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atlas reports

27 Apr The Questions to Your Answers: What Can Atlas Reports Tell You About Your Curriculum?

There are many ways you can examine your curriculum in Atlas using the built-in reporting features, but to get the most out of them, it’s important to consider exactly what you want to know. Here we will examine some of the questions you might ask yourself before turning to Atlas reports, and we’ll look at which reports best answer those questions.

Assessment Methods
  • Do we provide students with a mixed variety of assessments?
  • How often are we assessing students with formative v. summative assessments?

The Assessment Methods report allows you to view the mix of assessments being taught in your school. Below is a pie chart reporting for us the mix of assessments happening in grades 3-5 mathematics courses. From this we can see that tests make up more than 50% of the assessment methods, so we may want to think about diversifying our assessments in those courses.

Share this report prior to your next vertical team meeting and discuss your findings!

Horizontal Scope & Sequence
  • What are my students learning outside my classroom, right now?
  • How do we create more interdisciplinary units?
  • Are we helping students draw connections between their different courses?
  • Do we have any missed opportunities to collaborate across subject areas?

The Horizontal Scope & Sequence report allows you to view areas of curriculum across subjects, within a grade level. Below is a Scope & Sequence report for learning activities in grade 7 English, Science, and Social Studies. If I am the English 7 teacher, I might think about including spelling and vocab words related to civilizations or the solar system, to connect with what my students are learning in their other courses.

Run this report before the start of the school year!

Vertical Scope & Sequence
  • How does the curriculum spiral above and below grade levels?
  • How do we build upon the skills our students already have?
  • How do we eliminate learning gaps and redundancies?

Similar to the Horizontal Scope & Sequence, the Vertical Scope & Sequence allows you to view parts of your curriculum within a subject and across grade levels. This is helpful in determining the arc of your students learning, including what your students came into your class equipped with, and what they need to be prepared for in the following year. Below is an example Scope & Sequence report looking at skills in English 8-10, that I may turn to as the English 9 teacher in order to answer some of the questions we identified.

Bring this report to your next subject specific PLC meeting!

Comparative Unit Calendar
  • Are we helping students draw connections between their different courses?
  • Do we have any missed opportunities to collaborate across subject areas?

The Comparative Unit Calendar report allows you to view units from multiple courses on one unit calendar. This can be helpful in recognizing the trajectory of other courses, especially at your grade level, because you might be able to identify opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines. For example, if I am the Science Seminar teacher in the example below, I may reach out to the Art teacher to see if elements of my Ethical Dilemmas in Genetic Research unit may connect with ideas in their Theatre for Social Change unit.

Use this to help your high school students make meaningful STEAM connections!

Standards Overview
  • How do the standards progress and build on each other from one grade to the next?

The Standards Overview report allows you to select a set of standards and compare multiple grade levels side by side. In the example below, we selected math standards for grades 1-3. This would be very helpful as the grade 2 math teacher to see what students are working on in the previous grade level, as well as how the standards evolve in the following grade level.

Familiarize yourself with new standards using this report!

Standards Analysis
  • Which standards have we targeted, or not targeted in our curriculum?
  • Which standards have we assessed, or not assessed?
  • Where can we find _____ in the standards?
  • How many times has ____ standard been taught?
  • How much progress has the middle school science team made aligning to the NGSS Science standards?

The Standards Analysis report allows you to select sets of standards, which can then be further filtered by benchmark level, strand, by teacher or course, and more. Below is an example of a Standards Analysis report looking at the NGSS science standards at the middle school level. To further examine our standards alignments, I could click on the linked numbers to see which standards have been targeted or assessed, and where they are targeted or assessed.

Pin this report to your dashboard and check-in how your progress has changed!

Search Curriculum
  • As a school, we are focusing on improving ____.
  • Where can I find resources on ____?
  • Where was that website file about ____?
  • I need to ask my colleague about ____?
  • Based on recent data, my students need to review ____.
  • How many units address ____ across grade levels?

The Search Curriculum report allows you to use keywords to find specific information in your curriculum. For example, below is a Search Curriculum report where we have searched the term “fractions” at the elementary level. In this example, the report is in the form of a pie chart broken down by grade, but you also have the option to view the information as a list or bar graph, and broken down by subject, school, or teacher. In the chart below, I notice that fractions are a bit overrepresented in the grade 1 curriculum, and they show up much less in grades 2 and 3. This may be something I need to address with my team.

Find out what prior knowledge your students have about a concept or theme before you introduce it in your next meeting!

When interpreting the results of an Atlas report, it’s important to note that the information the reports are pulling from is the curriculum that has been added in develop, so if you receive results that seem off, it might just mean that the curriculum needs to be updated. In any case, you can learn a lot about your curriculum through Atlas reports, which can lead to great conversations with your colleagues about gaps in the curriculum, redundancies, opportunities to collaborate, and more.

Each report allows you to customize the information you are viewing to help make the report as focused as possible. For the same reason, however, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, the results can be difficult to filter and interpret. So, rather than running a report and then working backward to try and figure out what the report can tell us, start with the question and work toward the answer. You will be amazed by what you can learn!

Want more useful tips and tricks for Atlas? Check out our Atlas-centric blogs and webinars!

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