Sunday, January 20, 2013

Amazing Site "Common Core Standards in Action!"

First, let me apologize for not posting daily of late.  I am leading a 3 hour institute at the annual California Association of Bilingual Educators in two weeks and am still working on it.  When the conference is over, I will be posting all my materials on my website (ELL TEACHER PROS).  My institute is on developing teaching resources to support ELLs in mainstream classes.  I am quite excited about this opportunity to be a resource for teachers around the state (and beyond through this blog and the website).

Now---on to the blog post for today:)

If teachers still have some concerns over implementing common core over this year and the next, they may wish to keep this site in their bookmark folder (or mark as a favorite) for future reference.   Quite a few teachers are wondering if they must re-create all their lessons, assessments, assignments, etc. so they require proof positive that nothing could be further from the truth.  In the past, a "mile wide and one inch thick" was golden rule in prepping students to take standardized tests.  This is no longer the case.  Pacing calendars which were developed to make sure that teachers "covered" all the material in time for the test are on their way to being dropped.   Will implementation of CCSS improve the high drop out rate among high school students?  The belief is that they will if teachers are fully supported in developing a firm handle on how to effectively re-energize instruction with them.

So, though many schools in 46 states implementing CCSS have (or plan to have) already provided their teachers with many professional development sessions to facilitate the move to CCSS, teachers will need support far beyond a few all day inservices.  Some districts have added academic peer coaches to ease the transition.  Further, many schools encourage teachers to attend academic conferences in their field of expertise to further hone their skills.  Still, even with such support, it is not there 24/7:)  What other options are available to teachers then?

Let me state a resource which most don't really think about and yet use this source regularly--colleagues.  It seems that on almost every campus and within every department there exists several teachers who jump at new approaches and enjoy the process.  They are more often than not willing to jump and assist any colleague who asks for help.  Such untapped sources should be looked at for immediate feedback:)

There is also the internet.  That being said--it can be an exhausting process trying to find just the right tool.  With this in mind, this site (and there are others) has tried to develop a bank of sites, suggestions for their use, lesson ideas in all content areas and at all grade levels (just go to SEARCH and type in the subject area), etc. 

Here is the latest tool on assisting teachers with using CCSS based lessons--COMMON CORE STANDARDS IN ACTION!  Most of the material is free, but to receive support in developing lessons (as well as have access to already developed ones), teachers must have a premium account.  However, that is only $50 a year.  This is small change and title 3 would cover it.  Such a tool for such a price will ease teacher stress levels.  Still, some might not need that level of service.  If that is the case, just sign up for the limited access one (I have that one since I have been following CCSS for over 1 year now).

Last, if you look at the top 10 blog posts for this site, 9 of them are on CCSS--videos, lessons, instructional strategies, etc.:)


P.S.  Enjoy the inauguration of Pres. Obama tomorrow.  It will be broadcast around the world.  Regardless of political party loyalties, the history beyond this inauguration to all the others which preceded it will be woven throughout and that should excite history buffs:)

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