At Camino Nuevo, Goalbook Pathways Supports High Expectations for Students and Teachers Alike
When teachers at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles first started using Goalbook Toolkit two years ago, they focused on designing specialized instruction for students with disabilities that was standards-based and rigorous. Fast forward two academic years, Mindy Melgar, Inclusion Specialist, is now leading the use of Goalbook Pathways schoolwide to move general and special education teachers a step forward toward serving ALL students — with and without disabilities. They have partnered teams that have historically worked separately and they are now collaborating in ways that can change the course of a student’s path to success.
They have partnered teams that have historically worked separately and they are now collaborating in ways that can change the course of a student’s path to success.
In a recent professional development session focused on ELA standards, the Camino Nuevo leadership team led educators through an exercise in how 9th and 10th grade students might feel encountering assessment items around text analysis. The PD began with a video clip from the film Captain Fantastic, asking educators to consider what kind of thinking characters were engaged in during a scene, and setting the vision for what they believed their students could do. This process of setting high expectations for all learners is mirrored in Goalbook Pathways through varied assessment items for each standard tied to Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. Embedded learning tasks and strategies are aligned to the Universal Design for Learning framework to support diverse learners with accessing higher levels of thinking.
To accomplish setting higher expectations, Mindy and the Camino Nuevo team have used Goalbook Pathways and its instructional planning resources. For this PD session, the Literacy Director chose an excerpt by Amy Tan (“Mother Tongue”) from Pathways’ Ten Texts on Confronting Race. Teachers engaged in text analysis and were surprised to find that each staff member had a different answer or central argument in response to the prompts. They learned that assessment items tied to the central RI and RL anchor standards can deeply challenge students and can be open ended, which might also feel daunting to students. The educators found that scaffolded instructional activities in Goalbook Pathways allow them to plan with diverse learners in mind and to anticipate learning strengths and barriers.
Mindy recently had an interaction with an educator who specializes in middle school math. This educator expressed general anxiety around being able to meet all her students’ needs given their wide array of abilities and learning barriers. She wanted to make sure her class was on track to achieve learning targets. Mindy shared Goalbook Pathways with the teacher, who found in particular that “the advice for how to provide support to students [is] very helpful” and mentioned that she had already started to share Pathways resources with another colleague during a co-planning period.
The educators found that scaffolded instructional activities in Goalbook Pathways allowed them to plan with diverse learners in mind and to anticipate learning strengths and barriers.
“Goalbook’s white paper [Different Paths Up the Same Mountain] was also very helpful. Everything you all make is exceedingly clear, aesthetically pleasing, and immediately actionable,” says Mindy.