National Common Core: Staff Readiness
Feb 20, 2014
Help with the Common Core Standards
With all the changes within the Common Core Standards and Pennsylvania Core Standards, how are you and your staff to make sense of it all? Below is just an idea or scaffolding on how to set up your staff training pertaining to the National Common Core.
The implications for educators, students, and parents of the Common Core State Standards are both exciting and daunting. There is a need to understand the nature of the shift that is occurring and that expectations that shift will place on the entire school community. The impact will go far beyond the classroom walls. Educators will need to shift how they teach, students will need to adapt to instructional changes and learning requirements and parents will need to increase their knowledge of what it means to be college and career ready. The changing nature of work, rapidly evolving communication capabilities and new technologies that exponentially expand human potential are requiring a new set of expectations for education. It is not about thinking outside the box, it is about thinking new boxes to meet new challenges.
If you are planning a training, presuming you want to cover the majority of the new requirements and expectations, plan on devoting a two half days or full day for training. Several key elements that underpin the Common Core's challenges and expectations will need to be explored upon. Questions to cover include:
- What are the specific new learning requirements and expectations of the Common Core State Standards? What will students need to know and be able to do?
- How do the Pennsylvania Core Standards compare to the Common Core State Standards?
- What are the implications of these new requirements and standards for curriculum, instruction and assessment?
- How well do current curriculum, instruction and assessment protocol meet the new expectations and requirements?
- What are our next steps to insure that we are producing students who are college and career ready for 21st century demands?
Throughout your training session(s), it is important to keep in mind that your teachers will be the ones responsible for implementing all of the new requirements/standards and readying your students for their exams(s) and life after high school. Change is never easy, however, providing your teachers with the right tools and resources can make their transition a little easier get through. Your students will benefit from the hours spent training with your teachers. Ideally, teachers should leave your training with the following:
- A practical and useful knowledge of the requirements and expectations of the Common Core State Standards at the K-8 grade levels
- Insight into the commonalities and variations of the Common Core State Standards and the Pennsylvania Core Standards
- Skills in defining and implementing the differences between knowing and understanding within the teaching and learning continuum
- Knowledge of the differences between the Taxonomy of Bloom and the Cognitive Complexity Model of mental processing of Norman Webb
- Practical strategies for implementing increased rigor and cognitive complexity in curriculum, instruction and assessment