Thursday, August 20, 2009

Unique Summer Curriculum Review

I took the opportunity this summer to try out the Unique Curriculum from the folks at News-2-You. I was impressed by the program, and felt it did a lot of things very well. There are a few parts that they could improve.

The summer theme was "Summer". We talked about going to the pool, taking walks, going camping, etc... It was a good topic for a summer session, and even included an "indoor camping" lesson to end things. I was not able to complete all the lessons (we had a short ESY session this year), but do have some thoughts on it.

Good Points:
  • The theme was something that all the students could relate too. It was easy to find activities that they understood.
  • The curriculum covers all the areas. There were lessons for reading, math, science & social science.
  • Differentiation! All lessons included several different levels to help teachers plan for different level students.
  • Available for Primary, Intermediate, Jr. High & High School levels.
  • Multiple materials available. Books came in 3 levels, worksheets came with pictures or without, even tracing or non tracing sheets for handwriting.
Things to work on:
  • The materials are all in black & white. This did not engage my students as well as other materials I've used.
  • The lessons were in an odd order. Now this may be a misunderstanding by me, but all the reading lessons were first, then science, etc... I expected the different subjects to be scattered throughout the entire unit. Admittedly reading was prevalent in the majority of the lessons, but other subjects were more limited.
  • I don't feel that there was enough core content to justify using it as a full curriculum. I can see using it for science/social science (since it has great themes), but using it as my full reading curriculum does not feel right to me.
These are just my thoughts on the free Summer Curriculum from Unique Learning Systems. Did you use the curriculum this summer? or do you use Unique Learning System during the year? I'd love to hear your thoughts


Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons:
Xose Castro

Share this

Do you know somebody else who would find this post interesting or useful? Please forward it to them. Did somebody forward this post to you? Visit Teaching All Students and subscribe to receive posts for free. If you need a tutorial please visit this post: RSS Readers