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Aligning Standards Based Instruction

Aligning Standards Based Instruction

Author: Kathleen Johnson

This lesson provides students with the ability to analyze, select and align Content Standards in a Standards Based Lesson or Unit

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Source: Digital Access Key Image; Morgue File;

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Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Today, we are going to be looking at aligning standards-based instruction. For today's lesson, I've chosen a quote by Henry Ward Beecher which states, "hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you."

By the end of the lesson today, you will be able to understand how to analyze, select, and align content standards in a standards-based lesson or unit, annual review tips and best practices for aligning those content standards. First, we are going to look at an example of aligning a science standard with an ISTE standard. So step one, here is the objective statement that I've chosen from an existing science lesson. It says that students will work in small groups to draft an overview of one scientific theory explored in an Earth Science video that includes detail about the theories evidence and significance.

So this is using an Earth Science video that I already have as a part of my curriculum. And then I am asking students to take what they've learned in that as well as what they've learned about scientific theories and to really kind of break one down and own that scientific theory to then explain it to the rest of the class. So that is my objective statement.

So, next, I need to align that with a specific content standard. For this specific lesson, I have chosen the Next Generation Science Standard for middle school, which is where I would be giving this lesson, which is Earth's place in the universe. So that is specifically what the Earth Science video is about.

The next thing I'm going to look at is the technology standard that I want to use. So I've chosen ISTE standard number one, creativity and innovation. Because I am asking students to draft an overview of that scientific theory, this allows them to use a digital tool with their partners creatively creating something new using that digital tool. So their presentation will end up being a digital presentation.

Finally, step four, I'm going to rewrite this into "I can" statements that fit a middle school. And it says I can work with my partners and use a digital tool to draft a creatively expressed, detailed overview of one scientific theory expressed in the video. Next, let's take a look at what this would look like with a math standard connected to an ISTE standard.

So for this one, I'm going to look at a different age group to give you an idea of how some of these things might change a little bit. So for step one, here is the objective I have for my students. And here I'm looking at third grade students. It's that students will work in groups with models to understand shapes that tessellate and review the different forms of polygons.

So in third grade, one of the major elements that they're looking at in math is those shapes changing into other shapes. That's the tessellation. And in this case, I would make sure that my students understood what tessellate means.

So now let's align that to a math content standard. I've looked at the Common Core math standards for third grade geometry, which asks students to reason with shapes and their attributes. So this aligns directly to the lesson plan that we have.

Next, I'm going to see how I can apply this to an ISTE standard, that technology standard. And here I've chosen ISTE standard 2, communication and collaboration, which begs the students to work together as a group to use those digital tools and the internet to help create their final element. So what I'm doing here is adjusting my original lesson plan just a little bit so that I can incorporate that technology where I'll have students working manually with various models to understand how shapes tessellate.

Then in groups, they will work on a small presentation that they can do that reviews those different forms of polygons. I then take all of that information and rewrite it into "I can" statements. And for this one, I've chosen two, and you'll notice that the vocabulary in these is much more limited because I am dealing with a third grade student as opposed to a middle school or high school. It says I can work with my group to see how different shapes move to create new shapes. And the second one is I can use digital tools to present the different polygon shapes and names.

Finally, I want to show you what it looks like when you align two different content areas with one of those technology standards. That's something that a lot of high schools are encouraging is that interdisciplinary alignment of those standards-based instruction. So what we're going to look at is an English language arts and history unit, so an activity that meets both of those areas and then aligning that with an ISTE standard.

So the first thing I'm going to look at is that objective for the unit, and it is that students will learn about Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plot and develop a fictional dialogue between Guy Fawkes and his accomplices based on historical research. So you can see already just by the objective statement that this is a high school lesson. And then I'm going to look at what standards in both English language arts and history this activity will meet. So you'll notice that for history I've chosen the World History Standards in Era 6, which primarily focuses on the emergence of the first global age, a lot of elements between 1450 and 1770.

Then I focused in on my English language arts standards taken from the Common Core state standards is specifically within the area of writing for 9th through 10th graders, which ask that students write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences. That's an abbreviated version of what that standard is. So you'll notice that my one lesson plan meets those two standards each in a different content area.

I'm then going to choose an ISTE standard that I think would align nicely with these other two standards and would fit within the objective that I have. For that I've chosen the ISTE student standard number three, research and information fluency. This focuses in on encouraging students to use those digital tools to research competently using accurate sources when they're searching on the internet and making sure that they're making good choices as a digital citizen when it comes to research.

Finally, we're going to go ahead and rewrite those standards as "I can" statements in a high school student friendly language. So you'll notice here we have I can create a digital presentation of a fictional dialogue between Guy Fawkes and his accomplices that is based on historical research. We've covered everything we've needed to, and now you've seen a couple of different ways that this aligning of the standards for standards-based instruction can look like in your own classroom.

Before we end, I want to go over some tips and best practices when it comes to aligning these standards. Now it's really important to remember that most content standards are written as what students should know and be able to do at the end of the school year. For this to work out well in your classroom, you need to make sure that you have what's called a progression view where you look back and see what students should have mastered in the previous grade, and then look ahead to see what students will be expected to do in the next grade. It's a really helpful way of making sure that you are on top of what should be covered in your grade.

Finally, you're going to want to make sure that you plan ahead. You have the entire year to get students to achieve that standard. So don't rush it. It's really helpful to break that standard down into many discrete chunks that can span over that entire year. So for an example what this might look like-- if we are looking at a math standard which says that students are expected to count to 100 by ones and tens, right? Maybe in the first quarter of that school year I might have students learn to count to 50 by ones.

So we've broken that down. Then during the second quarter, I might expect students to count to 50 by tens. Then during the third quarter, I would go ahead and up that ante expecting student to count to 100 by ones. And then, finally, during the last quarter, I would expect students to be able to accomplish that entire standard, to be able to count to 100 by ones and tens.

Now that's a little bit of an oversimplification, right, of something like this. But, hopefully, it's a way for you to look at how you might break some of these standards down into little chunks so you don't feel like you have to cover the entire thing in a short amount of time. That's a very easy way for teachers to get overwhelmed.

Now that we've reached the end of our lesson, you are able to understand how to analyze, select, and align content standards in a standards-based lesson or unit. You also have reviewed tips and best practices for aligning those content standards. I'd like to take just a moment for reflection. As you reflect on this information that we've gone over, what are the challenges that you foresee if you start implementing aligning standards-based instruction for your content area along with another content area in your school?

It's your turn now to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section could be super helpful to you. This section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. And each link includes a brief description so that you can easily target the resources that you want.

Notes on "Aligning Standards Based Instruction"

(00:00-00:19) Intro

(00:20-00:35) Objectives

(00:36-02:31) Aligning Science & ISTE Standards

(02:32-04:33) Aligning Math & ISTE Standards

(04:34-07:08) Aligning ELA, History, & ISTE Standards

(07:09-09:05) Tips & Best Practices

 (09:06-09:22) Review

(09:23-10:11) Reflection

Additional Resources

The Charlotte Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching and Standards‐Based Instruction

Resource from the Florida State Department of Education aligning the Danielson Teacher Evaluation Framework with Standards Based Instruction. This resource provides a side by side look at the Danielson framework with questions to consider in applying the component and its indicators to focus on standards based instruction.

Overview on Standards Based Alignment

Great overview on standards based alignment and transitioning to the CCSS from the Oregon State Department. This resource provides a clear framework explaining the CCSS, the rationale behind adoption and implementation, and shifts that will result in instruction and focus. This is a clear communication tool that educators may considering referencing when developing their own understanding of the shift or in developing a communication strategy for their organization.