Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Implementing the Common Core: Getting Started

This year, with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and a new middle school schedule that reduced language arts classes from 80 minutes down to 60 minutes, I have a lot to cover in a (relatively) short amount of time.  Here are my top three goals for how I plan to implement the Common Core into my teaching this year.

1. Start with the Standards
This year, I must remind myself that my responsibility is not to teach any particular unit, theme, or story.  My responsibility is to teach the standards using the materials that I have available to me.

2. Experiment with Standards-based Assessment
This week, my literacy coach helped me design a pre-assessment to assesses the standards that I plan to teach during the first quarter of the school year.  We wrote questions that align to the common core so that I have some baseline data that I can use to inform my instruction.  I expect that the data will give me rich information about my students so that I can tailor lessons around their specific needs. After I have explicitly taught these standards, I can use the same assessment as a post-assessment to measure growth among my students.

3. Keep Moving Forward
Our kids deserve a standards-based education, and I plan to focus on the future to ensure a quality, meaningful, and effective education for all of my students.  Even though the road will be long, I plan to keep moving forward by staying committed to the changes being made in how we educate today's children.

I am really looking forward to the year ahead. If you are beginning to implement the Common Core into your teaching, what are some of your personal goals?

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