To help meet the requirements of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Science, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District (EM-S) is providing Adaptive Curriculum Science to all its high schools. The students must also pass the newly-required state end of course (EOC) assessment in biology.
With an focus on understanding concepts rather than learning by rote, Adaptive Curriculum integrates 3D models, graphics and interactive simulations into active, standards-based learning. This active approach helps learners to explore, make hypotheses, manipulate items and see the impact of their decisions.
In July 2011, just before the first year of the new EOC requirements, EM-S administrators knew they needed something to help teachers provide deeper conceptual learning to their biology students.
“The district has always had a strong science department and curriculum, but since the EOC assessments were designed to measure readiness for advanced coursework we knew we had to up our game,” said Jacqueline Garcia, K-12 science coordinator for EM-S. “Adaptive Curriculum’s Science program was approved in the state’s July 2011 Supplemental Science Materials adoption so we were pretty comfortable that it had been well-vetted. Still, we were pleasantly surprised at just how good this solution really is.”
According to Garcia, EM-S teachers use Adaptive Curriculum in a wide variety of ways, from presenting new concepts in whole class instruction, to allowing students to log on individually, at school or home, for concept reinforcement and practice.
“The teachers love that it is so prescriptive, scenario based, problem based, and that it promotes deeper learning,” said Garcia. “It’s also very easy to implement and integrates quite well with our existing curriculum and materials. Next year, we’re hoping to write the use of Adaptive Curriculum into our curriculum plans, as well as make it available to all our middle schools.”