What digital curricula are available to me? Is there a required central digital curriculum?
The DOE has informed schools that for SY 2020-21, they must have a shared, inclusive and digital curriculum in all core subject areas. Curriculum must include a scope and sequence, list what students should know and be able to do, be aligned with state standards, and provide accompanying resources and materials. (See document: Digital Curriculum and Resource Library)
For schools that were not already using digitally accessible curricula, there is now a DOE list of available options for core subject areas. These include some of the most commonly used ELA math, science and social studies curricula as per the UFT’s survey last year. (See document: Curriculum for Blended Learning Implementation: SY20-21)
We heard from many educators across the city that they would need additional resources to supplement curricula currently being used. That is why we have created Learning Maps and other resources as supplements to help you ensure that you have everything you need to work with your students. As of September 15, schools will receive K–8 digital curricular materials for ELA, math, science, social studies, and SEL for teachers to use in instructional planning, which will be available in Google Drive on TeachHub; the curricular resources will include instructional materials for the first week of school. The content includes grade/subject-specific lessons with student-facing activities, videos, and slides.
Additional resources will be released weekly on TeachHub. The use of these materials is not required, and is intended to serve as a resource for schools that do not have digitally available curriculum.
For teachers who need additional support, starter Google Classrooms will be available pre-loaded with the curricular materials for the first week of school. Once teachers have the starter Google Classroom, they will be able to leverage the Google Drive on TeachHub to access materials that can be added to their classroom curriculum. For questions, email email@example.com
What are the Priority Learning Standards and what are they designed to achieve? What is the purpose of the Priority Learning Standards document?
We know some students are coming back to school with learning gaps. Many have experienced trauma. We consistently heard from our focus groups that teachers could not and should not follow their curriculum in the standard way. Teachers wanted the City to identify a set of shared priority standards that could help them make important instructional decisions.
Building on the collaborative work on curricula that began last winter, the DOE, UFT and CSA have identified citywide priority learning standards for ELA and Math for grades K-12. While the State has not eliminated any of the standards, by being able to go more deeply into the most essential skills and knowledge, teachers will be able to address unfinished learning from last year and focus on the specific needs of their students. The UFT has requested that the DOE consider priority learning for science and social studies as well. (See Priority Learning Standards Overview, Priority Math and Priority ELA Standards)
The priority learning standards document should be used along with the learning maps and your school curricula to assist you in outlining what this essential learning looks like across grades.
What learning maps are available for the 2020-21 school year? How do learning maps connect to and advance the priority learning standards? How might learning maps be used with my school’s curriculum?
Teachers told us they needed a way to support continuity and consistency of instruction across schools and within blended teams. Because students will have more than one teacher over the course of a week, it will be crucial that everyone is on the same page. We also wanted to make sure that no matter what curriculum schools were using, everyone had the resources they needed to support priority learning and state standards.
With this in mind, we worked with the DOE to create learning maps aligned to the priority learning standards for ELA and Math K-8 for September through November (later installments to follow) and for ELA and Math 9-12 and Science and Social Studies K-12 for the full year. These can support teams as they plan as well as help to identify and fill any gaps in your school’s chosen curriculum. The maps also provide educators with specific supports for in-person and remote instruction. Maps for science and social studies are based on current scope and sequences. (See Learning Maps by Grade)
Learning maps are not intended to replace your school’s curriculum and you should not move units of study or lessons around in your curriculum’s existing scope and sequence just to follow the specific sequence of the learning maps. Their purpose is to support collaborative planning by providing an outline of learning experiences students should have in each grade and within a period of time. Note that learning maps are not intended to be used to monitor student progress or assess mastery of skills at a particular time of the year.
My school doesn’t have shared curriculum for the subject I teach. Are there resources to help me plan and prevent learning gaps for my students?
Under the DOE-UFT contract, teachers must be provided a curriculum in the core content areas. For the 2020-21 school year, DOE guidance specifies that those curricula must be digitally accessible. If this is not the case, speak to your chapter leader about filing an operational issues report. In the meantime, to support teachers in designing consistent, coherent instruction, the UFT, the principals’ union and the DOE collaborated to identify priority learning standards in ELA and math and to create learning maps for grades K-12 in the core content areas. You can find these resources in the remote teaching section of the UFT website.
My students began the school year with unfinished learning. How can I be expected to teach my regular curriculum?
Anticipating this challenge, the UFT, the principals’ union and the DOE have identified priority learning standards for this year. While all New York State standards are important, the priority standards documents highlight essential learning for each grade span in ELA and math. You can use these to help gauge skills and knowledge students will need to build by the end of the year. You can find the priority learning standards at www.uft.org/remote-teaching.
What other digital instructional resources are available to me?
The DOE and the UFT websites both provide links to a range of other digital resources that will be helpful for both remote and in-person instruction this year. The resources from the DOE can be found through the TeachHub site. The UFT has also provided a list of links to digital teaching resources.
How should I set up my virtual classroom? Who should I reach out to if I need other instructional technology help?
Your principal should have informed you of the shared platform your school will be using this year and provided you with the information you need to set up your digital classroom. If you and others in your building need additional support, you should reach out to your chapter leader or your school-based staff development committee. Teachers who need help with educational technology can connect with our UFT Teacher Center team by calling the UFT hotline: call 212-331-6311.
The DOE has provided links to webinars on Google Classroom setup that are designed for educators ranging from those who are beginners to remote teaching to those with more experience with these tools. (See “DOE Google Classroom Demonstration: From 101 to Expert!"). The DOE also released a “Remote Teaching Quickstart Guide” in April 2020 which includes useful links (you must login to access this guide).
Schools will receive K–8 digital curricular materials for ELA, math, science, social studies, and SEL for teachers to use in instructional planning, which will be available in Google Drive on TeachHub; the curricular resources will include instructional materials for the first week of school. The content includes grade/subject-specific lessons with student-facing activities, videos, and slides. Additional resources will be released weekly on TeachHub. The use of these materials is not required, and is intended to serve as a resource for schools that do not have digitally available curriculum.
For teachers who need additional support, starter Google Classrooms will be available pre- loaded with the curricular materials for the first week of school. Once teachers have the starter Google Classroom, they will be able to leverage the Google Drive on TeachHub to access materials that can be added to their classroom curriculum. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
What professional learning is available on blended and remote instruction?
LearnUFT and the UFT Teacher Center are both offering virtual professional learning sessions open to educators citywide throughout the school year. Many of these workshops are free, and educators can earn CTLE hours.
Schools with UFT Teacher Center sites will have school-based professional learning available to them throughout the year, including opportunities to earn CTLE hours for some activities.
The Department of Education's WeTeachNYC library and the Share My Lesson website from the American Federation of Teachers both have a range of taped webinars and other professional learning resources available to NYC educators.
Educators should relay their professional learning needs to their chapter leader or school-based staff development committee.