Sunday, October 27, 2013

Are You Ready?

Connect hosted a wonderful opportunity yesterday for K-12 educators, college educators, and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education educators to participate in collaborative conversations around readiness for college and the transition to new large-scale assessments. Everyone had many opportunities to learn from others.

One important thing that I learned was that the future assessment will ask students to write in all three modes - argument, informative,  narrative in every grade. One comment at my table was that you will no longer be able to teach to the test. You will have to teach to the standards. Our group agreed that this would be a real improvement.

As recently as last month, I have worked with some teachers who are not using the standards in daily planning. One reason for having the standards for three years prior to the testing changes, is so that teachers may become familiar with the standards and how they inform daily work and so that students may begin to acquire the depth of knowledge and practice that the standards present.

Wherever you and your students are on the continuum of standards learning, there are some helpful resources that you will want to access or check regularly.

Engage NY. http://www.engageny.org/common-core-curriculum-assessments  This site has a video library for ELA, Math, teacher effectiveness, data-driven instruction and parents. It is updated periodically.

The Teaching Channel. https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos  You may sign up for regular updates. This site contains a large video library providing examples of real teachers working with the common core state standards. It is updated all the time and also provides some resources associated with some of the videos. They are concise and well done.

The Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) http://www.parcconline.org   This is the official site of the consortium that is developing the assessments. It provides a wealth of information including prototypes test items. You may sign up for updates.

Model Curriculum Project http://www.doe.mass.edu/model/download_form.aspx  At this site you may sign up to download curriculum units that were developed by teams of teachers across the state. These units are available to all. There are units in four content areas - ELA, Math, History/SS, and Science. There are currently sixty-six and thirty-four more are being prepared. You may sign in as many times as you like.