With the new school year rapidly approaching, and teachers reporting back in two days, a near frenzied state stole over me. Anxiety rose to its highs and lows over the summer for sure, primarily with the uncertainty of our district’s new algebra 1 curriculum framework looming overhead; the algebra 1 curriculum framework incorporating the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) was incomplete at the end of the past school year, and no updates arrived over the summer. Fortunately, a well-timed, spelled “L-U-C-K-Y,” email from yours truly to the manager of secondary curriculum recently allowed the sun to shine through: a decision was made to toss out the district created, thrice modified framework and adopt the CCSSM provided traditional pathway for algebra 1!  My short reply after receiving the news: “Excellent! That was a great decision;” my anxiety moved decisively lower.
No narcissistic regrets on my part either, even if I helped shape our early efforts with the framework. Finally, I knew the exact structure of the curriculum for the year, at least in terms of unit focus and applicable standards, lesson specifics notwithstanding. However, out of necessity, they would follow mapping the curriculum framework onto a modified block schedule for the 2013 – 2014 school year. Fortunately, for both efforts, I found a premier set of lessons tied directly to the CCSSM algebra 1 traditional pathway that I could leverage. My anxiety level dropped even lower.
CCSSM aligned Algebra 1 Curriculum Map
With a well-defined unit structure and standards focus in my possession, coupled with a straw man set of lessons (more like bronze than straw), defining a curriculum map followed with ease; that is, if twelve hours compiling, sorting, assembling, sketching then “spreadsheeting” the information in the following is considered facile. Nonetheless, my anxiety level receded to near bearable levels upon completion.
After completing this curriculum map, it dawned on me that the figure resembled any of a variety of more technically oriented ones I created, adapted, interpreted, or simply observed over my career in high-tech. For those of you familiar with GPS, at a highly technical level, the figure above is reminiscent of the GPS NAV message structure if one were to compile and arrange all the words in the NAV message into one table. It also resembles a protocol stack, typically found in computing devices, many of which were wireless- and/or GPS-capable when I dealt with them.
AP Calculus AB Curriculum Map
With algebra 1 out-of-the-way, I elected to create my AP Calculus AB curriculum map. It went much quicker, as I knew the curriculum more intimately, and could repurpose the spreadsheet I used to create the one for algebra 1.
Completing both of these curriculum maps earlier this evening, I let out a sizable sigh-of-relief. While much more planning remains, simply seeing these maps provides a much-needed respite, at least until tomorrow!