Thursday, February 20, 2014

UClass: Unpacking the Standards

As I continue to work with UClass on writing quality lessons, lessons that I employ in my own classroom to meet the standards, I am positively challenged by the UClass "unpack" the standards adopted strategy--a strategy shared by Lauryn Wild (@laurynwild), a California Curriculum Program Specialist.

I am similarly challenged to write engaging learning experiences that embrace the breadth of Karin Hess' Cognitive Rigor Matrix.

These challenges shed a positive light on the Common Core Standards, as they are challenges that are stepping me towards deeper teaching/learning in significant ways.  The key is to weave student voice and choice, personalization/differentiation, brain-friendly practice/effort, context/relevance, and substantive coaching and care into the process.

It's a mighty task with the current schedule of a mere 45 minutes a day of planning time, and the fact that the standards and students are many in number--too many in some cases for the rich, deep learning necessary for content and skill mastery.

Yet, I will continue down this path with students' success as the centerpiece of the journey.  I'll start by applying the "unpack" strategy as noted in the film below to each standard.  Then I'll create tasks that weave multiple essential elements into the fabric of the learning experience.  I'll also make the time for assessment, feedback, and responsive action.  Finally, I'll continue to study and read about the Common Core in an effort to deepen and strengthen my teaching delivery and impact. Hopefully, education and policy leaders will come to educators' rescue by adding needed minutes for research, planning, and response in the meantime as that will serve to create greater understanding and application of the new standards with success for all students as the goal.