Common Core & Standards

Laying the foundation for reading proficiency

Reading Proficiency Starts with a Solid Foundation

Categories: Common Core & Standards, Instruction, Literacy

The goal for any reading curriculum is to develop readers who are able to understand, evaluate, and respond to texts in thoughtful ways. We can lump these competencies under the concept of reading comprehension. There is also a second goal for reading: to develop children and adults who are lifelong avid readers who choose to make literacy an integral part of their lives.

In order to reach these lofty goals, however, students need to develop competencies in what most reading standards (e.g., Common Core Standards) refer to as foundational. Read more

Preparing high-school graduates for college or careers

Increasing College Readiness and Career Readiness before Graduation

Categories: Assessment, Common Core & Standards, Instruction, Literacy, Mathematics

Most states have improved graduation rates over time, but as one superintendent told this author, “We know how to increase graduation rates; we just don’t know how to educate them before they graduate!” So, what can educators do to increase the number of graduates who are actually ready for college or careers? Read more

tip of the iceberg

Deeper Learning and the Common Core: What’s the Conflict?

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Common Core & Standards

Driving Question: What is the conflict between deeper learning and the Common Core?

 “How do I do this deeper learning stuff when I have the common core to deal with?”

“It’s the Common Core on my radar. When do I have time for anything else?”

“I have to worry about how to deliver the common core in my special needs classroom. Come on, now”

I get it. The reason I get it is I hear these same cries whenever I’ve started working with a faculty. They tell me that there are lots of top-down dictates still coming along under the guise of professional development. In the past few years, inordinate amounts of money have been spent to brush stroke the what and why of the Common Core, RTI, and who knows what else. Too many teachers are left confused and unprepared to do what the commanders ask. Read more

Demonstrate, Explain, Apply

Common Core and the DEA Teaching Model

Categories: Common Core & Standards, School Improvement

This post is part of an ongoing series on the topic of Eliminating the Achievement Gap for Latino Students.

Common Core has opened the door for a different kind of learning experience for both teachers and students. The traditional classroom with the teacher being the keeper of knowledge, and the students being the sponges of information is being flipped. The teacher’s role is shifting away from instructor and leaning more towards facilitator. With this shift, students are transitioning to be the active participant in their own learning, responsible for their own engagement and product. This level of ownership of learning is especially beneficial for English Language Learners. ELL students need to build relevance with new learnings, and this new approach will only solidify connections and provide personal contexts for their new learnings.

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Serve and Volley method of discussion

Serve and Volley: A Strategy for Classroom Discourse

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Common Core & Standards

“The person doing the talking is the person doing the learning” might be more palpable if it said, “The person doing the talking is the person doing the thinking.” In either case, when someone is explaining, describing or even arguing, that person is constructing meaning in his mind as he speaks. In fact, the person talking is actually forming or developing his concept and anchoring it into long-term memory as he composes, edits, revises, and clarifies his thoughts. It is the very process teachers seek in classroom conversations. They want to hear the thinking of the student and there is no better way than to have them speaking, conversing and articulating their ideas in class as part and parcel of the daily discourse.

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