New Challenge – Curriculum Development

Our school is ready to change two textbooks in our curriculum for the fall of 2014. We have been using an edition of the Larson Geometry book for 10 years now and we have been using Stewart’s Precalculus 5th edition. Neither of these texts are available anymore. I want to move to a precalculus curriculum that is a little more narrative and ‘big picture’ than Stewart’s approach. I am partial to Foerster but I have to get my whole team to agree. Where things get interesting is on the Geometry front. I was speaking with my division director – who is a part-time math guy as well – and he encouraged me to think about creating our own Geometry curriculum. We’ve been having conversations about electronic texts, about textbook costs, and about curricular flexibility. This morning he urged me to talk to my Geometry team about the idea of creating our own course supplies. Our Chem Honors teacher created his own course binders years ago that our kids use rather than a commercial text. With the explosion of online resources, I am imagining trying to create something that takes advantage of our own vision of what is important in Geometry, the technological resources available to our kids and teachers, and the wisdom of the world outside our walls. That’s where you come in dear readers. I imagine that others are wrestling with these ideas as well and are creating their own curriculum. I have seen the Exeter Problem Sets and the Park School math curriculum but each of these are probably a little farther outside the box than my school is looking for. I love the idea of tackling a big create our own curriculum project, but I admit that I am a bit overwhelmed about where to start. It also seems that a rich Geometry text – one that kids might actually read on a regular basis – will require some pretty time intensive work on graphics and layout. I am reaching out to the big, wide virtual world for advice here. I’d love to hear about successes and failures along these lines. If anyone has examples to share, I’d appreciate seeing them. I’m excited by this idea and want to run with it, I just want to make sure we do it the right way.

 

Wish us luck and lend a hand where you can!

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