Task list that represents a paper process that teachers used to follow to plan standards-based goals for students
Written by Susan Milliones on June 29, 2023

Leadership ()

Why You Need a Functional Pacing Guide

The research is clear. Exemplary schools insist on 2 critical behaviors. First, they use standards- based curriculum to plan instruction, assignments, and assessments that align to the state test for every single lesson, every single day from the very first day of school. Second, they use consistent evidence-based practices and just right scaffolding so every student can respond. You want to be exemplary too, right? So, you need a pacing guide that will promote these two critical behaviors. Here are the elements you need to consider when you make a functional pacing guide.

Pacing Guide Considerations

Structure- Most districts ask teachers to build their pacing guides. Its really time consuming. The structure of the guides may include too much, or too little. Assessments don’t align. Collaboration is difficult. So, students lose the foundations they need to meet the grade level expectations. Then, when the standards change, you have to start all over again.

Time- Your pacing guide should make it easy for teachers to cover everything they need to within the allotted time. When teachers keep a good pace, students stay on track. Teachers are less stressed knowing they have a solid yet flexible plan. All in all, our pacing guide creates a better learning environment for everyone!

Organization- Your pacing guide should make it easy for teachers to plan and organize lessons more effectively, giving students enough time to learn and remember material helps them succeed.

Assessments: Your pacing guide should provide multiple ways to assess and evaluate student learning from simple quizzes, to common assessments and benchmarks. And it should all be aligned to the state test using questions from the pacing guide you create.

Collaboration: We all know that when teachers and administrators are on the same page and communicate well, it has a huge impact on student success and school culture. That’s why you should create an interactive space where administrators, coaches, and teachers can connect and collaborate more efficiently while still having fun! This will save everyone saves tons of time and energy.

Alignment: Your pacing guide should make vertical alignment easy to see. Provide various resources and  learning strategies to help all your students establish a strong foundation of knowledge and skills for future learning.


So, now you know why a functional pacing guide is so important. It saves time, it has a consistent structure and everything is organized. Furthermore, assessments align, collaboration is simple, and students get the foundations they need to succeed at every level. Now that’s MTSS happiness.

To learn how dot it‘s new pacing guide tool can help you make this easy and functional, visit us at dotit.app.

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