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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Common Core Standards: Lessons, Ideas, and Discussions #ccchat



Scholastic has an excellent article on the shifts by Common Core.
Read their article for information. This photo is from that article on Scholastic.
I've been collecting common core resources as I research and write for my upcoming book, Collaborative Writing in the Cloud, from eye on education. The hashtag for this topic on Twitter is #ccchat .
  • High school US history topics separated by topic and grade level. There are some interesting simulations included in this list of resources.
  • Social studies lessons for high school relating to world history and aligned with common core standards.
  • Suzie Nestico (Flat Classroom certified teacher and project manager) aligns her Flat Clasroom and NetGenEd projects with Common Core standards.) Here's how she aligned with common core writing standards. I like how she fully discloses to students what she's doing and why as well as providing links and instructions to the students.
  • Dr. Leigh Zeitz shared at ISTE 2012 about his use of Distributed learning Communities to facilitate collaborative creation. Here, he talks about his Emerging Instructional Technology wikibook that his students build. This is an excellent framework for writing, collaborating, and working with technology and was presented as an example of writing standard W.x.6 (the x is the grade level).
  • My friend Jennifer Roberts is a digital lead teacher in San Diego. She copresented with us at ISTE on Common Core in the Cloud and rocked it. Here's the website she built about Writing Response groups and what she does in the classroom. She's very knowledgeable and I love what she's doing with her students.
  • national Novel Writing month is in November but this website is so much more. I heard Jennifer Roberts share this with our Panel on Writing with Common Core at ISTE 2012 and this website is a phenomenal way to meet the 3rd standard W.X.3 about Writing narratives. Students collaboratively work together. You can do this any time but November is the big emphasis. I think every school should participate in Nanowrimo -- just love it.
  • I'm going to be sharing a lot about collaborative writing and Common Core writing standards. For US educators to start teaching collaborative writing that we're going to have to align and help them understand how it will meet the standards they are using. While this will relate to anyone who wants to use cloud tools, those implementing common core standards will be very interested. This is the form to complete if you're interested in getting a copy of the book.
  • Common Core information center. Some good resources on Common Core and what is happening with them.
  • Common core forums have been created in the share my lesson website - cosponsored by the aft and tes, this is going to be an interesting place where teachers converse.
  • I read this post from Darren Draper and his response to Utah's discussion of common core standards. Read his thoughts. Here's my response on my current thinking on Common Core right now - I thought I'd put it here. "I think that in terms of the "big picture" of having a common interface - having a common core set of standards makes sense. The states have proven that they can create a convoluted hodge podge of stuff that they really can't keep updated. That being said,I think the question that is coming to me at this point is: who updates common core when mistakes are there and also, does common core PRESCRIBE what to think in some areas like history and science. The math, writing, and reading standards are the first because they make sense and are far less controversial, but even those have been accused of taking kids down to the lowest common denominator and not pushing higher order thinking. OK, so those standards need improvement -- who does it and HOW? WHO is responsible for addressing these issues. I think also, the thought of having science and history for example prescribed to us makes me nervous. I look to my friend Suzie Nestico to help me understand these standards as she knows far more than I do. I find that many standards are now written with an implicit worldview attached and that is what bothers me. I think that it is important to read many different aspects of history and there are aspects of it that are left out in many "versions" of history. Which "version" will we adopt as a country. The very fact it would be so is somewhat troubling to me. I had some history profs in college - if they had their world view imposed upon the rest of us - we'd be far worse off than we are now. So, I think the biggest issues I have are not that we NEED common standards - because we do. Many countries have them. It is who is the governing body? Who is making it up? How will standards be edited? The truth is that the people who control the standards will control much of the thought of the next generation and it is that sort of thing that makes most American's nervous. We've long had independent and diverse states and while common core has its advantages - this one issue of WHO behind the WHAT of the standards has many people (including me) wanting to know more. "
  • This tool helps you evaluate Open education tools to see how they align to Common Core  state standards. By using this rubric, you can demonstrate how resources that are free can be integrated into your curriculum. There are 7 of the 8 already created. IF you want to save money while you align standards you must share this with your curriculum directors and administrators. Use this as an opportunity to increase quality AND save money (that is a win for everyone.)
  • The Washington Post has a quite distressing bug common remarks about Common Core exemplars. Is going too much by the common core doing to take us down to a lower common denominator than we are at already? I'm not sure but this type of article is very concerning. "Each teacher read individually through the exemplar lesson on Lincoln’s speech. When we began discussing it, we all expressed the same conclusion: Most of it was too scripted. It spelled out what types of questions to ask, what types of questions not to ask, and essentially narrowed any discussion to obvious facts and ideas from the speech.
  • This from PR Web James Madison High School, a leading online high school, has proven to be an early adopter among the more than 130,000 primary and secondary schools across the United States. The accredited online high school is one of the first schools to implement The Common Core State Standards."
  • Current adoption of common core standards on the ASCD website shows that Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Virginia, Texas, and Alaska are remaining as stand alone standards. Arizona and New Mexico seem to have adopted them without issuing an official announcement. I know they are with controversy, but perhaps we should move towards modifying common standards versus going back to a state by state model. Certainly history and science are full of controversy.
  • This is interesting. ETS has launched a website about: "Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world's leading measurement and research organization, has launched a new website to stimulate discussion, debate, and promote empirical research to help teachers and students meet the goals of the English language arts (ELA) Common Core State Standards." but this is most definitely a wiki (looks like wikispaces.) I find it fascinating that a company would use a wiki because so many have resisted this. I wonder who can join and who can edit. Interesting. It says you can join. It will be interesting to see what they are doing with this. Perhaps some of you common core experts should join.
  • This wiki used at MICDS (a great school in St. Louis where I've been before) is a Lord of the Flies survival game using a wiki. This is a great idea for a lesson plan with collaborative writing as well as understanding the book content.
  • For those who have told me that there is no use for pinterest in schools, here is a common core pinterest curated by Liane Courtney. Most web 2 tools can be useful, it lies in the willingness of users to make them so.
  • I've been getting dm's asking me to mention the controversies around David Colement and the common core curriculum standards. The concept that "informational text" is the only thing of value is being questioned. I think that the need for common core is there, but perhaps the standards themselves are at question.  I would challenge educators who disagree with the current common core standards to suggest alternatives. If you look at the major innovations in technology - it happened when a few interfaces were standardized. We do need common standards, I guess the question is if it should be common core or if common score should evolve. 
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