Aligning the Appropriate Standards

The teachers you work with are asked to align content standards to every lesson or unit they teach. Textbook and software companies are aligning standards to each chapter and lesson. Instead of assuming that the standards listed with the text are exactly what the teachers need to teach, you can create strategies for determining if teachers are meeting the same standards over and over again or missing some key standards that their students need. Ask teachers to:

  • Bring in examples of lessons or units they will be teaching in the next month or two.
  • Review the content standards for the subject area(s) they teach.
  • Select and list the content standards and benchmarks that align to the lessons or units. (i.e. California Social Studies 5.5 causes of the American Revolution)
  • Review the learning objectives and outcomes for the lesson. (i.e. write a comparative essay on the causes of the American Revolution).
  • Select content standards aligned to the activities students will be doing to demonstrate understanding. (California ELA Writing 2.3 write a research report).

After teachers have listed the standards they will be meeting within the next few months, you can help them keep a spreadsheet or database to quickly map which standards are being met. Encourage teachers to pair and share how they teach to the standards.

An example of aligning standards for early literacy is available in pdf or text form at

Submitted by:Barbara Bray

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