Sunday, September 22, 2013

Common Core Creativity at Fourth Grade

I spent the day digging into the Common Core Standards for fourth grade. The specific language of the standards, numerous resources on the Internet, knowledge of my students, and summer learning design research served to set the stage for some great work.

The key to the Common Core is to embed these standards into worthy learning design, design that responds to students' developmental level, essential skill needs, interests, and passions.

Hence with each standard I attached a learning experience that I feel will engage my students, support essential skill development, and prompt further inquiry.  I used a blended approach for the learning design which includes tech integration, video, collaborative work, field studies, hands-on explorations, paper/pencil/tech practice, and celebrations.  The lessons range from one-period detail lessons to multi-period units. Also, with every lesson there's a 1-2-3 range of learning with 1 as a review level, 2 for grade level, and 3 for enrichment opportunities. In addition there's a rubric with which students evaluate their own work then review the evaluation and work with the teacher.

At present, I'm designing many of these lessons for UClass which are available for a small fee. UClass is providing me with a platform, editing, and team to promote my work.  I'm also using all the lessons I create with my fourth graders so that we meet local, state, and national standards. I continue to be excited about this opportunity to dig in deeply with the common core standards in a creative, student-centered way. I am attempting to blend the best of both worlds by combining the essential skill development of the Common Core with project/problem based learning whenever possible.

Take a look if you're interested.  Let me know if you have further ideas.

Update: UClass efforts took a turn away from learning design and at that time I stopped working with them as the work no longer directly matched my classroom efforts.