The simplest way I can think to describe a curriculum map, is as a road map of sorts, which pulls together various themes and foci from all the different parts of the curriculum at the grade level one teaches, and which includes various other resources (for example, as in our case, SJBWM) mandated by one's board or administrator.
Rather than just a linear path indicating what you are doing and when, such as the one traditionally marked by the more common "Long Range Plans" of former times, the curriculum map is dynamic, bringing together a variety of themes under one or a few common umbrellas or "big ideas" that drive each term, or even a full year. The map defines boundaries and includes major landmarks, but leaves enough open space for the emergence of teachable moments and the development of smaller, "side roads" which invariably surface, depending on the specific group of learners in your classroom in a given year.
The latest incarnation of our own curriculum map is shown below as a word doc. Intended to be printed on two sheets of ledger sized paper, it is posted behind my desk, readily available for consultation as my colleague and I plan the specifics of each lesson or cluster of lessons.
Equally important are two documents we have been working on: A collection of Rich Mentor Texts, picture books from our own experience of what works with the themes outlined on our map, and recommended by the SJBWM resource. To this list we will add chapterbooks we read aloud (Sarah Plain and Tall, for example, and/or pretty much anything by Roald Dahl) and also assorted newspaper articles, heritage minutes, and other media resources. The second document is a compilation of math problems harvested from various sources, including the curriculum, Marion Small, and an assortment of other resources. This compilation is arranged by strand, in the order in which we plan to teach math this year, according to our curriculum map. It includes mainly open questions and parallel tasks, though some "warm up questions" are also included.
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