Writing Curriculum Presentation and Handouts from February 2017 PTA Meeting
CCSS Standards -- Writing Standards on page 18. Language Standards on page 25.
Resources on the New MCPS Report Cards and Curriculum 2.0
Background: Curriculum 2.0 and the Common Core State Standards
As most parents are aware, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has been rolling out its new Curriculum 2.0 over the past several years. Curriculum 2.0 English and Math is based on the Common Core State Standards.
For families interested in a broader explanation of Curriculum 2.0, the MCPS Curriculum 2.0 Web Page includes summary documents, an overview video, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and more, explaining the curriculum and how it is being implemented. The MCPS Office of Curriculum and Instruction provides information about the full range of subjects encompassed by the curriculum, including the fine arts, along with recommended resources for parents and teachers.
Topics by Grade and Marking Period -- Parent Newsletters
Curriculum 2.0 incorporates a fixed schedule of topics by subject area and marking period. MCPS has produced parent guides by grade level. Each period focuses on a thinking skill or work habit, such as analysis or persistence, in addition to a set of content topics by subject.
For example, marking period 1 for the 3rd grade includes a general focus on analysis and collaboration. In that same period, the Literature component of Reading/Language Arts covers the following areas:
Literature: Fiction; traditional stories; Junior Great Books; ask and
answer questions; recount stories; determine central message,
lesson, or moral; describe characters and their actions; distinguish
literal and nonliteral meanings; determine point of view
MCPS also publishes a nice set of Teacher-Developed Parent Newsletters for Reading and Math. These newsletters include examples, more detailed explanations of the topics, and activities that students should be completing at home, as well as at school. For example, in marking period 1 of first grade, one of the home activities for Literature is:
look at the title/cover and pictures, predict what the story will be about,
and ask questions (e.g. “I wonder…”).
Proficiency and the new Report Cards
The standard of mastery under Curriculum 2.0 is proficiency. MCPS aims for a high percentage of its students to achieve proficiency. Per an October 2010 MCPS presentation about the math curriculum, math proficiency means “.. they are able to think and reason mathematically and use mathematics to solve problems.” In practice, MCPS also emphasizes on the student’s ability to articulate their reasoning.
For the 2013-2014 school year, grades K-5 will all be using the report card that was introduced last year for grades K-3. The new "standards-based" report card, which accompanies Curriculum 2.0, contains detailed measurement topics, using the following grading codes:
- ES: Exceptional at the grade-level standard (not available in Kindergarten)
- P: Meets the grade-level standard by demonstrating proficiency
- I: In progress toward meeting the grade-level standard
- N: Not yet making progress or making minimal progress toward meeting the grade-level standard
Notes on ES and I
‘ES’ is reserved for a small proportion of students. During the 2012-2013 school year, many classes gave no ‘ES’. For 2013-2014, MCPS has provided additional guidance that a small percentage of students may receive ES, but without seeking a fixed percentage in each class. Rather, students should consistently demonstrate unusual depth of understanding of topics in a subject and consistently and successfully complete supplementary activities offered by their teacher.
‘I’ indicates a student has not mastered a topic area to the level of proficiency expected by MCPS. Although Curriculum 2.0 aims to produce proficiency, the curriculum is designed with a fixed schedule of topics. That means teachers are required to move on to the next topic even if some students are not yet proficient with the current topic. Therefore students may benefit from additional practice at home, especially for subjects where one topic builds on the previous one.
To help parents understand what these report cards contain and how to read them, please see the MCPS report card page. It includes several resources, including an informative overview video.
Words Their Way Program
On October 7, 2014, Wood Acres Reading Specialist Kim Sienkiewicz presented the research and philosophy behind the Words Their Way program used at Wood Acres. Click on the links below to access her PowerPoint Presentation and related materials. Please contact Ms. Sienkiewicz with any questions.
PowerPoint: Words Their Way Program (presented at Oct. 7 2014 PTA meeting)
Math Instruction under Curriculum 2.0
During the 2012-2013 school year, changes to the math curriculum, particularly with regard to accelerated instruction, became a contentious issue. MCPS has since adjusted the math curriculum to address the concerns. The Woodacres ES PTA Math Curriculum page provides more detail about the math curriculum.
Changes to Standardized Testing for Curriculum 2.0
Maryland has not yet introduced standardized tests aligned with the Common Core or Curriculum 2.0. Maryland is a member of PARCC The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers , which will be field testing a new set of aligned tests in Spring 2014. MCPS plans to begin use of the PARCC tests in the 2014-2015 school year.
MCPS provides information about current test schedules and test results on its Testing page.
Points of Contact
For most questions or comments, please contact your child’s teacher.
For PTA-related discussions, please contact: