Aligning State Standards With Lesson Plans

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Each state has a department of education that provides academic standards for that particular state's public school system. The standards provide information to educators about what types of academic lessons students be learning at various points in their educational career. The standards are divided by grade level and range in topics such as math, science, reading and social studies. To be an effective educator and to comply with your state's department of education, you must align the standards with your curriculum and lesson plans to ensure that you are giving students the level of academic information they need.

  • State standards
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Computer

1 Obtain a copy

Obtain a copy of your state's department of education standards. You can visit the state department of education's website and look for a link to an electronic version of the standards, or contact them via telephone and request a hard copy be sent to your school.

2 Identify the grade

Identify the grade you are creating the lesson plan for within the standards manual. If you are planning an academic lesson for fifth-graders, you can ignore the standards that apply to third-, fourth- and sixth-graders. Focus only on the grade that applies to the class level you teach.

3 Write down the academic categories

Write down the academic categories that are outlined in the standards. Keep this on a piece of paper or maintain your list electronically on the computer. Your categories might include reading, writing, math, social studies, science, history and art.

4 Review the specific standards within each category

Review the specific standards within each category. For example, according to the California State Department of Education's Common Core Content Standards for Mathematics, fourth-graders are required to become familiar with factors and multiples, represent and interpret data and draw lines and angles. Third- and fifth-graders, however, have their own set of standards.

5 Highlight or write down the objectives

Highlight or write down the objectives of each academic topic for your grade. If your fourth-grade class has to learn about interpreting data and drawing lines, make sure to work this lesson plan into your curriculum so that you are aligned with your state's standards.

6 Check yourself periodically throughout the academic year

Check yourself periodically throughout the academic year. Review your lesson plans and make sure they are aligned with the state academic standards. Make adjustments to your lesson plans where you need to.

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.