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Building With Standards

Building curriculum by breaking down standards


Liberty Public Schools shifted to Open Educational Resources (OER) to support the implementation of high-quality curriculum for their students. Dr. Westfall, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Staff Development, believed that defining specific competencies was key to being able to build on and iterate curriculum that teachers will use consistently. In order to support this, she wanted teachers to focus on a deep understanding of three main domains:

  • Essential standards
    • Essential standards were determined by grade-level and content-area teacher teams representing all schools in the district. Liberty built these standards for all grade level and content areas. They are reviewed annually.
  • Learning progressions
    • A learning progression is a carefully sequenced set of building blocks that students must master. These building blocks consist of sub-skills and bodies of enabling knowledge. When developing these, the Liberty team of teachers asked the driving question: “What does a student need to know or be able to do to master this standard or objective?”
  • Breaking down standards to learning targets
    • Learning targets support the planning and implementation of high-quality instruction. They provide a description of exactly what the students will learn, how they will learn it, and what they will do to demonstrate mastery.