Section I: Two strategies for grasping the patterns of the Michigan standards
There are two main types of curriculum documents in Michigan: the Michigan Curriculum Framework and the Michigan Content Expectations (Grade Levels K-8 and High School). The ambition and detail in these documents tend to be overwhelming in any case, but certainly in the early years of working with them. To grasp the pattern and make sense of all those details, spending a bit of time with the documents can be useful for getting "the big picture" in which your state, school and classroom classroom curricula are situated. First, let's consider:
What is the Michigan Curriculum Framework? This document was published by the Michigan Department of Education in 1996 as a resource for schools to design, implement and assess their core content area curricula. In addition to content standards and benchmarks, the document provides ideas for planning, teaching and learning and developing an assessment system. It also has guidelines for professional development.
What are the Grade Level Content Expectations (K-8)(GLCE)? The Michigan Department of Education has released Grade Level Content Expectations for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. They outline for grades K-8 what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. There is also a companion document, ELA Across the Grades, that provides a view of each English Language Arts GLCE in a matrix format across the grades.
What are the High School Content Expectations (HSCE)? The Michigan Department of Education released the High School Content Expectations for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. They outline a vision for a rigorous and relevant high school experience for all Michigan students, with special attention being paid to national research and support for the skills that prepare students for successful post-secondary engagement in the workplace.
Two strategies could be helpful as you explore the curriculum documents and use them to guide your planning:
Strategy #1: Begin with what you know to see the 'Big Picture'
Strategy #2: Analyze thinking processes