1. Read carefully
AH-HA Moment: DON'T turn directly to YOUR grade level. You'll miss the point. READ THE WHOLE THING!
- Long term outcomes are in mind so the components are intended to work together.
- Educators need to understand the internt and structure of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
- Read the "front matter"
- What is the instructional emphasis?
- If you don't read the CCSS and don't understand the CCSS, you'll think it's the same old stuff, IT'S NOT
2. Standards does not equal curriculum
- "A Standard is an outcome, NOT a claim about how to achieve the outcome."
- "Standards are like building codes. Architects and builders must attend to them but they are NOT the purpose of the design."
- "Development of important capabilities in the learner as a result of engaging and effective work."
- Keep long term educational goals in mind
- Standards are ingredients to a recipe more than they are the final meal
- Standards are rules to the game rather than the strategy
ASIDE: We are looking at "curriculum" wrong.
We are looking at it as what is to be "covered,"
as opposed to what is to be LEARNED.
3. Unpacking required
- Read the document!
- Unpack the standards into categories:
- Long-Term Transfer Goals - "effective uses of content, knowledge and skill both inside and outside of the classroom"
- Overarching Understandings - Key needs for students
- Overarching Essential Questions - Key skills or behaviors of how students interact with new problems
- Cornerstone Tasks - curriculum embedded tasks that are intended to ENGAGE students in applying knowledge and skills ON THEIR OWN.
AH-HA MOMENT: This understanding of "cornerstone tasks" inspired me to write the next blog post pending.
- This "unpacking" is intended at a district or "macro" level as they call it. Using the whole span of learning for students or within a specific program (in my case science or social studies).
- Unpacking DOES NOT mean make a checklist
4. Backwards design is essential
- Curriculum in Latin means: Course to be run...
- Ralph Tyler purpose for standards: "to indicate the kinds of changes in the student to be brought about....thus... standards provide content headings"
- Don't think about what we teach and when we teach it but through the lens of "having learned the key content, what will students be able to do with it."
- Curriculum is designed to develop INDEPENDANT transfer in students
- To "assume the layout of the CCSS implies a chronology is flawed thinking"
AH-HA MOMENT: Thinking of standards as discrete skills or concepts leads to "coverage mentality" and reveals a misconception that teaching bits in a logical and specified order will somehow add up to the desired achievements called for in the standards."
- "a curriculum envisioned and enacted as a set of maps of content and skill coverage will simply not by itself develop a students's increasingly autonomous capacity to USE learned content effectively to address complex tasks and problems."
- Math CCSS say: "just because topic A comes before topic B doesn't mean" it has to when you teach
AH-HA MOMENT: "You can only say you have fully understood and applied your learning when you can do it without someone telling you what to do."
5. Assessments are key
- Standards don't specify learning goals
- Standards qualities of student work
- Standards tell us the degrees of rigor that is assessed
- The appendices are the most important part of the CCSS
- Cultivating and curating examples of student work will help illustrate qualities of performance
- Design Backwards:
- Develop Cornerstone tasks influenced by Content and CCS Standards
- Use Standards-based assessments
- Develop rigorous rubrics
- Use annotated work samples
In Summary: This is not your same old grade level expectations, there are new ways of looking at and thinking about student learning.