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Common Core State Standards

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Common Core State Standards
carolyn fruin
How can I prepare my students for the assessments on CCSS that I keep hearing about?
Dec. 26, 2013 at 5:12 am
Nichole Carter
The first thing I would do is become really familiar with the standards, one of my favorite go-to sites or apps for information is MasteryConnect.com. If you aren't already using standards based grading and lesson design that is what I would look into and start linking your daily lessons, and full units to specific common core standards. Think backwards design!

The next step would also be to start looking at how you are assessing your students. We need to start moving towards more project and research based assessments. From what I can see of the new tests coming out they are no longer your basic multiple choice test, they are moving into an realm where students will be asked complex questions that require reading, analyzing, researching, and creating some sort of product that applies to the original prompt, often writing and showing their work to get to that point. The more you can get your students headed in this direction on a regular, if not daily, basis the better.

Today's students need to start learning to think critically on most things, as well as starting to use higher order thinking skills on a consistent basis. When you first begin it is a heady process, you need to communicate vertically and try to align as much as you can to the grades above and below you. This will help you figure out exactly what standards are important for your grade level to focus on as well as help prepare the students for the following year. Otherwise, at least for English, the standards list can be daunting!

The other thing to think about with Common Core is to work as many standards together within a unit as possible. For example reading nonfiction while researching, writing a paper, and incorporating some sort of technology piece and presentation will allow you to use multiple standards at once(reading, writing, speaking & listening, as well as incorporating technology). This also has the added benefit of getting the students ready for what they will be seeing on the big "next generation assessments" that you are hearing about.
Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm
Cynthia Clark
Carolyn, do you use Twitter? There are tons of educator chat groups that I think you will find useful. Not that I'm trying to redirect you from Sophia, but you have a lot of good questions. There is a #CCSS Twitter chat group that meets for an hour each week, I don't remember the day right now. There is a new teacher chat group, #NTchat, and a lot of chat groups based on location. Of course there is a general #edchat and #edtechchat. Those meet more often. There are a lot of enthusiastic and talented teachers and educators who meet there and collaborate. You can tweet me, @clarkmusings, and I can get you a link to the list.
Dec. 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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