The Balanced Curriculum – North Carolina Public Schools

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THE BALANCED
       CURRICULUM
A Guiding Document for Scheduling and Implementation of the
North Carolina Standard Course of Study at the Elementary Level




                     Educating the Whole Child

   PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF NORTH CAROLINA
   State Board of Education | Department of Public Instruction | Instructional Services Division
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
HOWARD N. LEE
Chairman
Raleigh

JANE P . NORWOOD
Vice Chair
Charlotte

KATHY A. TAFT
Greenville

MICHELLE HOWARD-VITAL
Wilmington

EDGAR D. MURPHY
Durham

EVELYN B. MONROE
West End

MARIA T. PALMER
Chapel Hill

ROBERT "TOM" SPEED
Boone

WAYNE MCDEVITT
Asheville

JOHN TATE III
Charlotte

PATRICIA NICKENS WILLOUGHBY
Raleigh

BEVERLY PERDUE
Lieutenant Governor
New Bern

RICHARD MOORE
State Treasurer
Kittrell


NC DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Michael E. Ward, State Superintendent
301 N. Wilmington Street  Raleigh, North Carolina 27601-2825  www.ncpublicschools.org

In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the
Department of Public Instruction does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, age,
disability, or military service in its policies, programs, activities, admissions, or employment.
           The Balanced Curriculum:
 A Guiding Document for Scheduling and Implementation of
    the North Carolina Standard Course of Study at the
                     Elementary Level

                                   CONTENTS                                         Page


Foreword                                                                                 1
      A message from Howard N. Lee, Chairman, State Board of Education and
      Michael E. Ward, Superintendent, Public Schools of North Carolina


Acknowledgments                                                                          4
      June Atkinson, Director, Division of Instructional Services


Background and Overview                                                                  8

What is a Balanced Curriculum?                                                         11

What a Balanced Curriculum is Not                                                      16

Why Teach a Balanced Curriculum?                                                       21

Questions and Answers: How to Implement a Balanced Curriculum                          26

Introduction to Sample Scenarios and Schedules                                         81


      Grade Level Scenarios:
                Pre-Kindergarten                                                       83
                Kindergarten                                                           85
                First Grade                                                            87
                Second Grade                                                           90
                Third Grade                                                            93
                Fourth Grade                                                           97
                Fifth Grade                                                           101



Balanced Curriculum                                 i                        November 2003
NCDPI
      Special Area Scenarios:
                 Arts Education                                            104
                      (Dance, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts)
                      Foreign Language (Second Language)                   107
                      Physical Education                                   110
                      Media (Information Skills)                           112
                      Technology (Computer Skills)                         115
                      English as a Second Language (ESL)                   117
      Exceptional Children Scenarios:
                Push In Service Delivery Model                             118
                Pull Out Service Delivery Model                            121

      Planning Scenarios:
                IEP Meeting                                                122
                Exceptional Children/General Education                     123
                Multidisciplinary                                          124
                Grade Level (Horizontal Planning)                          126
                Across Grade Level and Special Areas                       127
                      (Vertical Planning)


Sample Schedules                                                           129

      Preschool                                                            131
      Early Elementary (Grades K-2)                                        133
      Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)                                        136
      Special Areas and Services                                           139

Looking Ahead                                                              151

Conclusions                                                                167

Appendices                                                                 173

Resources and Bibliography                                                 214




Balanced Curriculum                             ii                November 2003
NCDPI
               The Balanced Curriculum:
  A Guiding Document for Scheduling and Implementation of
     the North Carolina Standard Course of Study at the
                      Elementary Level


Foreword                              It is the intent of the North Carolina General Assembly and
                                      the State Board of Education, with the North Carolina
                                      Department of Public Instruction, that every student be
                                      offered a comprehensive educational program that includes
                                      ALL areas in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study
                                      (SCS). Each elementary and middle school has
                                      responsibility, as funding allows, for making sure instruction
                                      is provided in arts education (dance, music, theatre arts
                                      and visual arts), English language arts, guidance, healthful
                                      living (health education and physical education),
                                      information skills and computer skills, mathematics,
                                      science, second languages and social studies. Students in
                                      grades 6-8 must have access to career-technical
                                      education. Although all disciplines are not tested, the
                                      Standard Course of Study must be taught.

                                      It is important to teach all areas of the curriculum, not just
                                      those which are assessed. For example, one of the most
                                      effective strategies for teaching the entire curriculum is to
                                      teach English language arts and mathematics in
                                      conjunction with science, social studies, healthful living,
                                      foreign languages and the arts. Integration as a curriculum
                                      implementation strategy links the content and skills from
                                      various disciplines. It is our belief that students who
                                      receive a balanced curriculum and possess the knowledge,
                                      skills, and abilities to transfer and connect ideas and
                                      concepts across disciplines will be successful as measured
                                      by standardized tests as well as other indicators of student
                                      success.

                                      In order to provide an integrated, connected, and
                                      comprehensive curriculum, teaching schedules must allow
                                      for sufficient planning time for teachers  with grade levels,
                                      across grade levels, and with special areas and special
                                      services teachers. Students must have access to
                                      uninterrupted blocks of instructional time to receive in-
                                      depth, connected instruction, and to develop concepts
                                      rather than memorize facts in isolation. Awareness of the
Balanced Curriculum                                  1                                             2003
NC Department of Public Instruction                                       Instructional Services Division
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