Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Common Core Curriculum Standards: Step 1 is Professional Development

The McKee Community completed two intensive days of professional development. The key to successful professional development involves several steps. Here are just a few of those steps:

1. Brainstorming the end goal

2. Prioritizing the big ideas

3. Listening to strategies about how to impart those big ideas. For example: we listened to a consultant about what mechanism could be used by every teacher to ensure that Common Core Curriculum Learning Standards (CCCLS) was a common practice frequently referred to in every unit. The consultant was Alan Siegel. He shared a course requirement contract in which 5 standards were selected for the course. After presenting the course requirement contract to the McKee cabinet, they liked the central concept of making a course requirement contract a flexible, and living document.

4. Collaboration,

5. Discussion (sometimes heated, always respectful)

6. Creating templates; Revising the templates

7. Creating agendas. Revising Agendas

Day One, September 6, 2011, dealt with an overview of the Citywide Instructional Expectations. A powerpoint was shown along with activities based upon summer workshops presented by Jodi Siegel and Libby Gershansky from CFN 405. The teachers had a chance to chew on the central ideas, understand the basic principles of "backward planning", and comprehending the 4 standards that should be initially included in unit planning. To see resources used on September 6th PD, check out the school website: Click on THE TOOLS. Then click on September 6th PD.

For teachers to understand CCLS it required several steps. One was preparing packets in which a hard copy of the standards was prepared so that teachers could "stickie" and highlight key standards. Two was putting all resources in a folder on the school website: on "THE TOOLS" tab in the folder marked September 6th PD and September 7th PD.

Day Two, September 7, 2011, dealt with having subject area meetings and grade team meetings. Protocols were established. Teachers drafted unit contracts using CCLS. Information was relayed about the growth points for the grade teams based upon comments from the Spring 2011 Peer Review.

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