People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved. Anonymous
I have to circle around a concept to really work and create materials and ideas out of it.
For the Common Core, I started with what I knew. From England, I pulled my experience with the National Curriculum (NC) and APP (assessing pupil progress) and from the US, Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) – not to be confused with the Next Generation Science Stations (NGSS) of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Ugh…
Going through the experience of learning how to implement and assess the NC when I came over to England from Florida was a true team effort.
With little publisher materials to pull from, my mentor (Nikki) ,county supervisor (Dorothy Kavanagh, from AFL) as well as the rest of the staff at my school came together and supported me as I came up to speed.
It was HARD! Let’s just start there…
You see I could implement a teacher edition well enough. Give me a TE and I’m off…my plans were Monday: Chapter 1, Lesson 1 through Friday: Chapter 1 Lesson 5 or a quiz or test.
I was creative.
As I’ve learned…the kind of creative teacher that ‘looks’ and feels fun…but isn’t necessarily teaching my students how to be more creative.
As I see it now, I had a teacher-centered classroom more than a student centered classroom.
In England, I learned how to focus on teaching standards while growing in the ability to assess student skills and understanding.
So now, I come back to the US and I see the Common Core.
My CCSS questions I have been working through….
- What are the standards by content area zones?
- How do the standards link together by grade level (oh my gosh…I LOVE that they seem to spiral and build upon each other)
- What depth of knowledge is a student expected to be at for mastery? How will I know when they are moving beyond to the next level?
- How will the PARCC work? (I’m in Florida)
- Will the assessments not only align in theory with the standards but will they assess the depth of knowledge expected?
- Will the assessment information be clear and will the examples be available so I understand as a teacher and so I can share those models of expectations with my students?
- Will the assessments throughout the year align in spirit and content fluidly so that the end of the year assessments will have no surprises (if I work to ensure my teacher marking is aligned as well)?
- How will all this work with my current NGSSS standards?
- What is reading complexity? How will I be able to gauge the complexity of a book?
- 10. How can I ensure that my students not only learn a national curriculum, but learn in a way that keeps them connected and growing as a citizen of their local and state community? (I think this is important).
- How can I start this year to teach the NGSS and CCSS so that when 2013 comes around my students who have left and are now in higher grades have a strong foundation so they are ready?
- How will I build social, academic and content/discipline specific vocabulary in ways that engage and involve my students to become stronger and more fluent consumers and creators of literacy?
I have more questions, but I’m on my way, in a big part because of Edmodo and the Common Core Conversation group.
They have a group for teachers and for administrators where educators share, can ask questions and access a pool of resources from documents, videos, webinars…and more.
This group is creating an integrated approach to reviewing and implementing the Common Core State Standards. There are people I can connect with that have been with the CCSS from the beginning. They share their growing pains, professional development examples and examples of best practices or lessons learns.
I linked from the Edmodo group to the site www.CommonCoreConversation.org – started by Mrs. H! A wonderful educator who graciously leads collaboration with the ability to keep our collections organized.
So I’m on my way. I have downloaded or been given some amazing work by my county team to help my understanding of our districts approach recently. When I sat down, I realized how far I had come. I could understand the content shared more so than if I hadn’t had my Edmodo’s groups guidance.
Thank you! It takes a PLN to teach a child 🙂 Come join us!