Motivating students through well-designed curriculum: PS 204

LCI's role

For the past three years, teachers from PS 204 in the Bronx have been working together with LCI on an ongoing curriculum design and implementation project.  LCI introduced the staff to elements of quality curriculum, and worked with them in an iterative process to design and refine a standard-based curriculum unit.  LCI annotations, notes and feedback provided focused guidance to teachers.  Feedback on selected student work modeled the type of analysis that helps students to improve their leaning.

The project has given teachers the skills to adapt lessons for a variety of learning styles, and has created greater engagement among students who go through the revised units of study.

The student experience

Both teachers and students saw a difference in the way students responded to and engaged with new curriculum, versus other units of study.

One unit, on health and nutrition, enabled the teacher to engage learning disabled student in a way that she hadn’t seen before.  The design built flexibility and differentiation into the teaching process, enabling students to achieve their unit goals in the way best suited to individual learning styles. The work that these students produced at the end of the unit could not be distinguished from the work of their non-classified peers, despite the fact that the research that was expected of them was very demanding in terms of their reading level and content, and they were proud of the pieces they produced.