Tag Archives: Common Core State Standards Initiative

Common Core State Standards Workshops

Common Core State Standards Initiative ~www.corestandards.org

Common Core State Standards Initiative

Mission Statement:

“The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”~  www.corestandards.org

To help teachers successfully implement the standards Unlock the Teacher has begun to provide support and training to schools this past
school year. (Please visit our website for testimonials.) Teachers in the 44 adopted states will need to begin to provide instruction related to the standards by the fall of 2012.  It is anticipated that students will be assessed on the Common Core Standards beginning in 2014.

Unlock the Teacher providing teacher-friendly curriculum alignment that allows our teachers to do what they do best... T-E-A-C-H!

Common Core State Standards

Curriculum Alignment

Multiple Workshop Model

(c) 2011

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation

-District Leaders, Principals

Overview: District leaders and key decision makers establish a plan for the successful implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the curriculum alignment process.

Workshop addresses integrating school improvement items, establishing a timeline, designating overseers of specific tasks, clarifying
the district’s vision for success, as well as creating a process for developing, sharing, and publishing curriculum alignment plans.

Focus: Customize and set various options in curriculum alignment timelines to be accessible by all users.

Expected Participants: District leaders and key decision makers

Session Length: Half or full day

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation

-Building Leaders

Overview: Building-level administrators define how Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Curriculum Alignment is to be implemented: using reports operationally, developing a communication plan, establishing timelines, as well as creating feedback to
balance instructional design with the needs of the teachers and students.

Focus: Design a plan to support educators as they collaborate with Unlock the Teacher LLC team to develop curriculum alignment packages to include the CCSS.

Expected Participants: Principals and building administrators

Session Length: Half or full day

Common Core State Standards “Nuts & Bolts”

-Teachers and Administrators

Overview: The What, When, Where and Why of the CCSSI documents.
How to look at the standards given, based on International Best Practices to create a meaningful, living curriculum to benefit our children and our future.

Focus: To gain a better understanding of the process behind the Common Core State Standards and to learn how to utilize these documents as a classroom resource.

Expected Participants: Teachers and administrators

Session Length: Full day

 

Curriculum Alignment Part I:  Collaboration is key!

-Teachers and Administrators

Overview: Participants reflect on their current teaching practices and work with Unlock the Teacher team to design a curriculum package that meets and exceeds state and national standards, incorporating the Common Core State Standard.  Educators will collaborate with team to create customized curriculum that is comprised of living documents, adjusted regularly to meet the needs of all learners.

Curriculum mapping templates are designed to allow teachers to reflect and journal on “what worked and those lessons in need of modification.”

Focus: Utilize the Common Core State Standards as a skeletal outline to fill in to design a customized curriculum to meet the needs of all learners and to follow guidelines outlined at the state and national level.

Session Length: Two Full day

 

Curriculum Alignment Part II-Final Presentation and Mini-Group Workshop

-Teachers and Administrators

Overview: Participants come together to receive a complete aligned curriculum binder.  This is a celebration of the educational team’s hard work on behalf of their students.  Grade levels and/or disciplines are divided and “Break Out” session occurs where educators are guided through a professional learning community exercise.

Focus: To find strengths and weaknesses to work on in the new aligned curriculum. Create professional learning community tools in curriculum development.

Session Length: Half day

Expected Participants: Teachers and administrators

*Please note, that Part I and II takes approximately 3-6 months with the Unlock the Teacher LLC Team collaborating via email and phone
with educational staff to customize aligned curriculum. This process includes two full days and one half day of instruction.
This is a proven effective method that takes STRESS off the teachers and allows them to do what they do best, TEACH!

 

Stay Tuned~ A Summer Special

Unlock the Teacher is offering an unprecedented preview workshop in August and September of 2011 to present the CCSS alignment process for ELA and Mathematics.

This one-hour presentation will explain the process and the benefits of the Alignment Program that Unlock the Teacher has proprietorially
created.

During this professional development overview, we will:

  • Give a “Basic” overview of CCSS with a breakdown of each of our workshops
  • Show how we will collaborate with all educators throughout the year via email
  • Explain the Unlock the Teacher team-based method of alignment
  • Demonstrate the needs and benefits of alignment
  • Preview your current curriculum alignment package to determine needs

We look forward to hearing from you, together we can make a difference for our children, our future!

Denise Ball, Trisha Vaughn and Sue Atwell

The Unlock the Teacher LLC Team

Unlock the Teacher LLC

teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com

www.unlocktheteacher.com

www.unlocktheteacher.wordpress.com

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As a Curriculum Developer, This is my Impression of the Common Core State Standards Initiative by Denise Ball

Together we can make a difference!

As one who gets extremely excited about curriculum, I thought I would share some words of wisdom on education that I found from the Common Core State Standards Website. I understand after many years in the education system, how easy it can be for educators to get discouraged when a “new” trend or a “new” must follow philosophy comes along…that all must follow under the auspices of what is best for our children. However, after working with a few educational staffs this past school year on curriculum
alignment and aligning curriculum to the new CCSS ELA and Math model, I am even more impressed with the initiative and the direction it is pushing towards on behalf of our children.

A funny thing is, I believe the CCSS model is even more complimentary and gracious to us educators than many state standards. As an ELA
teacher, I find the comprehensive breakdown of grammar per grade refreshing…not to mention the recommendations of literary works to enhance lessons. However, the icing on the cake for me was the recommendation of utilizing Shakespeare in the classroom…I used Shakespeare’s plays for years in the classrooms I taught and the students just enjoyed it! In fact, one year
I had a group of seventh grade girls who found joy in practicing writing and speaking in Old English 🙂

With this said, I hope you take a look at the Common Core Standards with an open mind and look at them as a guide…as all curriculum is.
The true mastery is in the teacher and the reflective practices he/she uses to capture the unending teachable moments throughout the school year.

Great quotes taken from the Common Core State Standards Initiative
Benchmarking for Success documents:

“We are living in a world without borders. To meet the realities of the 21st century global economy and maintain America’s competitive edge into the future, we need students who are prepared to compete not only with their American peers, but with students from all across the globe for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“Nations around the world are facing a new education imperative, and many are seizing the historical moment to provide their citizens with better opportunities and stronger economies.”

“Governors recognize that new economic realities mean it no longer matters how one U.S. state compares to another on a national test; what matters is how a state’s students compare to those in countries around the globe. America must seize this moment to ensure that we have workers whose knowledge, skills, and talents are competitive with the best in the world.”

For additional information on Common Core State Standards that all but a few states have adopted visit http://www.corestandards.org/

For information on Unlock the Teacher LLC Common Core State Standards Workshops and/or recommendations from teacher, principles and superintendents, please feel free to visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com or email teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 😉

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Sneak Peak at the Cover for the Third eBook in the “Katie’s Farm Adventures” Series~All Proceeds Go Directly to Elementary School to Promote Literacy

"Katie's Horse Adventure" Book III in the "Katie's Farm Adventures" written and illustrated by a wonderful and creative first grade class...who love to write!

We love going into schools to work with teachers and students.  This year, we have had great experiences working with talented educators wanting to be ahead of the pack and correlate their curriculum to the Common Core State Standards; one year ahead of the CCSSI criteria set.  In fact, the teachers we worked with this year were so excited about the Common Core State Standards, that they not only correlated the Math as expected (one year ahead of schedule) but the ELA as well.  Thank you to all the educators who allowed us to work with them and be apart of the positive synergistic curriculum change for our children, our future!

With this said, out of all of our workshops conducted in schools this past year, from “How to ePublish for Teens” to “Writing Workshops for grades 1-5”, we had so much fun with the OLQM First Grade Class.  We enjoyed each and every workshop and all the excitement that the students brought, specially the teens so excited to learn how to use their writing to benefit their college future.
OLQM was the recipient of Unlock the Teacher LLC’s  first donated eBook  (“Katie’s Farm Adventures“) for the 2010/2011 school year.
The first grade class explained how they were so excited about the book, that they wanted to write another adventure for Katie.  Since January 2011, this first grade class has not only written and illustrated one adventure for Katie, but two”
Katie’s Exploring Adventure and Katie’s Horse AdventureKatie’s Exploring Adventure has received great review(s) from other educators and Katie’s Horse Adventure is due to be published with Barnes and Noble.com by the end of the month.
Unlock the Teacher LLC is thrilled to be a part of this amazing experience and look forward to writing and donating more of our own work to new elementary schools in the upcoming 2011/2012 school year.
On behalf of all the students who will benefit from your eBook purchase, we thank you for promoting literacy!
If your school would like to receive one of our donated eBooks next school year or would like to participate in one of the many workshops we offer, please feel free to email us @ teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com or visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend,
Denise, Trisha and Sue
The Unlock the Teacher LLC team

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Unlock the Teacher LLC Teacher and Administrator Workshops

Hello Teachers and Administrators,

To all the administrators who invited us in, thank you.  Due to your positive response(s), kind words and sharing with us what you would like to see for next year, we have created the following student workshops for the 2011-2012 school year.  We travel all around the United States and we are in dialogue with a few countries too 🙂 for future proposals.

We  provide our workshops to schools, summer camps, homeschooling, youth and church groups.  Given our focus as a company, we love to work side-by-side with charities for schools and/or communities, donating portions of proceeds to selected charities.

I am thrilled to share that we have two workshops already booked for the end of September, by two schools we have worked with on curriculum alignment this school year.

Unlock the Teacher LLC Workshops for Educators and Administrators

“How to Utilize ePublishing in the ClassroomWriting Workshop for Grades 1-12

This workshop is ideal for educators looking to find creative revenue resources for field trips, adding technology to the classroom etc. As educators, we create and write on a daily basis. Our team will come in and work with educators in your district and/or building to create ideas for eBooks that will be popular within your community and the education arena. We will demonstrate how to utilize teaching experience and current teaching practices as ePublishing tools and ePublish with Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.

Session Length:          2 Hours

Price:                          $1500.00 per 300 Teachers

“ePublishing as an Educational Revenue Resource” Workshop

In this three-session workshop, educators will be introduced to and participate in:

Session I:         ePublishing –the how and why component

Session II:       Develop an ePublishing Framework

Session III:      Marketing “Nuts and Bolts” ~Maximize Earning Potential

Session Length:          1.5 Hours per Session

Price:                          $1500.00 per 300 Teachers

Please visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com for further information and to check out our Common Core State Standards and Curriculum Alignment Workshops.

References can be provided upon request.

We look forward to the 2011-2012 school year.  Trisha, Sue and I wish everyone a fabulous summer!

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Unlock the Teacher LLC Present Common Core State Standards Workshops for 2011-2012 School Year

As the 2010-2011 school year is coming to a close, and we have successfully worked with and implemented the Common Core State Standards into a couple school’s curriculum alignment plan, we are happy to share our Curriculum Alignment Workshops we will be offering next school year.

Given the roll out of ELA and Math for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 CCSS schedule and assessment in 2014, we are thrilled to have a proven model that is teacher and  administrator friendly, time efficient and works with a schedule customized to each school or district’s needs.  For further information, please visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com today to schedule your Common Core State Standards Curriculum Alignment training for next year while dates are still available.

Our mission is always to share the good in education and to make a difference for teachers and students.  It is because of this, we offer discounted packages and work with Title Funds and other agencies to ensure success for all!

Unlock the Teacher LLC

Common Core State Standards

Curriculum Alignment

Five Workshop Model

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation –District Leaders, Principals

Session: UTT-A-1

Overview: District leaders and key decision makers establish a plan for the successful implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the curriculum alignment process. Workshop addresses integrating school improvement items, establishing a timeline, designating overseers of specific tasks, clarifying the district’s vision for success, as well as creating a process for developing, sharing, and publishing curriculum alignment plans.

Focus: Customize and set various options in curriculum alignment timelines to be accessible by all users.

Expected Participants: District leaders and key decision makers

Session Length: Half or full day

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation – Building Leaders

Session: UTT-B-1

Overview: Building-level administrators define how Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Curriculum Alignment is to be implemented: using reports operationally, developing a communication plan, establishing timelines, as well as creating feedback to balance instructional design with the needs of the teachers and students.

Focus: Design a plan to support educators as they collaborate with Unlock the Teacher LLC team to develop curriculum alignment packages to include the CCSS.

Expected Participants: Principals and building administrators

Session Length: Half or full day

Common Core State Standards “Nuts & Bolts”

Session: UTT-CCSS-2

Overview: The What, When, Where and Why of the CCSSI documents.  How to look at the standards given, based on International Best Practices to create a meaningful, living curriculum to benefit our children, our future.

Focus: To gain a better understanding of the process behind the Common Core State Standards and to learn how to utilize these documents as a classroom resource.

Expected Participants: Teachers and administrators

Session Length: Full day

 

Curriculum Alignment Part I

 Collaboration is Key!

Session: UTT-CA-3

Overview: Participants reflect on their current teaching practices and work with Unlock the Teacher team to design a curriculum package that meets and exceeds state and national standards, incorporating the Common Core State Standard.  Educators will collaborate
with team to create customized curriculum that is composed of living documents, adjusted regularly to meet the needs of all learners.

Curriculum mapping templates are designed to allow teachers to reflect and journal on “what worked and those lessons in need of modification.”

Focus: Utilize the Common Core State Standards as a skeletal outline to fill in to design a customized curriculum to meet the needs of all learners and to follow guidelines outlined at the state and national level.

Expected Participants: Teachers and administrators

Session Length: Full day

 

Note: This process takes approximately 3-6 months with the Unlock the Team collaborating via email and phone with educational staff to
customize aligned curriculum.  This is a proven effective method which takes STRESS off of the teachers and allows them to do what they do best, TEACH!

Curriculum Alignment Part II

Presentation and Mini-Group Workshop

Session: UTT-Final-4

Overview: Participants come together to receive a complete aligned curriculum binder.  This is a celebration of the educational team’s hard work on behalf of their students.  Grade levels and/or disciplines are divided and “Break Out” session occurs where educators are
guided through a professional learning community exercise.

Focus: To find strengths and weaknesses to work on in the new aligned curriculum. Create professional learning community tools in
curriculum development.

Session Length: Half day

Recommendations can be provided upon request.

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 🙂

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Unlock the Teacher LLC Wishes Everyone a Happy Easter

May your weekend be blessed!

The Unlock the Teacher LLC team wishes everyone a happy and joy-filled weekend!

This is a wonderful time to regroup and refocus on all that is important to you and your families, your company, your school and all that is around you.  Spring is a time of renewal…may each of us find time for peace and quite. Time to renew that which is exceptional and unique to us so we can truly maximize our potential…for the betterment of our children, our future!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise, Trisha and Sue

The Unlock the Teacher Team

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Literacy Campaign +Website Receives 600 Hits This Week…We Are Grateful, Thank You!

 

Unlock the Teacher LLC - "May We Seek Knowledge in All Things"
Welcome!
Unlock The Teacher was born out of the understanding that we are all teachers. In what we do, how we act and who we are, we educate others at all times. From its inception, Unlock the Teacher has always been about helping all those who play a role in the life of a child to “unlock the teacher” within. Our goal is to share knowledge, not hoard it. We believe if we continue to choose what is right and good, to be the difference, a beacon of light, our efforts will be fruitful.
Through project-based learning, Unlock the Teacher tackles academic curriculum in ways that are engaging, meaningful and adaptable to a variety of learning styles.
Unlock the Teacher specializes in curriculum and instruction packages, CCSS curriculum alignment workshops, training and development for educators and industry employees, familiarity with needs assessment, grant writing, business plans, teen writing workshops in schools, ePublishing workshops, writing and publishing children’s literature books and producing non-fiction educational books and materials.
We’re prepared to meet the educational needs of teachers, students and YOU!
To learn more, please contact us.
//

This is a THANK YOU blog for all of you who have so generously responded to our invitation, passed on the word and through your generosity, allowing us to share the good in education.  Our new website @ http://www.unlocktheteacher.com has received over 600 hits in the first week…we have received approximately 30+ emails of comments about our literacy campaign for elementary schools.  The comments about all the art work my mom painted has been both touching and healing for me as well.

Our Unlock the Teacher LLC team is so grateful for the support, the positive comments and the dialogue with local and …not so local school districts about our training packages.  Our “ePublishing Workshop for Teens” is a hot topic and we will post some mini clips of our next workshop this Friday on our website, to share the enthusiasm that young people are having when they see the wonderful opportunities for their writing.  As an educator, it always gives me goose bumps to see students get excited or find validity in the work they produce in the classroom; it is a win-win for educators, students and families.

Recently, our company was asked to provide a min-ePub training for 8 students and parents at a private home.  Everyone in attendance came prepared with laptop and samples of writings: short stories, poetry, cartoons etc.  It was a teachable/learning moment for me as an educator, for the parent realizing the amazing work their children were capable of producing and for the teens as they discovered that their authentic work, their ideas, dreams and creativity were not only good, but inspiring for all the adults in the group.  The coup de grace of the training was when all participant realized the opportunities that were available with ePublishing this authentic work. They discovered, that they could utilize proceeds to  establish college funds, travel adventure funds etc. with publishing authentic, creative and current writings for the reader of today…exciting!

We give our next ePublishing Workshop this Friday to 100+ teens for a local school district, and personally…I cannot wait!

Did you know that the author of that amazing Eragon series was a teen when he published Eragon as an eBook? Of course, Knopf Publishing, a part of Random House, picked it up and signed the whole series within two months. 🙂  An example of “daring to dream” and living intentionally!  A true family affair…

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things…and again we are truly grateful for the support and kind words,

Unlock the Teacher LLC Team

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“All Around our Town” to Launch the 1st of March in 2011 for Unlock the Teacher LLC Promoting Literacy Campaign

My community has many beautiful parks.

All proceeds from the eBook for  “All Around our Town”  will be donated to St. Mary’s School in Royal Oak, Michigan.  This school has a wonderful curriculum plan that incorporates art and reading across the curriculum.  The art teachers exhibits a passion for her craft and enjoys showcasing the many beautiful art projects created by her students. The 7th and 8th graders are so well read in this building, I enjoy stopping in to ask them what they are reading and why.  Unlock the Teacher LLC can not wait to see what wonderful ways this building will utilize our gift.

 

Given that the Common Core State Standards Initiative rolls out in 2012, if your district or school is in need of some curriculum assistance, please visit our website for more information.  We have a proven track record, a workable, teacher friendly model and positive references  from educators, administrators and district level personnel.  Teachers’ most important job is educating our future, our children.  One role we feel at Unlock the Teacher LLC is vital to our mission, is to be a resource for our fellow teachers.  We go in buildings, look at current curriculum, incorporate new CCSS through collaboration and facilitating workshops to allow the educational staff to focus on the learning process  in the classroom.  Many feel that educators should be able to teach eight hours, go home and grade papers for two-four more hours, write lesson plans and somehow find time for their families.  Then, on top of that, we expect them to stay motivated, current and differentiate to meet the needs of all learners.  We are blessed in this country that there are so many educators who are able to do all these tasks and make it work for all stake holders.  However, there are many studies that speak to the high “burn-out” rate for teachers.  Unlock the Teacher, LLC goal is to be a resource for many and an aid to allow educators to focus on what is most important, preparing our children for the future. Wow, I guess I had more in me today then I realized.  I will now jump off my soap box now and encourage everyone to seek knowledge in all things! ~Denise 🙂

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Reading/Literacy Grant Sources Part II…Our Recommendation=Have a Grant Writing Party Once a Month

  1. A.     Target

Early Childhood Reading Grants

Reading is essential to a child’s learning process. That’s why Target awards grants to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations to support programs such as after-school reading events and weekend book clubs. Together we’re fostering a love of reading and encouraging children, preschool through third grade, to read together with their families.

Early childhood reading grants are $2,000. Grant applications are typically accepted between March 1 and April 30 each year, with grant notifications delivered in September.  Submit application online: www.target.com/grants    

  1. B.     AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award

This award recognizes and hopes to encourage collaboration and partnerships between school library media specialists and teachers in meeting educational goals outlined in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning through joint planning of a program, unit, or event in support of the curriculum and using media center resources. www.ala.org

  1. C.    AASL Innovative Reading Grant

Established in 2006, the $2,500 AASL Innovative Reading Grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children which motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers. www.ala.org

  1. D.    Adopt-A-Classroom Grants

Teachers who register at the Adopt-a-Classroom web site can be adopted by an individual, a business, or a foundation. Once adopted, teachers will receive $500 worth of credit to purchase items that enrich the learning environment, including classroom technology. Teachers help solicit their own sponsors by downloading and distributing fliers within their community or by sending out a personalized, pre-written email from the Adopt-a-Classroom web site. Every donor receives information about the classroom it has adopted, including an itemized list of what teachers bought so donors can see the impact of their donation. (This sounds SO cool!) www.adoptaclassroom.org

  1. E.     Braitmayer Foundation Grants

The Braitmayer Foundation supports programs that enhance the education of K-12 students through curricular and school reform initiatives, professional development for teachers, and local community efforts. Its grants, which range in size up to $35,000, are to be used as seed money, challenge grants, or to match other grants to the recipient organization. www.braitmayerfoundation.org

  1. F.     Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards

To honor innovative individuals who have made major contributions to transform K-12 learning in and out of the classroom, the cable industry\’s education foundation has launched the Cable\’s Leaders in Learning Awards. The competition is open to any individual working in U.S. communities who can demonstrate innovative practices or policies that have had an impact on K-12 education. Twelve winners will be selected in four categories. The nomination period opens Oct. 1. 2011  www.leadersinlearningawards.org (This organization is on break for 2010, but their site is a good resource to pick from when writing other grants.)

  1. G.    Computers for Learning

Through its Computers for Learning program, the federal government has placed hundreds of thousands of surplus computers in schools across the country on a needs-first basis. Schools register and request equipment on the Computers for Learning web site, and federal agencies match their surplus equipment to schools with those needs. Most, but not all, of the available computers are Windows-based PCs rather than computers made by Apple. Most of the donated machines are older models, but as the government continues to upgrade its computer systems, the number of surplus Pentium computers will sharply increase. www.computersforlearning.gov

Thank you for all you do in the life of a child!

Unlock the Teacher LLC

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