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ICPALMS – Are you standards driven and value content reviewed lessons? Check this out!

More than just Florida standards…
as a Race to the Top participant, lessons
use the National Core Standards for
reading and math! So don’t tune this out
if you don’t live in Florida!

Florida Association of Science Teachers – F.A.S.T  learning on science and more!

ICPALMS – Are you standards driven and value content reviewed lessons? Well…
Ok.. I just left the Florida Association of Science Teachers, F.A.S.T conference… OH MY GOSH!!!  I am so excited.  Yes…there was some really good courses on science instruction and I will share more. However, however..HOWEVER… the best resource I have seen since coming back to the US.. CPALMS!And even if you don’t work in Florida, I would take a look at this program.
CPALMS was designed to be a standards driven, content reviewed site…. to be a ‘one source’ for teachers.  A site to help improve the efficiency of planning…to save teachers time…connect them to quality resources embedded within the Florida standards (and now National Core standards for math and reading).
Ok… so there are A LOT of sites that promise standards and links… but the ease!  The FREE-ness!  Yes it is FREE!  This is a site that places teachers in the driver’s seat and encourages sharing, continuous improvement and growth through professional development.
How?
Well.. Somehow they did it RIGHT!  They created site based from strong teachers with techs that listen to educators AND have the insight to intuitively create resources we don’t even know will make our life easier (yes!  I am excited). AND ITS FREE!!It’s collaborative..it promotes collegiality…it is encouraging…
Remember… I teach K-2 science in a lab setting.  11 classes!  Then I support 1st-6th grade gifted children in pullout sessions that need to link to NGSSS and Florida DOE standards/goals for gifted.I am embedded in benchmarks that cross a mind boggling amount of age groups and content areas.  And… I have the experience of teaching in a country where true differentiation – based on a student’s current level and needs – was in place, expected and moderated.  So I’ve lived it… believe in it…and want to continue the practice.. even in a crazy world of all these age groups and content.
The review process works to help ensure lessons are standards driven,
with strong instructional practice guidelines and authentic
content!
But it is VERY hard.
So imagine… when I saw the CPALMS demonstration and heard the thoughtfulness and strong practice behind it….I became excited!
Each lesson plan has been reviewed by at least 3 teachers who have been trained in the NGSSS standards/core standards.  They ask:  How is the pedagogy?  Is the LP or resource truly useful in a wider spectrum?  Will it be easy to implement for a wide audience? Does it follow the benchmarks and promote best practices?  Is it age level appropriate?

THEN…. THEN.. (and this is where I get really excited)… subject matter experts review the lesson to ensure the concepts are accurate!  So now.. real scientists and more are looking over the material to ensure the skills and knowledge are up to date and based on real, accurate information (For example…seeds do not use the sun for food!  Are you truly teaching the difference between ‘observation’ and ‘inference’?)

Did I say it’s FREE!I was working last night on my medium term lesson plans for K-2 science.  I mapped out the benchmarks.. created my “I can” statements.This is a draft…thought about the learning needs and styles I want to meet…thought about the outcomes and how they could be measured…thought about activities that might link (especially some I’ve learned from our F.A.S.T conference)…put down some ideas..but that all took awhile.Tomorrow (I’m done for the day).  I am going to research the activities on CPALMS and look at the lessons out there.  HOW EXCITING!  I probably could of just gone straight to CPALMS but I want to start with a map first and then check their work just to be safe.
The database is growing so I know it won’t have everything I need right now…but…I know as time progresses and our great teachers work together.. Just imagine!
Long term I want to help with primary lessons that link to the English National Curriculum to support our primary students interested in our Brevard Cambridge Programs at the middle and high school.
One of my PGP strategies this year was to investigate the district recommended technology resources for data and planning that is out there to support my transition from England back to Florida.  Well… here is where my PGP lead me to a GREAT RESOURCE!
You can set up an
account to keep notes
or have info on new
lessons on specific
benchmarks sent right to
your email!
WOW!  There are moments when you realize….I might  know what I am missing or need to become a better educator…but rarely do you find resources that so strongly fit an actual need.  Usually, by the time you fill it…you are using a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Maybe not with CPALMS!  I am so excited about CPALMS!
You need to check it out!
 — Some highlights —
Resources for teachers – lesson plans, units, URLs
Some resources for students –
You can add your own lessons for review!  Free professional development through feedback from experienced teachers and subject matter experts!
ICPALMS – Build on success
Best way is researching by benchmark…
Started in 2008 – CPALMS.org or floridastandards.orgAlso.. you can email an address and LPs with the benchmarks will come flowing back!  AWESOME! (I’ll try it out and share).
I’ll share more as I use it!

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