There is no right or wrong way to manage this program. Teachers are creative and may devise a variety of methods to implement this curriculum
Students are given an overview sheet in the form of a list of assignments contained in each unit. They must complete the required assignments, designated by an asterisk (the teacher must designate the required activities). The students may then select additional assignments according to their personal interests. Challenge projects are also available to take home and apply newly learned skills for family and friends. Asterisks have not been placed in this curriculum to allow teachers the freedom of selecting and designating those assignments that best meet their students' needs.
The assignments have been developed to teach specific competencies. The general format is for the teacher to gather the entire class together for roll call and announcements, then begin class with a motivater that relates to the topic of the day. The teacher selects whether the class will work individually, in small groups, or as a class. It is helpful to make a student packet containing a copy of all student worksheets for each unit. This enables the students to work quickly and efficiently without wasting time finding assignments. However, if your school is short on its paper supply, you may wish to place assignments in a binder as a master copy and have students use their own paper to complete assignments.
Students will generally complete two individualized activities in a 45 minute class period. Five minutes before the end of class, the teacher gathers the students together again for a brief review session of the day's activities. Middle/Hr. High students work best with some structure at the beginning and ending of each class.
To begin each new class (quarter, trimester, semester) teachers may wish to teach one student activity in the traditional manner with the entire class. Students are then allowed to select activities to complete independently or in groups of two to four. This method is followed for two or three days, until the class becomes accustomed to this new style of classroom management. Students learn a great deal about decision making by being allowed to select individualized activities within the unit on their own schedule.
If teachers individualize the curriculum, each activity for each unit must be set up in two or three binders and placed in bookcases (portable or stationary) to provide easy access for students. It is useful to prepare an extra set of binders for students to check out in order to complete make-up work when they miss class. A section of the classroom is devoted to a "Key" center. This is an area where the answer keys to all worksheets, quizzes and tests are found. It has proven useful to place the original assignment in a plastic cover, then place the answer key on the back side of the assignment. This makes it convenient for students to simply flip the page and correct their own work.
As you turn to each section of your curriculum you will find:
- A title page for that unit.
- Any special information for the teacher regarding that unit.
- A complete copy of everything contained in that unit.
- A set of student worksheets.
- The student assignment sheet is the first sheet. Teachers should be certain to make any needed adjustments on this sheet prior to giving it to the students.
- All student worksheets, quizzes, tests, and challenge projects are found in this section.
- A set of answer keys for all student worksheets. You will quickly notice that there are less answer sheets than worksheets. This is because sometimes there is no right answer, opinions are requested and opinions cannot be graded. In these situations, a passing or participation grade could be given.
Teachers are encouraged to post and review competencies and/or related careers for each unit.
Each area will require a little different orientation for students and must be prepared in advance by the teacher. For example, as teachers infuse the lessons on sensitive issues, they must be sure not to over-emphasize this information and cause undue stress in students. If any unfortunate circumstances have occurred within the community, teachers should listen carefully to the students, but rely on professional counselors to handle specific teaching and counseling problems.