An ongoing series of studies shows students do better when word problems are tailored to their interests.
The studies, which were discussed at a recent meeting here at Carnegie Mellon University, highlight one way to boost learning in algebraic expression, a concept considered critical in the Common Core State Standards but which educators say is perennially challenging to students. The study found that personalized math problems not only made it easier for students to understand what was being asked, but also helped boost the confidence of students who may have been intimidated by the subject.
A DISTRICT PERSPECTIVE: SCAFFOLDING TEXT COMPLEXITY FOR AT-RISK READERS by Tara Boyer
Perhaps the increased rigor of the common core will help us to eradicate the gap between those students who are reading at grade level and those who are not.
Even so, the process will not be immediate.
And while I support the common core, I also realize that not all students will be able to read independently at the lowest level of the text bands without scaffolding, let alone at the high end of the text bands.
Too often, we promote rigor as work that is only for advanced students, or work that is more (doubling the amount of homework) or harder (you already can’t do it, so here’s something that is even harder). That is NOT rigor.
Instructional design is aimed at “intentional” learning as opposed to “incidental” learning. This implies that target goals and desired learning outcomes guide the design and selection of learning activities. Meaningful learning outcomes are a starting and ending point…because it is against accomplishment of the objectives that the effectiveness of the design is measured. (Gagne, R. M., Wager, W.W., Golas, K.C., Keller, J. M., 2005).
I am convinced that the Common Core Standards can ladder up student achievement and school success in the most struggling of districts
The Instructional Goals are the focus of lesson design.
...are not so different from the design of two approaches I have used in the past:
Backward by Design
SAC (Standards Aligned Classroom), an Illinois initiative
Deeper learning is the process of learning for transfer. It enables an individual to take what was learned in one situation and apply it to new situations.
The product of deeper learning is transferable knowledge, including content knowledge in a subject area and procedural knowledge of how, why, and when to apply this knowledge to answer questions and solve problems in the subject area.
We refer to this transferable knowledge as “21st century competencies” to reflect that both skills and knowledge are included.
The enthusiasm with which states and districts have taken to the Common Core is certainly heartening, but it still remains to be seen what implementation of the standards will look like within the classroom.
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