Entering into the Common Core Standards: One Site’s Journey Using Models of Advanced Institutes and Open Programs
Advanced Institute on the ELA Common Core Standards
Mississippi adopted the Common Core Standards in June 2010. By Winter 2011, the Mississippi Department of Education developed a Common Core Standards implementation plan that would begin in the 2011-2012 school year starting with teachers in grades K-2.
As a site, we realized that we didn’t know enough about the CCS to speak to the needs of the teachers in our service area. We decided that we needed to make a space to have the Common Core conversation. We also wanted to share this knowledge with the teachers in our service area; thus, one purpose of this Advanced Institute was to develop some strategies to present in an open program workshop format.
In essence, the schedule below was our model for our site’s beginning discussions about the Common Core Standards.
University of Mississippi WP - 2011 Advanced Institute Schedule
Advanced Institute on Common Core Standards - June 7-8
8:30-8:45 Introductions/Thank you for being here
8:45-9:00 What do we know about Common Core? What have we heard about Common Core?
9:00-9:15 Discussion/ Chart
9:15-11:00 Review Artifacts/Compare power points from MDE and Core Standards
11:00-11:45 Based on what we have discovered, what do we now know about CC
1:00-1:15 Complete Concern Circle
1:15-2:00 Describe what the Common Core State Standards will accomplish...
2:15-3:15 Reflections on Change – What does the mean for the classroom?
8:30-8:45 Reflections from yesterday with journal writing
8:45-10:00 Gap Analysis-current state standards and common core state standards p.38
10:00-11:30 Use Gap Analysis (curriculum/pacing guides)
12:30-3:00 - Planning for common core inservice – What components must be included?
3:00-3:30 Evaluations and CEUs
Open Program/Teacher Workshop on the ELA Common Core Standards
Background: After our session on the Common Core Standards, we decided that we did have some great strategies for helping teachers unpack the CCS. During the Advanced Institute and another planning day, we planned the following workshop. Our goal was to give participants time to explore the standards and then demonstrate a model activity through the lens of the CCS.
We expected 10 teachers to register for the workshop. We ended up with 35. Obviously there are a lot of questions about the CCS. We were happy to help in the thinking.
Confronting the Common Core
UM WRITING PROJECT
JULY 25, 2011
1. Introductions and Goals
2. COMMUNITY BUILDER: MERRY-GO-ROUND ACTIVITY
Common Core is like a _______________ because ________________.
3. K-W-L with Merry Go Round Group
4. EXAMINE THE STANDARDS
Handouts : Alignment (tested and non-tested)
(Allow teachers to do this as they please—groups/individually,etc. They should take a break during this time if needed.)
Instruct them to “hang” their thoughts on the hanger sheet to guide their thinking. Debrief this around 10:30.
5. USING WHAT WE KNOW
Lead in/Transition: Easy to get overwhelmed with the CC Standards
Let’s look at what you do NOW to see that there
are commonalities with the CC
1. Distribute weather poems. Read/think
2. Choose 3 based on grade level, interests ,etc.
3. Get in grade level groups
4. Discuss what questions students would have and how you
would use/present the poems in your class. ( Do not look at CC!)
5. Chart it out. (chart paper)
6. Then look at CC Standards and match up.
7. Report out to whole group.
Project the following on the screen: Objectives for the unit and match to CCS
6. COME ON RAIN (Substitute book: Thunder Cake)
Lead in/Transition: Before lunch you were asked to ponder some activities related to the weather poems. Ask for discussion. Lead teachers to see the CC connection to informational text. This next activity will also demonstrate a writing strategy that you may already utilize that is aligned with CC—the importance of informational text not only in reading but in writing.
After reading the story, ask teachers to do the following:
Come On Rain
Write a reader response about a weather event or a time you anticipated something. (notebook paper)
Write a reader response about a fear concerning weather or any fear that you have tried to overcome.
The Curious Adventures of Sydney and Symon in Water Wonders
Gaining Understanding through Theory and Prediction (Whole Group Activity to Introduce Strategies to Promote Critical Thinking)
Overview: Participants will read the first chapter of The Curious Adventures of Sydney and Symon in Water Wonders. Begin with some general questions because remember questions breed questions. What do we wonder about water? Do we have enough water to last forever? Does everyone everywhere have the water they need?
Read the first chapter of the book stopping after each paragraph.
What is the central problem/situation in the introductory paragraph?
Theorize- Why do the windows stick on humid days?
Why is it hotter on the third floor?
Theorize- Why do flowers wilt?
Predict-How can they solve the problem of watering the flowers?
When the text says, “But now, during the first…the soil had dried up…” Where did the water go?
What is the difference between humidity on a cold day as opposed to a hot day?
Why does your breath make clouds?
Discuss Common Core Standards Supported with Activity
Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in the text.
Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
Identify the main purpose of a text, including what an author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding. Gaining Understanding through Theory and Prediction (Whole Group Activity to Introduce Strategies to Promote Critical Thinking)
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they supported by key details; summarize the text.
8. Treasure Hunt with the Standards –Closure Activity
9. Wrap-up /Questions /Evaluations