Curriculum Framework

Curriculum Frameworks is one of the six circles. The PA Department of Education created committees of teachers and curriculum specialists throughout PA to create curriculum frameworks in literacy, math and social studies. The curriculum framework consists of Big Ideas, Concepts, and Competencies. Big Ideas are the the overarching key ideas of a subject. Big Ideas are larger constructs and likely require more than one year to achieve. Concepts and the knowledge skills to be mastered in a particular grade level. Competencies are what students must be able to do by grade level.

The big question is if we already have standards and assessment anchors, why do we need curriculum frameworks? In order to answer that you have to think about what the standards and assessment anchors really offer us.

  • Standards are written as a menagerie of big ideas, concepts and competencies for grades 3, 5, 8 and 11.
  • Assessment Anchors are written for grades 3-8 and 11 based on the parameters of the PSSA.

The Curriculum Framework Advantage:

  • Focused documents that clearly delineate what students should know and be able to do in each grade level K - 12.
  • Expectations are clearly defined and prioritized by grade level.
  • Articulates virtical alignment in content knowledge K-12.

Click here to view the Curriculum Frameworks. Note not all of the frameworks have been completed as yet.

Social Studies




dmatz said…
Curriculum frameworks are essential because otherwise curriculums are at risk. Curriculums that happen by chance do not yield consistently good results. I did notice that literacy strategies were kept rather generalized: "Apply appropriate strategies across a variety of text and media to construct meaning." Comprehension strategies are procededures that readers apply to guide their reading and writing. Since these are not to be treated lightly I am hoping that when the content is added to the Essential Questions section that a question something to the effect of: What evidence is there in the effectiveness of comprehension strategies for instruction in reading comprehension? The 7 strategies from the NRP report would seem the logical ones to be considered on these frameworks. These include: comprehension monitoring, cooperative learning, graphic organizers, story structure, question answering, question generation,and summarization.The meta-analysis done by the NRP found through their analysis and interpretation that the use of these strategies in classroom instruction was effective in improving the reading comprehension of typically developing readers.

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