Pacing Guides with Embedded 21st Century Skills- keyboarding skills will begin in Elementary

Initiative Purpose:

Pacing guides will improve the quality of instruction by providing teachers with a roadmap for instruction in their classrooms that is aligned with current best practices for each content area, VA Standards of Learning, National Educational Technology Standards, and 21st Century Skills as detailed in the report from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

While the core content curriculum will always be a high priority, our students will need to apply this knowledge in the context of a global economy, or as Friedman writes- “ a flat world.”  The 21st century skills of critical thinking, finding and using information, problem solving, real world application of learning, as well as communication and collaboration skills will serve our students well as they become active and productive citizens.

Our technology initiatives will support this initiative by providing teachers and students with the 21st century tools needed to collaborate and communicate.  Because technology will be such an important part of this initiative we are putting a renewed emphasis on keyboarding skills at the elementary level so students entering middle school will be prepared to effectively and efficiently use their school lap top computers.

Initiative Description:

Specialists will work with groups of teachers over the 2007-2008 school year to examine the existing pacing guides, curriculum frameworks and instructional activities in order to create a teacher friendly document that establishes a broad pace for the introduction of content (standards that should be taught each semester). This document will also serve as a resource for ideas for specific 21st century skills that may be incorporated to enhance the teaching of each standard. 

The second phase of the building of these roadmap will be a repository of lesson plans and activities with embedded 21st century skills.

In order to ensure students are proficient in keyboarding, selected elementary schools will be piloting a keyboarding program with specific measures of proficiency. Data will be collected from the pilot to determine if it will be adopted for all elementary schools.  

Timeline for this Initiative:

  • August 2007- Basic broad pacing guides will be available
  • August 2008- 21st Century Skills will be embedded in the guides
  • August 2009- Repository of 21st Century embedded lesson plans and activities will available