Educator Tip: Developing An Effective GED® Curriculum“You have to keep up to date and utilize all the resources that are available,” says Michelle Kelley, program administrator with the HEP Program (High School Equivalency) at Boise State University.
As a program administrator, it’s her responsibility to ensure that teachers follow a curriculum that will lead to student success on the GED® test. In her 12 years as a program administrator, she’s realized that “people are looking for a canned curriculum…[but], you have to adjust things to the needs of your students.”
So what are some of Michelle’s recommendations for developing an effective curriculum?
Use the Assessment Guide as your starting point. “When developing the curriculum, we started with the Assessment Guide,” says Michelle. The Assessment Guide helps you understand what content is covered on the test, and then you can find publisher materials that cover that content. GED Testing Service will release an updated Assessment Guide soon.
Explore publisher materials and find the best ones for your program. Instead of just using one publisher, Michelle and her colleagues use materials from many different publishers. They may use one publisher for one test subject, and a different publisher for another. “It’s all about looking for and finding the best materials.”
Use GED Testing Service resources. Michelle’s team uses all of the materials GED Testing Service offers. “The graphic organizers and templates for constructed response are especially helpful.” She also recommends the new practice writing prompts when preparing students for the extended response.
Watch the monthly Tuesdays for Teachers webinars. “We’ll watch the webinar together and talk about what we learned, and how we can implement it in the classroom.”
Look for resources and information in other places, too. In addition to GED Testing Service and publisher materials, Michelle finds helpful resources from her colleagues, other educators, and administrators in other HEP programs. Another valuable source of information? Conferences. “I had an educator who was struggling with the extended response. She went to a conference and took a pre-conference workshop and finally got it.”
What resources or strategies do you use to develop an effective curriculum in your classroom? Tell us in the comments section below.