CCSS News Curated by Core2Class
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CCSS News Curated by Core2Class
Helping teachers complement, support and extend curriculum based on the CCSS to improve student learning outcomes for all students.
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Are Teachers Ready for Common Core?

Are Teachers Ready for Common Core? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
Sarah Brown Wessling looks at the Common Core data from MetLife's new survey of educators. How does it compare with her colleagues and her own experiences?
Deb Gardner's insight:

Sarah Brown Wessling identifies her key take-aways from the Met-Life Survey. They are:


  1. We know we need to teach students how to think, but it's harder than it sounds.
  2. The more you work with the Core, the more you understand it.
  3. There's a difference between surface shifts and cognitive shifts.
  4. The nature of profesional learning is crucial to moving beyond surface shifts.
  5. School culture and high morale make the toughest work doable.
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Schools Chancellor Walcott announces Common Core awareness campaign

Schools Chancellor Walcott announces Common Core awareness campaign | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott Monday announced a new citywide public awareness poster campaign to help continue to familiarize public school parents with thetransition to the Common Core Learning Standards and the new state exams that begin this week. The school system is experiencing a major shift to the new, high learning standards, which are designed to equip students with the skills they need to succeed in college and careers.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Deputy Chief Academic Officer for Instruction for NYC Schools says there's  work to be done in our schools with Common Core, but we have the resources and determination to do it.


Testing kicks off today in New York for students in grades 3-8.

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What teachers need and reformers ignore: time to collaborate

What teachers need and reformers ignore: time to collaborate | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

How will teachers transform their practice to meet these expectations?  In fields like trauma care and the building trades that have seen sharp gains in quality over the past generation, the emergence of new standards for professional practice coincided with a focus on improving collaborative decision-making and inquiry to solve problems in real time. If we want to see similar gains in education, we must structure for success by understanding that effective collaboration in schools doesn’t occur by happenstance—it requires purposeful action.

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River Hill High School's curator insight, April 14, 2013 3:19 PM

Linda Darling-Hammond is right on with her insights about reform.  We will continue to work on addressing the need for collaboration time at RHHS.

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Captivated by Common Core: Classroom Changes You Can Make Now

Captivated by Common Core: Classroom Changes You Can Make Now | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

Though the impact of each one of these instructional shifts directly relates to who you are as a teacher and the type of classroom you foster, there are several practices all teachers can implement (or verify that they are implementing) now - regardless of where your school site or district is in the transition process.

Deb Gardner's insight:

Cool use of images in Haiku slide deck that reflect key instructional shifts in ELA CCSS.

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River Hill High School's curator insight, April 21, 2013 4:47 PM

A nice focused summary of the key shifts and some manageable suggestions for implementation.

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Core Connection: Educators Are Still Anxious About the Common Core

Core Connection: Educators Are Still Anxious About the Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

As evidenced by the number of Common Core sessions on the conference agenda, implementation of these new standards is still a major topic of interest to educators. Based upon observations during the conference regarding the Common Core, it was obvious that educators still feel a considerable amount of anxiety and concern. The specific cause for concern varied by participant, but generally speaking, some major themes were consistent.

    Deb Gardner's insight:

    Questions and comments most frequently asked centered around:

    • where to find and how to identify high-quality instructional materials
    • focus and coherence issues over grades 9-12 math standards
    • resources and comphrensive approaches to implementing them with special education students
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    Checking in with Common Core Implementation in Tennessee | ASCD Inservice

    Checking in with Common Core Implementation in Tennessee | ASCD Inservice | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    ASCD asked some of our affiliate leaders to tell us how the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has been going in their home states. Below is a Q&A with Dr. John Combs, the president-elect of Tennessee ASCD, on the challenges and successes that Tennessee has had with Common Core implementation.


    Deb Gardner's insight:

    Tennessee takes on many changes on multiple fronts.

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    5 Ways Common Core Will Change Your Classroom | Tales of a 6th Grade Classroom

    5 Ways Common Core Will Change Your Classroom | Tales of a 6th Grade Classroom | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
    Many educators are facing an enormous transition as we begin the process of implementing the Common Core State Standards over the next few years. For many, this may feel like the great unknown, and that can be frightening. Have no doubt that the Common Core IS going to change your classroom. But when it comes to the English Language Arts Standards (ELA), it is less about changing what we teach, and very much about changing how we teach it. If you haven’t had a chance to delve into the standards yet, here are five ways that you can expect the new ELA standards to change your classroom.
    Deb Gardner's insight:

    And they are:

    1. Informative non-fiction
    2. Lexile levels and complex text
    3. Project based learning
    4. Written and spoken language 
    5. Technology
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    Learning Forward Unveils Free Common Core Professional Development Lessons

    Learning Forward Unveils Free Common Core Professional Development Lessons | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
    Nonprofit organization Learning Forward has released four free online professional learning units focused on implementing Common Core State Standards.
    Deb Gardner's insight:

    The four units are:

    1. Managing Change - focuses on the challenges of change and intended to help school leaders begin to improve teaching practices
    2. Facilitating Learning Teams - focuses on forming and developing teams to accomplish CCSS goals
    3. Learning Designs - teaches school leaders to lead training on how to design lessons to improve teaching and learning in the context of CCSS
    4. Standards for Professional Learning - focuses on reasoning  behind CCSS
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    Opening up the black box: Common Core as a classroom-level reform

    Opening up the black box: Common Core as a classroom-level reform | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    Over the past decade, education reformers have focused the lion’s share of our attention on systemic reform—to the point where conversations about Common Core implementation are often even dominated by how the standards will impact things like state accountability, teacher evaluation, certification, and on.


    Of course, those are all important. But if Common Core is really going to “change everything,” we need first and foremost to focus on what these new standards mean for teaching and learning.

    Deb Gardner's insight:

    Kathleen Porter-Magee says when thinking about what a successful implementation will take, "take a page from the CCSS themselves and focus."

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    Common Core State Standards Implementation: Focus on the Process not the Results

    Common Core State Standards Implementation: Focus on the Process not the Results | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
    When implementing the Common Core State Standards, teachers and educators need to focus on processes and not results if we’re to see classroom success. Read our latest blog post.
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    Teachers Say They Are Unprepared for Common Core

    Teachers Say They Are Unprepared for Common Core | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
    Almost half said in a survey they weren't ready to teach the standards, especially to students considered at-risk and those with special needs.
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    Florida districts prepare for Common Core State Standard

    Florida teachers are setting their students up for success when it comes to transitioning to the Common Core State Standards, according to the Florida Department of Education.


    While full implementation of the standards will begin in all Florida classrooms next school year with assessments on the Common Core State Standards beginning in 2014-15, many teachers are already looking at creative ways to incorporate innovative teaching techniques that support these new standards.


    Deb Gardner's insight:

    Common Core news the past days revealed that Florida may be taking a step back from Common Core and opt for a "Plan B" in the event the PARCC assessment isn't ready. 


    The assessment may not be ready, but it appears that teachers will be.  Implementation won't happen overnight and without more details about PARCC it's difficult to plan. However, understanding the fundamental shifts enables teachers to make changes now to prepare.

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    The Common Core Implementation Gap : Education Next

    The Common Core Implementation Gap : Education Next | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    When it comes to Common Core implementation, too much of the ed reform world is still acting like it’s at the ceremonial, bragging-as-currency, pre-fight weigh-in.


    But the bell has rung. It’s go time.


    Unless we stop hyping the crowd and flexing for the cameras and get down to the real business at hand, a whole lot of states, come 2014, are going to find themselves on the mat.

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    Common Core: More Thinking, More Learning

    Common Core: More Thinking, More Learning | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    Instead of rote memorization to produce the right answers on a test, advocates say, the Common Core addresses one of the complaints of the education system: Students who never learn to think on their own.


    Critics say the standards, with their nationwide sweep, take more control away from states, putting the federal government in the driver’s seat. Others say it will put much more emphasis on testing. Still others say it waters down the curricula being taught now.


    Marrs disagrees.

    Deb Gardner's insight:

    Teacher's words for "grapple" - "productive struggle." Love it!

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    Here Comes the Common Core 

    Here Comes the Common Core  | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    We will enter a new phase of the transition next week, when students in grades three to eight will take different and more challenging state tests. Unlike the old state tests, which assessed only basic skills, this year’s tests will tell us where students are on the path to success in life after high school.

    Deb Gardner's insight:

    Thinking of our teachers and students in the Big Apple and cities beyond in the state of New York this week as they begin their CCSS assessments in grades 3-8.

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    Myths vs. Facts: Why Anxiety over Common Core State Standards May Be Misplaced | Concordia Online

    Myths vs. Facts: Why Anxiety over Common Core State Standards May Be Misplaced | Concordia Online | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    Kentucky’s concerns over failing to meet the learning benchmarks outlined in the CCSS underscore the myths that continue to hamper their full acceptance and implementation. Many of these myths have been debunked on the CCSS website. Some of the more common misconceptions have been condensed herewith:

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    Common Core Assessment Video Series: How Will the Tests be Harder and What Will That Mean? | EngageNY

    Common Core Assessment Video Series: How Will the Tests be Harder and What Will That Mean? | EngageNY | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    The Common Core Standards play a crucial role in helping us ensure that all of New York's students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college and careers. The new Common Core state tests will reflect the Common Core Standards, so the tests will be more challenging. Students will be asked to read more difficult texts, to use evidence to support their arguments, and to perform multiple-step math problems.

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    Tenn. Common-Core Training Effort to be Led by Cadre of Teachers

    Tenn. Common-Core Training Effort to be Led by Cadre of Teachers | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    I've been hearing from some district officials that classroom teachers are the best ambassadors for building better understanding and buy-in for the Common Core State Standards in their schools. Tennessee seems to be taking that idea to heart, as the state department of education announced this week that more than 700 teachers are being enlisted to "help their peers navigate the transition" to the new standards.

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    Tennessee Selects More Than 700 Teachers to Help Lead Common Core Transition

    Tennessee Selects More Than 700 Teachers to Help Lead Common Core Transition | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    The Tennessee Department of Education is enlisting the help of more than 700 teachers to help their peers navigate the transition to the Common Core State Standards.


    This year’s cohort will help lead 5 weeks of summer trainings on the Common Core math, English/language arts and literacy standards, reaching more than 30,000 teachers across the state. They follow in the footsteps of last year’s 200 coaches, who have spent this school year guiding their colleagues on the Common Core transition in math for grades 3-8.


    We believe the transition to Common Core will be most effective if our own teachers lead the way,” said Emily Barton, assistant commissioner for curriculum and instruction at the department. “I am so inspired by this group of teachers—our state’s transition to Common Core is in good hands.”  The 704 coaches were chosen through a rigorous application process.

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    Which Path for the Common Core?

    Which Path for the Common Core? | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    As educators across the country implement the Common Core State Standards, we see two paths emerging ... and diverging.


    The first path treats the common core as just another set of standards to implement and assess. Educators jump straight to the grade-level requirements and map them to their curricula in a compliance-driven exercise. It starts to look a lot like what we’ve been doing with the No Child Left Behind Act for the last 10 years—a narrowed curriculum focused more on test scores than on college and career readiness.


    The second path leverages the strengths of the common core to transform teaching and learning. It entails educators’ taking the time to understand what is visionary about these new standards and how they can help drive college and career success for students.


    We are concerned that if the first path becomes the norm, the common core will represent a missed opportunity in U.S. education that will set us back decades.

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    The right curriculum for kindergarten: Play

    The right curriculum for kindergarten: Play | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it
    The new Common Core State Standards are neither the problem nor the solution.


    The standards were designed to elevate the quality of instruction in our country: to teach students to think independently, grapple with difficult texts, solve problems and explain their thinking in a clear and compelling way. This is a noble vision. But its attainment depends entirely on the execution. In fact, the authors of the Common Core write, “the standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do, not how teachers should teach.”



    Deb Gardner's insight:

    Takeaways:

    • Prioritize teacher development
    • Handing over pre-packaged boiler plate unit/lesson plans not the answer
    • Teachers need time to analyze standards, practice instructional and assessment strategies, observe, collaborate and reflect on student work
    • And then do it all again!
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    Ted Caron's comment, March 11, 2013 9:26 AM
    Good article. Often, folks will indict a new reform for causing harmful changes to some aspect of education (e.g. the "fun" of kindergarten) and ignore how the reform is implemented. Good find here, Deb.
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    Six Traps That Could Snare Success of the Common Core State Standards

    Six Traps That Could Snare Success of the Common Core State Standards | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    This blog is based on remarks I made this morning at “Curriculum Counts: Fulfilling the Promise of the Common Core State Standards,” a forum hosted by the Manhattan Institute and the Fordham Institute. A video of the event is available here.

    Deb Gardner's insight:

    My key takeaways:

    As promising as the standards are, in the end it is the manner in which the standards are interpreted and then implemented by state departments of education, school districts, and classroom teachers that really matters.


    Instead of focusing on six shifts of ELA CCSS, Bevilacqua focuses on potential pitfalls, or obstacles to their effective implementation. Paraphrased, they are:


    1. Myopia or failure to see the forest through the trees. In selecting materials and texts just for CCSS alignment purposes, we may be missing the bigger picture or "spirit" of common core.
    2. In trying to include informational text and a balanced literacy approach, selecting information text just for sake of doing so instead of selecting clusters of coherent texts that build upon and extend content knowledge.  
    3. Lack of understanding and research-based practice on how to build students' vocabulary
    4. Lack of early childhood education and/or lack of implementing CCSS in early grades, placing students behind the start line when preparing for school
    5. Failure in understanding the connection and importance of speaking and listening in language development (it's not just about reading and writing)
    6. Failure to measure student's content knowledge in the quest for assessing skills.  


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    Moving Forward: Progress Report on States' CCSS Implementation Planning

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    8 Implementation Challenges and Solutions

    8 Implementation Challenges and Solutions | CCSS News Curated by Core2Class | Scoop.it

    The Digital Learning Now! Smart Series is a group of collaborative papers that bring together top thinkers on the current trends in teaching and learning to explore the implementation challenges at the intersection of digital learning and the Common Core. 

    Emerging themes include: the power of personalization, tools to customize learning, the potential of technology to transform the learning experience, new roles for teachers and learners, expanded learning opportunities, and the use of student data to drive these shifts.

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