Common Core & Standards

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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Passing on the shepherd's crook

Seven Ways to Shepherd Transfer

Categories: Common Core & Standards, Instruction

To keep an eye on transfer, we delineate seven phases to the original learning that foster deeper understanding and subsequent transfer of learning. (2007) These strategies include the following: 1) Know about Transfer Theory, 2) Set Expectations for Transfer, 3) Model with Artifacts or Demonstrations, 4) Look for Transfer 5) Plot Applications, 6) Try Something Immediately, 7) Dialogue with Peers. While these phases apply to adult learning as well as student learning, the student example is featured in this particular discussion. Leaders can shift the ideas fairly easily and appropriately to their adult learning situations.

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A white sheep and a black sheep

The Good Shepherd Theory

Categories: Common Core & Standards

At the heart of the stickiness factor for the transfer of learning is its credibility in both the staff room with adult learners and- just as importantly- in the classroom of student learning. Transfer is often referred to as the applied sciences in instructional jargon, yet it is also the transfer of learning from any of the disciplines into real word applications. It parallels the mandates from 21st Century Partnerships Skills (2000), and the new national Common Core standards (2010).

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Standard-based soup

A Standard Is a Standard Is a Standard!

Categories: Assessment, Common Core & Standards

With apologies to Gertrude Stein, “A standard is a standard is a standard.” A standard doesn’t have content or a point of view. It is a framework that provides guidance for the academic program. Regardless of which state standards are guiding principles for your curriculum and regardless of the grade or disciplinary areas in the curriculum, teachers have to decide what strategies to use to address the process and content standards using their curricular content as the vehicle.

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Unpacking High School Graduation Rates

Categories: Common Core & Standards

The number of high school dropouts—approximately 15% of the 16- to 24-year-old population—represents a national crisis with huge personal and societal consequences. In Building a Culture of Hope (2013), Dr. Robert D. Barr and I described the high school dropout crisis in detail using data from 2009–10. At that time, the national graduation rate was hovering near 74%. The release of data for the 2011–12 school year indicates the national graduation rate has risen to 80%, with 27 states having graduation rates above 80% (US Department of Education, 2014). While average graduation rates across the nation are steadily increasing for all subpopulations, average graduation rates hide the persistent gap between demographic groups, especially for students who are poor, minorities, limited English proficient, or students with disabilities. This blog post focuses on understanding current high school graduation rates.

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