Grappling with The CCSS

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Information about Grappling with The CCSS

Published on March 1, 2014

Author: dfcain



As teachers clamor for Common Core materials and support, they often overlook their own resourcefulness and prior knowledge. At the same time, they are begging for time and collaboration with their peers to begin to understand the new standards. Through the PLC collaboration process, we will explain how to create a cohesive, rigorous curriculum that is authentic to our students, adaptable to various student groups, and utilizes free technology to capitalize upon the strengths of teachers. This cloud-based curricular repository is comprehensive and adaptable, and functions as the new teacher’s edition, supporting all students in learning. Grappling with the CCSS: Developing PLC Units of Study Hesperia Unified School District David F. Cain, Secondary Curriculum Coach Robert McCollum, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment Jodi Consten, Coordinator, Staff Development and Induction

The need of teachers “[Common Core] implementation must include time for teachers to adjust and collaborate with colleagues” NEA President, Dennis Van Roekel, October 2013 “It was the best collaboration time we have had. When we were done we realized that we had six weeks worth of lesson plans.” Teacher, Mesa Grande Elementary School, HUSD

Acknowledging the truth • We had a problem − The old system of benchmark tests, pacing plans, etc., was not meeting the learning needs of students. − Students were falling by the wayside as the machine trudged on. − Our highest elementary schools, four between 864 and 904, were matriculating students who, as a cohort, went on to have the greatest decrease in CST performance. − Our old resources and the new “Common Core Aligned” resources did not attend to the necessary shifts in instruction and developing depth of knowledge. − Teachers were feeling besieged by the looming CCSS transition. − If we implemented the CCSS using the same practices and systems that we used with our old standards, we would be repeating past failures and failing to meet the needs of students.

Putting a plan into motion • Actively engaged with the CCSS, beginning in 2010 and developed an implementation plan • Established collaboration Wednesdays across the district • Develop a CCSS Transition Team of teachers, district coaches, and district administrators • Utilized our established Calibration Committee (grade and subject representatives from all schools in district) • Initial CCSS site and parent presentations in 2012 • CART (Site presentations and products—two-hours each, five times this year)

Pitfalls in the Process of Transition Cross-walking is Jaywalking —Phil Daro Standards are not just lists Standards are not the curriculum Don’t look backward: Tabula Rasa The most significant change is how we teach

Our Target WHY? HOW? WHAT?

A Common Destination

Our Primary Purpose • Hesperia Unified School District Mission: −Preparing todays students for tomorrow’s world • Validating the professionalism of our teachers −We are our own best resource −Have the freedom to be innovative • Focusing on Results −A deliberate process… −A deliberate result…

Guiding Principles • Focus on Student Learning that has lasting impact −Educating the whole child −21st Century Learning and the 4 Cs • Critical Thinking • Creativity • Collaboration • Communication

Shifts Language Arts Math • Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts • Focus strongly where the Standards focus • Knowledge and depth across the disciplines—every teacher is a reading and writing teacher • Reading and writing grounded in evidence from text • Regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary • Writing from sources • Coherence: think across grades, and link to major topics within grades • Rigor: in major topics pursue: − conceptual understanding, − procedural skill and fluency, and − application *with equal intensity Balance both breadth and depth in all areas

CCSS as opportunity to emphasize balance

Our Epiphany • CCSS and PLCs—made for each other • Shaping our focus −What do we want students to learn and be able to do? −How will we know it? −What will we do if they don’t learn it? −What will we do if they already know it or learn it quickly?

Collaborative Units of Study Linked Unit of Study

Links to support collaboration

Units of Study, PLC, and technology collide

Learning by Doing: Starting with big ideas and essential questions

Collaborative decisions about proficiency and assessment

Developing quality assessments

Anticipating challenges

Grappling with ‘What?’ and ‘How?’


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