Tag Archives: Common CoreStandards

We Found a Great Blog for all Things Curriculum by Carolyn Starkey ~”The Common Core Daily”

As a teacher and now component of Unlock the Teacher, I read, write and work with schools on curriculum and curriculum alignment projects.  I was taught early on in my career and I also believe, that if a school  has a good curriculum base (a living curriculum), then  the sky is the limit for teachers in the classroom.  Once a curriculum cornerstone is in place, the framework is there and this makes scaffolding curriculum to meet the needs of all learners in a building so much easier.

  • Teachers can collaborate more efficiently, knowing what grade level expectations are.
  • Lessons can be more enhanced, working within guidelines vs. shooting from the hip or from the dark.
  • Teachers then do not have to feel they need to teach by the text but utilize textbooks as they are meant to be…tools to enhance the learning process.

Don’t get me wrong, textbooks are an essential component of the learning process.  Good textbooks, written to speak to multiple learning styles, can change the way a student feels about any given subject. However, textbooks are but one piece of the learning puzzle.

That is why, when I stumble upon a good book or curriculum materials from authors like: Solution Tree, Elaine McEwan, Thomas Lickona (Educating for Character~ I highly recommend), Rachel Kessler (The Soul of Education) and Maxine Greene (Releasing the Imagination), I love to share it.  The collaborative process is one of my favorite aspects about teaching and working within schools.

Given all this, I wanted to share with all of our readers, a blog I find a wonderful tool for all things curriculum: The Common Core Daily by Carolyn Starkey.

Carolyn’s blog is a great resource for teachers, administrators, curriculum publishing companies and any parent who enjoys reading about curriculum being taught in schools across the United States. She highlights all views on the Common Core State Standards Initiative and shares great tips she finds online. It has become one of my favorite blogs to read and I highly recommend it. 🙂  It is also a great resource for meeting and adding those who work within the world of education to your Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Let me know your thoughts…

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Filed under Blogs that Inspire Us, Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts"

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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Filed under Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts", Unlock the Teacher LLC Creating Curriculum and Training for Any Person

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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