Friday, June 14, 2013

Common Core Changes

My early summer lay off isn't exactly over (it's been four weeks since my last post), but I do feel that I'm ready to start posting my Common Core (CCSS) units fairly soon. To provide a little background, here in New Mexico, at least here in Las Cruces, grades K-3 adopted the CCSS this past school year. Grades 4-12 will be adopting this upcoming school year. I know many states have already been there for a few years, but this is my first big experience with it all.

Before I jumped right in and started putting up lessons, ideas, units, assessments, etc. that are CCSS aligned, I wanted to make sure I sufficiently understood what the CCSS is all about. I've attended (and facilitated) a number of workshops and trainings this summer, and have also been reading Pathways to the Common Core, a great book that makes it easier to digest these changes in the literacy and writing classrooms.

Now that I've got a good idea of the direction I'll be going to one last math training today. I attended a few earlier this week about math pacing guides, and this one today is about CCSS and our new math series, Pearson enVision. There will be some changes to my page here. What I'll be doing is re-aligning my units for the CCSS. I will not take down my old units and lessons, but will be attempting to include CCSS resources in them, even the science and social studies one. I will be attempting to re-do those units to reflect both the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) standards that haven't been mandated in New Mexico, but are definitely coming, and the National Science Education Standards (NSES), which are also not mandated but help tie together my lessons to a broader focus.

I will begin posting these units this weekend, as well as some ideas on how to setup instruction in the various subjects according to the CCSS while addressing rigor, relevance, and a much greater depth of learning.

I'm excited about this shift to the CCSS, I think it will really force teachers to demand more of themselves and their students, and will pay off in the long run. Like anything else that is mandated in education, there are pitfalls and things to make you shake your head. But I've decided that, as it relates to the CCSS, there's not much value in complaining, we're all in this together (quite literally, all states with the exception of Texas, Virginia, and Alaska... and Minnesota in math, have adopted the CCSS, you can see that for yourself on this In the States graphic).

I hope you'll come back and be able to utilize some of what I put up here. Thanks!

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