Do you believe that the Common Core State Standards / Ohio's New Learning Standards are good for kids? I do. I am not the only one. My support of these standards is based on Evidence. For those of you who know me, you will recognize that Evidence is my favorite word when talking about the new standards and the new assessments...and a lot of other changes going on in education. How we go about communicating this Evidence is key to the success of our new standards. There are 6 major areas of focus:
Key shifts in teaching, assessment Alignment and Rigor - Implementing Ohio's New Learning StandardsCollege and Career Readiness - partnership with Ohio Board of RegentsCosts and BudgetTechnology Integration and ImplementationTimelines and Legislation
Via Deb Gardner
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) attempts to identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge.
Come in for our new Academic Coaching sessions! We'll help with anything you may need help with regarding academics (test taking, note taking, studying,... (Come in for our new Academic Coaching sessions!
i Teach With Technology - Tech Integration Specialist shares ideas for using tech in teaching & learning (i Teach With Technology - Tech Integration Specialist shares ideas for using tech in teaching & lear http://t.co/uP5fQiPmyt)...
Recently, I had a conversation with a group of math coaches who are working with elementary teachers on implementation of the Common Core Standards for Mathematics. The discussion turned to a description of rigor in the classroom. The coaches commented that many of their teachers were confused by exactly what was meant by teaching and learning with rigor. The coaches weren’t sure how to respond.
Rigor in the Common Core State Standards
The word “rigor” is widely used in policy discussions, but it’s rarely understood or defined, and often it merely passes as code for “better.” It is interesting that the term “rigor” does not appear in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, although it is certainly implied. “Rigor” appears multiple times in the U.S. Department of Education’s paper, “A Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,” as well as its recent document, “ESEA Flexibility”—both of which include a call for rigorous academic content standards.
Rigor in Instruction
The coaches and I began our work of exploring the notion of rigor with an online search of the word “rigor.” The thesaurus led us to a list of synonyms, including “affliction,” “inflexibility,” “difficulty,” “severity,” “rigidity,” “suffering,” and “traditionalism”—none of which describe characteristics of rigorous mathematics instruction. No wonder the teachers were confused! However, two additional words included in the list—“thoroughness”and “tenacity”—provided avenues for some serious thought about what “rigor”implies. We generated the following chart, which led to an interesting discussion with the classroom teachers. There are certainly other characteristics that can be added to the list.
*Learning experiences that INVOLVE RIGOR …
+require effort and tenacity by students
+focus on quality (rich tasks)
+include entry points and extensions for all students
+are not always tidy, and can have multiple paths to possible solutions
+provide connections among mathematical ideas
+contain rich mathematics that is relevant to students
+develop strategic and flexible thinking
+encourage reasoning and sense making
+expect students to be actively involved in their own learning
*Experiences that DO NOT INVOLVE RIGOR …
-are more “difficult,” with no purpose (for example, adding 7ths and 15ths without a real context)
-require minimal effort
-focus on quantity (more pages to do)
-are offered only to gifted students
-are scripted, with a neat path to a solution
-do not connect to other mathematical ideas
-contain routine procedures with little relevance
-follow a rote procedure
-require memorization of rules and procedures without understanding
- often involve teachers doing the work while students watch
Rigor Involves Everyone
Rigor involves all partners in teaching and learning. Teachers must consider rigor in planning lessons, tasks, and assignments. Rigorous lessons build on and extend prior knowledge. They encourage productive struggling. Although the objective of a lesson should be clear in the teacher’s mind, the lesson should not focus on one correct path to a solution or even one correct answer. A rigorous lesson embraces the messiness of a good mathematics task and the deep learning that it has the potential to achieve.
Students who are successful in a rigorous learning environment take responsibility for their learning. They learn to reflect on their thinking. They persist in solving a problem when the path to solution is not immediately obvious. They recognize when they are not on the correct path and need to switch directions during the solution process. Students must learn to ask productive questions rather than expecting to be shown how to proceed. (And, teachers must answer those questions with just enough information to move students forward while preserving the challenge of the task!
Rigorous teaching and learning require rigorous formative assessment throughout a unit so the teacher knows what the student has learned and can plan additional activities, or adjust them, to address student needs. Students also have a role in formative assessment—they must approach tasks with tenacity and ask clarifying questions when they are unsure how to proceed. All assessments must include opportunities for students to demonstrate the processes and practices in their approach to doing mathematics. Good formative assessment can be incorporated into daily instruction and prepare students for the summative assessments that take place at certain points throughout the unit of study.
Moving toward Rigor
How can we support classroom teachers and pre-service teachers (pre-K–16) in working toward greater rigor in mathematics instruction? Professional development experiences that model rigor through the use of rich tasks, rich discourse, and good questions allow teachers to experience rigorous instruction. When selecting tasks, teachers must be sure that mathematical ideas are explicit and the connections are clear. The days of a few word problems at the end of multiple skill exercises in the textbook are over! Concepts must be introduced and explored in contexts that are interesting and motivating for students. Tasks must provide entry points for all students, offer them well-defined opportunities to make connections to other mathematics, and include both opportunities and expectations for them to develop deeper understanding. The focus and coherence of the Common Core State Standards lead the way to rigorous instruction. It is time for us to begin the journey.
The meaningful integration of technology in teaching and learning is consistently called for in all sectors of education. Recently it has appeared as a key tenet for achieving what has been termed as personalising learning. Personalising learning, a concept that addresses a range of current best-practice approaches with an added emphasis on ICT and the voice of individual learners, is becoming more prevalent in both general discussion, and in some countries, in policy regarding education.
Academic Coaching and Writing (ACW) is a virtual team of professional coaches and consultants dedicated to supporting postdocs, adjunct faculty, tenure track faculty, and post-tenure track faculty to develop their strengths, prepare them for job searches or tenure and promotion, increase their writing productivity, and empower them with tools to manage related academic career issues.
"Are you using iPads® in your classroom? Are you planning to integrate a 1:1 technology initiative?
Join us for an interactive webinar from Angie Kalthoff, a district wide Technology Integrationist and Google Certified Teacher who will share teaching tools, apps for creating and sharing content for these environments. Hear more about her experience using iPads® in the classroom and the essential strategies to launch a 1:1 technology initiative."
THE TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION MATRIXProvides a framework for defining and evaluating technology integrationSets a clear vision for effective teaching with technologyGives teachers and administrators a common language for setting goalsHelps target professional development resources effectivelyhttp://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/index.php
Etale – Life in the Digital World ... They could enrich teaching, add rigor, encourage interdisciplinarity, reinforce education's real-world applicability, and make learning more efficient—advances all sorely needed.
"This space will act as an information hub for #etmooc, an open, online experience that is designed to facilitate & nurture conversations around the thoughtful integration of educational technology & media in teaching and learning.
Think of #etmooc as an experience situated somewhere between a course and a community. While there will be scheduled webinars and information shared each week, we know that there is a lot more that we will collectively need to do if we want to create a truly collaborative and passionate community.
We’re aiming to carry on those important conversations in many different spaces – through the use of social networks, collaborative tools, shared hashtags, and in personalized spaces. What #etmooc eventually becomes, and what it will mean to you, will depend upon the ways in which you participate and the participation and activities of all of its members. Let’s see if we can create something that is not just another hashtag – and, not just another course."
by PERSEPHONE NICHOLAS, AFR Rowan Kunz is the founder of myEd Online, a provider of interactive digital courses delivered to learners via a gamified, e-learning platform, and Art of Smart Education, an award-winning provider of academic coaching...
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