ELM Project Benefits


Teachers found the maps and resources beneficial for instruction:

Questioning strategies

“I think that I have always thought that questioning is important, and the right style of questioning, the right question at the right time. But these materials lay the questions out sequentially to build the kids' knowledge, and I cannot even imagine what it takes to create materials like this that are so—just the sequence of questions. I think sometimes the kids are even surprised by the time we get to the end of a day or two at what they are able to do because of these questions, these deep questions that they have been asked.”

Identifying and addressing gaps in instruction

“I used to throw in, ‘Maybe they just need another lesson. If I just picked out a better picture book. I just need a better piece of text.’ Now with some of those questions I can pinpoint those misconceptions instead of just throwing another lesson at them. That is not really going to fix the problem. Now I am able to pinpoint maybe a gap or a missing link.”

Teacher use of learning maps and resources influenced their thinking about the progression of student learning:

“I think in my head I have always recognized the importance of that progression across grade levels, that vertical alignment. But the [ELM] materials put it in your hands. Not just I should know what the precursor skills are and the skills coming up, but they are there, and I can see them and access them so easily. I think that it is important for us as educators to really have a good grasp of where kids are coming from and where they are going rather than just where they are right now this minute.”

“I used to throw a dart at the standards and hope I hit where they are at (with their learning). But you know, when they had something that they were missing, you really did not know where to go with that. You had no concept of, ‘What do I need to go back and teach that will help them to get here? I do not know what was back there. That was a second-grade or a third-grade or a fifth-grade skill. What are they missing?’ …(now) I do not have to throw darts at the wall.”

Teachers agreed that use of the maps helped them to individualize instruction:

"I left [the training in] Kansas thinking, ‘How can I make little, small, independent groups, and how can we move forward while I am reteaching this or doing this other piece?’ In reality, especially after that first year, what it helped me with the most was helping the struggling kiddos, and then I had the opportunity to go, ‘Okay, how can we also use it for the advanced [learners]?'”

“It did help with MTSS and that is a big issue — trying to find things to figure out what to use with these students for MTSS and trying to narrow them down, exactly where they are at when you are teaching them.”

How can teachers use the learning maps to support instruction and student learning?

  • Close gaps in knowledge/find holess in student learning
  • Identify areas of strength or weakness within the learning progression
  • Allow students to use maps to explain "how" they learn
  • Put the maps in the student's hands to self-evaluate their learning
  • Assess growth
  • Re-teach
  • Determine prerequisities for a standard
  • Inform students about their individual path to learning
  • Involve students in learning and goal setting
  • Chart student achievement
  • Determine prerequisitess for a standard
  • Determine scope and sequence with IEP goals
  • MTSS groups and lessons
  • Print for paraprofessionals and other staff supporting individualized learning
  • Post maps on classroom websites to inform parents and stakeholders

How can instructional and curriculum leaders use the learning maps to support teachers?

  • Curriculum scope and sequence reviews
  • Break down standards to show underlying skills
  • Grade level progression (vertical alignment)
  • Know sequence of target skills (horizontal alignment)
  • Use maps as a collaboration and planning piece with colleagues
  • Plan units
  • Determine scope and sequence for IEP goals
  • Use with PLC teams
  • Track standards taught
  • Support background knowledge
  • Enrich district adopted curriculum
  • Determine how concepts relate across units
  • Customize instruction to meet learning needs for individual students
  • Create student groupings based on targeted skills