How Saga AmeriCorps members prepare for lessons

March 31, 2020

MARCH 31, 2020

At Saga, we are especially grateful for many things, including the astonishing amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to replicate our work with fidelity and deliver high quality supplemental instruction. We have entire teams dedicated to improving and developing our training, curriculum and assessments, and data analysis–all so that the AmeriCorps members who serve at our school sites have the resources and the skills they will need to thrive as academic coaches and mentors. As a result, even if one is new to education, the ability to deliver high-quality, personalized instruction that helps young people thrive can be achieved.

Saga’s Curriculum Team

Curriculum developers are veteran teachers/educators who are responsible for creating lesson plans, assessments and activities for students and AmeriCorps members that align with national and district standards, AND can be modified to align with the sequencing of classroom teachers at individual schools.We often get the following question, “there is a lot of curriculum for teachers out there, why do you need to develop your own?” Most curriculum today is geared towards a traditional classroom setting and trained teachers, specifically. Our team meticulously develops content so that it is appropriate for a tutorial context, outlining tips, main ideas, solutions, problem banks and activities that are usable by our AmeriCorps members and effective for students.  The curriculum team continuously refines lessons and assessments, all while developing new materials for different grades, projects or initiatives.

Fellows have designated times each school day to prepare for lessons. This is what it is like to support our students academically according to Neeti Shenoy, one of our AmeriCorps members in Chicago.

Saga’s curriculum is incredibly organized and useful to be successful in tutorials.

Each week my Site Director provides my team the content that each math teacher is working on in the classroom. I can search each topic in the curriculum and find lessons that support the needs of my students.

Not only are there independent practice problems for my students, but each lesson has a version for AmeriCorps members, with prerequisite knowledge questions, critical thinking tasks, example problems, leveled practice problems, and exit ticket questions, which we use to gauge student mastery after each lesson.

I use the instructor version of each lesson to understand the concept being taught, and to consider the best ways to approach the lesson, in advance. There are always guiding questions provided to us that can be used during the lesson.

Finally, I use the lesson-planning tool, Kami, which allows me to annotate a lesson so I know exactly which parts I want to use and how I want to use them with my students. I then download my annotated lesson on my Google Drive and have it on hand during class.

I am thankful to have such a developed curriculum because it allows me to provide my students the most differentiated and rigorous lessons that help them further their math knowledge.

At Saga, we approach our curriculum with equal parts accountability and heart. From here, our AmeriCorps members thoughtfully prepare each lesson, so that they can meet students where they are and bring them to where they need to be. To learn more about our academic approach, check out our previous blog: How to differentiate your lessons when tutoring with Saga

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