Layered Curriculum

5 0r 6 years ago, I stumbled across Layered Curriculum.  My son’s science teacher was in a accident and was going to be absent for several weeks.  He sent home a checklist that allowed students choices for methods of learning content.  The idea was that the end results would be the same for all, but each student would get to that point in her own way.

Upon learning that this type of curriculum even existed, I set out to research the mechanics of it.  The go to person was (is) Kathie Nunely who coined the phrase “layered curriculum”.   She makes information available on her website called  This site includes many sample units and details about how Kathie implements this system.  This was a career changing experience for me. I envisioned a tool for increasing student motivation and increasing student ownership for their work.

But as any good teacher-despite wanting to jump in full force-I started with a small carefully selected groups of students,  I chose students that would give me useful and critical feedback.  This group was totally heterogeneous, as are all my classes.  The feedback was positive and students were excited by this approach to learning.  I knew I was on to something and spent much of the rest of the following summer switching over my curriculum setup.


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