teachers start with the core standards as the basis for classroom instructional planning, rather than starting with a textbook or other classroom materials. Teachers select a unit of instruction that meets the standards, benchmarks and indicators and use the standards to determine how the unit shall be designed, assessed, delivered and evaluated. Also note that resources, which may have previously been the basis for instructional planning, are selected only after decisions have been made about content, assessment and instruction.

The standards define the outcomes, or the expectations, of what the students need to know and be able to do. These outcomes include big ideas that students will acquire by the end of the unit and more discrete ideas that might be developed at the lesson or activity level within the unit.

These defined outcomes serve as the basis for assessment planning within instruction. The outcomes can help teachers to plan a pre-assessment that can be administered and used to determine the starting points and focus for instruction. A summative or final assessment should be planned to address both big ideas and discrete ones, thus assessing student performance and the success of instruction and identifying any needed re-teaching. In addition, the outcomes help to focus ongoing instructional assessment throughout the unit with teachers monitoring students' progress. At times, students may also use self-assessment strategies to monitor their own progress. All of these assessments together provide teachers with the information that they need to plan and deliver focused, effective instruction for each student in their classrooms.

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