Unique "Basic Proficiency" US History 8 Modified Curriculum Outline
"Basic Proficiency" is a term I use to describe a modified program I began developing in 2010. This is a voluntary program to reduce the amount of content delivered to struggling students with a view to giving them just the essentials to pass the NYS Regents exams.
This program runs parallel to the regular ed. curriculum in my class. Some tasks are the same for students on "basic" and students on "standard". Most tasks are modified.
To keep it all fair, some Basic Proficiency tasks carry a lower maximum score, such as when a text is at a lower grade reading level or a test has questions removed.
Students choose this from topic to topic. Or not. Reading at a lower level will gradually bring up their reading ability. Focusing on less to learn at a time will allow them to retain more. Vocabulary development is a key in this system as well as a no-homework policy whenever possible.
This plan is usually used by learning disabled students whose disabilities are not very severe. It replaces the consultant teacher model by having the classroom teacher, an expert in the subject area, create the modifications to the assignments.
Interested parties can read a description of this idea here: https://www.teacherswebhost.com/room/143/bin/TheBasicProficiencyCurriculum.pdf
This has evolved over the last 8 years. I cannot imagine teaching without it, frankly. In my teaching situation, I often have students for social studies through grades seven through ten. Many who start out on this plan develop their skills to move to the standard curriculum by grade ten.
This product is my curriculum outline (that is, it's a detailed list of student tasks with NYS social studies Frameworks references, page numbers, article titles, composition topics,etc. but no instructional materials). It is for New York State grade eight United States History II. This is my local district implementation of the Frameworks for social studies. This curriculum is directed toward the new Regents examination starting in 2019.
Instructional materials for these units are becoming available for sale separately. Of particular interest to you will be the constructed-response question sets for each topic, the enduring essay for each quarter, and the stimulus-based multiple-choice question banks I am generating.
There are 9 "Basic Proficiency" topics of study here, each its own file. There are also 5 papers I wrote about this system starting in 2010.
Each topic cycles through the same template of tasks. These interweave and parellel the regular ed. curriculum.
1. alternating days reading and lecture (reading is from a 5th grade text)
2. multiple-choice quiz on that content (only 2/3 of what the standard curriculum tests)
3. essay examining a lengthy primary source
4. matching (vocabulary, people, maps)
5. online discussion
6. Basic Outline-Compose (read, outline, then summarize an upper-elementary text)
7. constructed-response question sets (2 sets, 40 minutes, this is a test with debriefing days later - text is at an upper elementary reading level)
8. "capstone" (choice of final tasks, though most simply choose the multiple-choice test)
Finally, there is a list of homework assignments.
My students get a copy of this document and it's posted in the content management system I use, TeachersWebHost.com. Whenever possible, I do not assignstudents in Basic Proficiency homework but instead have them do it in Academic Intervention Services.
Each 10 weeks I give a test of stimulus-based multiple-choice and an enduring issue essay. This is 10% of their grade for a marking period. This is also progress monitoring toward the Regents exam. The multiple-choice part is not modified. The enduring essay readings are modified, but the maximum score is 76. Taking the modified essay task is optional for students on Basic Proficiency.
The grading rubrics for my course are free and you can access them here: https://www.teacherswebhost.com/room/143/grading_rubrics.php