Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Engage NY - Don't Be an Educational Ostrich

NYS Education Department has launched a teacher's resource center that is a must-see.  is intended to help teachers in all disciplines meet the requirements of the Common Core Learning Standards.  There are wonderful links that actually spell out the instructional paradigm shifts, provide curriculum exemplars, links to videos for understanding and more.  Please take the time to wander through this virtual self-help site.   
One example of a resource to wrap your head around is the explanation of the Instructional Shifts of the Common Core.   This PDFprovides an overview of the rigor that has been embedded into the standards and changes expected.   To ignore the CCSS focus on change, is to be an educational ostrich. 
The language keeps returning to showing evidence, embedding complex text, and making students accountable for their claims.   Here are two examples from page 4 of the Instructional Shifts:
  • Students have rich and rigorous conversations which are dependent on a common text. Teachers insist that classroom experiences stay deeply connected to the text on the page and that students develop habits for making evidentiary arguments both in conversation, as well as in writing to assess comprehension of a text.
  • Writing needs to emphasize use of evidence to inform or make an argument rather than the personal narrative and other forms of decontextualized prompts. While the narrative still has an important role, students develop skills through written arguments that respond to the ideas, events, facts, and arguments presented in the texts they read.
If you are worried about what the APPR will look like, check out these new guidelines.   Pictured below are two slides from the evaluation timeline.   This concurs with the advice we have given to start your archive of teaching effectiveness from day one this year.   Start building your instructional  portfolio and try to embed assessment for learning along the way.  Innovative assessment--not tests, per say;  Performance based assessment that is tracked;  EQ's that reflect student learning;   Be aware of what is required.  


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