Our first webinar in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) series – What Teachers and Leaders Need to Know about the Common Core MAP Assessment – took place on March 11th and you can read participant feedback here. Our second webinar in the series – MAP Connections to College and Career Readiness – took place in April and generated some interesting discussion, which you can read here.
The latest webinar – MAP and Key Shifts in CCSS ELA and Math – was held on both May 14th and 15th and had over a hundred attendees. Throughout the course of the webinar, we asked the attendees a number of questions and got some great answers that we thought we’d share with you.
How are teachers beginning to make the Common Core shifts in their lesson planning for ELA?
Teachers are incorporating more information on reading and writing, in ELA classes and across content areas. We have implemented consistent writing rubrics across content areas. In ELA courses, students are writing more frequently.
We have PLCs at each grade level or department working on overall maps of the standards and then starting the development of unit plans to reflect that effort.
Our first change has been to adapt the more rigorous vocabulary. We have a scheduled enrichment/intervention time at every grade level K-8.
Using CCSS to guide instruction and having PD 2x/month for cooperative lesson planning. Requiring short constructed response vs. multiple choice/matching.
Based on these key shifts, what would students, teachers of principals do differently?
Placing more weight on students’ ability to discourse with other students in class
Teach all students- using differentiated instruction.
Teachers must understand the difference between complexity and difficult. More work is not complex work. I think DOK needs to be understood.
PLCs become more important than ever to help teachers be successful in implementing these in their classroom for improved student learning
Multi-step problems that require interpretation and decisions to be made by the student
Hold a stronger control over their learning
Teach students how to use data to guide their learning
Engage in metacognitive strategies: self-assessment. Question their work and current thinking.
Promote PLC’s, provide the time for these to take place.
Provide professional development, resources, planning time for collaboration, technology is upgraded and available
Support teachers in identifying what has to change from the way they currently teach. For some this will be giving up some favorite units that are now part of a different grade level and for others it will be replacing a common activity with a better one.
Creating opportunities for teachers to collaborate across grade levels to build more vertical alignment
We also conducted a poll during the webinar in which we asked, “Which statement best reflects your own learning opportunities with the Common Core State Standards?” (Percentages are averaged across both webinar sessions)
– Meet regularly with a content specialist of PLC to study the CCSS: 44%
– Attend a few school or district PD sessions on the CCSS: 43%
– I have read the standards but not discussed them with others: 15%
The attendees had some great ideas for ways to incorporate the shifts in teaching Common Core ELA and math, but one common theme was having the time and resources to devote to collaborative teacher professional development; learning from peers what works and incorporating best practices into daily action in the classroom.
Be on the lookout for future webinar series and join us if you can!