Washington Unified School District’s commitment to increase student achievement through rigorous instruction led to our partnership with International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and the creation and implementation of Rigorous Curriculum Design (RCD) units of study by a team of teachers, known as the DREAM Team (Developing Resources for Engagement and taking Action to Make a difference).
RCD is the structure our DREAM Team teachers have been using to create rigorous units of study aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These units of study encompass real world situations our students can relate to and fully engage in, with strong student learning outcomes. The process of taking students through engaging scenarios and performance tasks will allow them to gain deeper understanding of the standards being taught. By creating engaging learning experiences across grade levels and subject areas, our teachers are providing opportunities for students to be self motivated and active participants in their own education.
RCD is an integral component of Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). Good first instruction includes universal core practices common to all great teaching and is vital to student success. RCD provides teachers the resources they need to provide their students good first instruction using priority standards and a variety of teaching strategies along with hands-on project students can engage in. High student engagement leads to student academic success.
A crucial component to the success of units of study is the collaborative culture RCD has created. DREAM Team members meet regularly to revisit and revise units of study to ensure they are rigorous, relevant and that the evidence collected relates back to the standards in a way that is meaningful to students. Teachers will be provided with opportunities to plan with their teams, and to provide meaningful feedback to DREAM Team members after every unit, throughout the year. Students will collaborate with each other through engaging, rigorous and relevant learning opportunities.
--Rigorous Curriculum Design allows teachers to motivate and engage students by providing “precise learning targets, meaningful and relevant lessons and activities and multiple opportunities to succeed,” (Ainsworth, L. Rigorous Curriculum Design, 2010).
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