Read Aloud Project Inservice, April 17th

Kindergarten through second grade teachers trained with the Read Aloud Project  (RAP) resources and with the text, Desert Giant. To give the RAP some context, and to explain why building a coherent body of knowledge is vital to comprehension, participants read through passages by Deborah Meiers and Robert Pondiscio and watched a video of Dr. Daniel Willingham.  This was followed by working with RAP materials including the text complexity rubric. You can find the video and articles linked in the PowerPoint (here), the graphic organizer (here), and all of the Read Aloud Project lessons in the ELA tab here.

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Enhancing Professional Learning through Twitter Chats

If you have a Twitter account, you may want to participate in Twitter Chats to promote your own professional learning. The chats are free and run the full breath of educational outcomes including Common Core, Art, 21st Century Learning, Educational Leadership, Special Education, etc…. The number of facilitated chats is close to 300 and is another way to enhance educational outcomes through social media. The full list of ed chats can be found here.

As some of you may have noticed, there are fewer posts to this blog. This has a lot to do with the fact that has become a big part of how we are directing educators to relevant video, print, and audio content. You can subscribe to our Twitter feed here.

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Resources from April 12th

At the Core Advocate conference in Chicago, the following PowerPoint and Word document were shared. The PowerPoint and Word document help frame part of Washoe’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

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The Business Roundtable and their Endorsement of CCSS

The Business Roundtable and their Endorsement of CCSS

If you have wondered why the business community has endorsed the Common Core, you can learn why in a video posted here. At minute 21:10, Scott Fast, Executive Director of Accenture Foundation outlines why the Business Roundtable has lent their support. Among the reasons

  • The standards are clear and concise
  • The standards are grounded in evidence
  • The standards are internationally benchmarked and
  • The standards deal honestly with the remediation issue in states

Fast’s comments end at minute 27:00 and are worth a watch/listen to have a better understanding of why the Roundtable, as well as other corporations, has rallied around these outcomes.

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Social Emotional Learning and why it Matters

As have been noted on this blog several times, to do Common Core well, we have to attend to the Social and Emotional Learning of our students. The science behind why this matters and how it is intertwined in a child’s success is addressed in the following presentation by Dr. Martin Seligman. Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center, explains the importance of PERMA with connections to how to teach it at the individual level. Specific minutes have been marked in the annotations below. (The video presentation is here.)

5:56 What is PERMA? Seligman quickly reviews the five parts and notes that each is measurable and each is teachable.

11:13 Positive Emotion (Happiness): The ratio of positive words to negative words in flourishing companies is 2.9:1. In marriage that ratio is 5:1. The ratio for children? no one knows.

13:50 Engagement

17:48 Relationships: How do you resolve conflict versus how do you celebrate success? Knowing how to differentiate one from the other can boost well-being.

20:28 Meaning: altruism versus pleasure. If you are trying to promote meaning in your classroom, consider doing the following. Ask students to do something fun during the course of the week. Likewise, ask them to do something philanthropic.

At the end of the week, have your students journal about the experiences. More often than not, they will describe having gotten more meaning from the altruistic exercise than the one for self-pleasure.

21:56 Accomplishment: self discipline and grit. Twice as important as IQ

25:07 In schools where teachers learn about PERMA and incorporate into their classrooms, students have greater psychological fitness and report less anxiety—and the work is sustainable to up to two years.

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Spanish Springs HS Students Explain SBAC and Field Testing

Students at Spanish Springs High School created a terrific video to explain the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (SBAC) test. The video is clear and on point in helping all stakeholders understand the implications of SBAC and the field testing that is taking place. You can watch the video here.

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‘Deliberate ELA/Literacy Redundancies and Repetition’

The Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education has shared the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education report to help practitioners with CCR outcomes. Included in the report is a description of how the Common Core standards work within and across grade levels to promote literacy outcomes. From the report:

In some cases, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) repeat the very same skill level to level with little or no variation in wording or demand. Literacy skills by their nature are recursive; therefore, certain skills need to be covered at both lower and higher levels of learning, but applied to increasingly sophisticated contexts. So, for example, students are asked by the CCSS to determine the theme or central idea of a text, summarize a text, determine the meaning of words in context, and produce clear and coherent writing in several levels of learning as applied to more challenging texts.

Beginning on page 96 is a table with all the links. For example, Reading Anchor Standards 1 is closely associated to Writing Anchor Standard 9 and Speaking and Listening Anchor Standard 1. Or Reading Anchor 8 is matched with Writing Anchor 1 and Speaking and Listening Anchor 3. There are many other examples that can viewed by downloading the full report here.

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