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Easily Organize Your Standards with a Planning Matrix

The process of rewriting my district’s middle school visual arts Student Learning Expectations forced me to reflect upon the importance of the standards in my curriculum. More importantly, it required me to reflect on the lessons I was teaching to meet those standards. Specifically, I needed to figure out what lessons met which standards to ensure I was covering what I needed to cover.

As I started the process, I became confused and disorganized by the multiple lists I created. I realized what I needed to use was some sort of visual so I could see the lessons and the standards together on one page. To help me in the process, I created a planning matrix.

planning matrix 1 planning matrix 2

I actually created three separate planning matrixes, one for each grade level I teach. I insert my lessons under the “Assignment” column next to the standards they cover. That way, I can see if I’m heavy on, light on, or not teaching certain standards. Then, I reassess and reevaluate the lessons.

Using this  planning matrix has helped me plan the lessons in my curriculum to meet all the standards, at least once.

What organizers do you use to help you plan?

How do you balance teaching the projects you want to and teaching to meet the standards?

Cassidy Reinken is Director of K-12 Curriculum for The Art of Education University.