M-CESC Teaching & Learning

September Focus: Curriculum Alignment

1 Month In...

We hope your first few weeks have gone wonderfully.

Aligning your assessments to the curriculum (standards), as well as your instruction, is imperative, as this will ensure that your students are prepared to take the state tests in the spring. To help clarify each standard, as well as the limits and depth of knowledge (DOK) levels that may be utilized for that standard, refer to the resources page, and then choose the test specifications for your grade level. The blueprints for each assessment are available, as well.

Alignment in the Content Areas

English Language Arts

In order to ensure college and career readiness in our students, teachers should be aware of the vertical alignment in ELA standards. By doing so, teachers not only are aware of the knowledge level required for their grade-level, but also what is necessary for the following year. Each year, the knowledge base builds upon the year before, so alignment is essential!

ODE has a number of documents that provide the vertical alignment for ELA standards: Literature Alignment, Informational Text Alignment, Writing Alignment, Reading Foundations Alignment, Language Alignment, and Speaking and Listening Alignment. You can also access ODE's page for vertical alignment by clicking the picture below.

"The alignment of English Language Arts allows opportunities for other content area connections (Reac3h, n.d.)"

HB 58 & Handwriting

HB 58 became official July 1, 2019, thus ODE has already created supplemental resources for the teaching of the new handwriting standards and included them in the model curriculum.

The Madison-Champaign ESC has recently been trained to provide training to support the instruction of the new standards, so be on the look out for a professional learning opportunity in the near future!


As we know, it is important that our instruction aligns to the curriculum of the Ohio Learning Standards for mathematics. Not only do we need to ensure that students are mastering the standards, but they need to practice questions at a varying depth of knowledge (DOK) to determine true understanding. Creating assessments that align to the rigor required can be challenging and overwhelming! If you have yet to look at the resources prepared by the Ohio Department of Education on mathematical DOK, you can do so here. There are question stems, and my absolute favorite - sample questions for each grade level!

When looking at ways of providing scaffolding for struggling students or enrichment for accelerated students, it is important to figure out how the standards connect vertically through the grade levels. While this coherence map provided by Achieve the Core is for the Common Core standards, a majority are similar to the Ohio Learning Standards. The map provides an interactive visual for navigating the relationships between grade-level content standards. ODE also offers a progression of the learning standards in a single document. Below is a screenshot of the domains across the grade levels.

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The updated Science Standards are now live on the Science page of the Ohio Department of Education’s website. There are many helpful tools, including a suggested timeline, for use as you begin to transition this year to the newly revised standards. Schools have until the 2020-2021 school year to fully implement the revised standards. State tests aligned to the standards will begin 2020-2021 school year.

The Updated Science Standards and Model Curriculum Includes Transition Tools for Teachers

The Science Crosswalk describes the standards revisions, allowing educators to see the 2018 and 2010 standards side-by-side and identify key differences that will impact instruction.

The Curriculum Analysis Tool allows you to review your current instructional resources to ensure alignment to the newly-adopted Ohio Learning Standards and Model Curriculum for Science. The charts are meant for note-taking. There is a curriculum analysis document for each grade K-12.

Instructional Implications are intended to provide an overview of the most significant shifts in content or instructional focus between 2010 and 2018 standards. Advanced science courses at the high school level are not included in these documents because there were limited changes to the content in those courses.

The Vertical Alignment document provides the K-8 progression within each topic area. This document is a high-level view and cannot serve as a substitute for the information provided in Ohio's Learning Standards and Model Curriculum for Science. The information provided is not sufficient to adequately plan instructional details of lessons or units.

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