For many years ,the State has been working under a “paradigm of completion.” The idea is simple: a student who accumulates 22 course credits and passes 5 Regents exams is ready to graduate and be prepared for the future. During our professional tenure, we’ve seen several different vehicles aimed at getting more students to that point – there was the New Compact for Learning a generation ago; that was followed by the standards movement, among others. The State asked us to get more students to meet those requirements and to graduate – and we did that. The graduation rate rose from 66% for the 2001 cohort to over 73% five years later, for the 2006 cohort. We did precisely what the State asked of us.
But now we face a new context of global economic competition that requires a paradigm shift and an acknowledgement that we have set the bar too low. It turns out that far too many graduates are ill-prepared for the rigors of college and careers. Far too many need remediation in college – and the data show that the more remedial classes you take, the more likely you are to drop out of college. Why does it matter that some students don’t graduate high school? Why is it so dangerous that so many who do graduate need remediation once they get to college (over 40% in our two-year SUNY institutions across the state)? Why is it so worrisome that fewer are graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math? Why are the Regents focusing on improving college and career readiness with such great intensity?
Over the past two years, the Regents have rightly focused the attention of the education community on the gap between our current performance and the goal of college and career readiness. As you know, the State raised the cut scores on the 3-8 exams and began reporting graduation rates based on Aspirational Performance Measures – measures designed to better capture what it means for a graduate to be college- and career-ready.
Theory of action for Standards and Assessments How many of you are familiar with the Common Core State Standards? The State is going to raise the standards and assessments are going to match.
These are the instructional shifts that are needed in order for students attain the standards. The State has articulated shifts in ELA and in Mathematics in partnership with the authors of the Core in order for us to have a framework through which to address the necessary changes in instruction demanded by the Common Core.
This shift involves simply reading more informational text – balancing the amount of literature with informational text. Elementary teachers are the students tour guide to world – to culture, to society. Rather than telling students about what is happening out there, we need to have them read about it. More literary non fiction, more information being conveyed through writing. Less fiction. Less telling and summarizing by the teacher.
Students must be ready to handle more informational text. In order to do this, teachers must work to build their own skills to deliver this Instead of “telling” the students information, have them read about it. We all must have a balance of accessing informational text; accessing non-fiction in general. And, all content teachers 6-12, must do this as well. The Common Core is asking that all teachers become reading teachers. For example, instead of telling students about the Civil Rights Movement, teachers find text for them to read about the Civil Rights Movement. The way that content should be delivered is through sources; through texts, through data, through information online.
Students must be reading in all content areas. Increasingly complex texts throughout P-12. The Common Core is often defining grade level text complexity as texts that are 2-3 grade levels more complex than the current grade level texts in school so that they are actually prepared to access the complexity they encounter in careers and college. Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards includes a list of texts that model levels of complexity for every grade level. This is an important portion of standards and should be reviewed.
Students need to develop the ability to engage in rich, evidence-based dialogue about a text they have read. Having students have conversations about text and teachers’ facilitation of these conversations, requires a higher level of sophistication for both teachers and students . Rather than the quicker connections between text and self, teachers must now train students to stay in the text, to draw conclusions and make arguments about the text and do so through the text itself. Teachers will often be asking, “where do you see that in the text? What paragraph? What sentence? What word?” students must begin to think and argue through and with texts by constantly being asked to find evidence in what they have read.
This is evidence based WRITING about texts. We are shifting away from an overemphasis on narrative writing because it is a skill not often demanded by career and college. What IS demanded by career and college is to synthesize and react to what we have read. Therefore, the Common Core asks that students, across content areas, are being asked to interact with and make arguments through sources – texts, data, etc. Students must be trained to use the evidence they collect from what they read in order to form cogent and convincing argument in the text they produce.
What the Common Core is asking of us is to consistently develop students ability to use and access words that are showing up in everyday vocabulary but that are slightly out of reach for our students. It is really about giving students the right tools. There are certain words that are great tools as the students will see them in lots of context; when they read, across different disciplines etc. There are other words that are interesting and may come up in certain areas; content specific words like “amoeba;” or there are other words that are sort of esoteric and interesting but they are not words that students will confront frequently as they read. It is important to be strategic about the kind of vocabulary we are teaching. We need to consider what category these words fall in to. Isabel Beck talks about Tier I words as very common words, Tier 2 as words that are powerfully useful and frequently occurring and Tier 3 as domain-specific words. The challenge is in figuring out which words are Tier 2 words and which words to teach. This takes careful planning. it is important to understand the nuances between words, people tend to over rely on synonyms – i.e.. happy and pleased. The author makes a choice between these words. To identify these Tier 2 words it is important to understand what the author is conveying and also to know what words are really going to occur most frequently. Regarding synonyms, fewer words may be taught but also teach the web of words around them. The goal is for the students to not only know the words as a reader, but invest in the words as a writer.
In reference to the TIMMS study, there is power of the eraser and a gift of time. The Core is asking us to prioritize student and teacher time, to excise out much of what is currently being taught so that we can put an end to the mile wide, inch deep phenomenon that is American Math education and create opportunities for students to dive deeply into the central and critical math concepts. We are asking teachers to focus their time and energy so that the students are able to do the same.
Focus on the math that matters most Focusing on far fewer topics and treat them with much better care and detail. As shown by the TIMMS study, in the high performing countries there is a relentless focus on specific areas of mathematics ie. addition and subtraction and the quantities they measure at the K-2 level. For the first time, we will model these countries by having fewer topics learned more deeply. These core masteries will lead much fuller level of understanding. In middle and high school, students with this mastery can move on to do work in data and statistics and applying their knowledge to fields such as Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus. It will also enable them to engage in rich work in modeling multiple representation to other fields such as economics.
We need to ask ourselves – How does the work I’m doing affect work at the next grade level? Coherence is about the scope and sequence of those priority standards across grade bands. How does multiplication get addressed across grades 3-5? How do linear equations get handled between 8 and 9? What must students know when they arrive, what will they know when they leave a certain grade level?
Fluency is the quick mathematical content; what you should quickly know. It should be recalled very quickly. It allows students to get to application much faster and get to deeper understanding. We need to create contests in our schools around these fluencies. This can be a fun project. Deeper understanding is a result of fluency. Students are able to articulate their mathematical reasoning, they are able to access their answers through a couple of different vantage points; it’s not just getting to yes; it’s not just getting the answer but knowing why. Students and teachers need to have a very deep understanding of the priority math concepts in order to manipulate them, articulate them, and come at them from different directions.
Make these a fun project; create contests around these fluencies
The Common Core is built on the assumption that only through deep conceptual understanding can students build their math skills over time and arrive at college and career readiness by the time they leave high school. The assumption here is that students who have deep conceptual understanding can: Find “answers” through a number of different routes Articulate their mathematical reasoning Be fluent in the necessary baseline functions in math, so that they are able to spend their thinking and processing time unpacking mathematical facts and make meaning out of them. Rely on their teachers’ deep conceptual understanding and intimacy with the math concepts
The Common Core demands that all students engage in real world application of math concepts. Through applications, teachers teach and measure students’ ability to determine which math is appropriate and how their reasoning should be used to solve complex problems. In college and career, students will need to solve math problems on a regular basis without being prompted to do so.
This is an end to the false dichotomy of the “math wars.” It is really about dual intensity; the need to be able to practice and do the application. Both things are critical.
There is a video series the State has provided on EngageNY.org about these shifts. Viewing these videos is one way that teachers can get ready for these shifts. Each video is accompanied by suggested professional development experiences. This is not a time for teachers or district personnel to lock ourselves in a room and create elaborate soup-to-nuts curriculum. Rather, this is a time for teams of teachers to get together to understand what the CCSS is asking of us and to begin to get smarter in the places we must. By watching the videos and doing the thinking required to plan and teach this way, teachers will be prepared to execute one aligned unit per semester. For ELA and Literacy, this means selecting a text and carefully writing evidence based questions about it. For math, this means deciding what units or concepts much be taken out so that teachers and students can spend three days to three weeks on one concept until every single student has reached deep conceptual understanding.
Common core-nt-facilitators training
The Common Core: College & Career Readiness for Every Student
Statewide Graduation Rates Are Up <ul><li>% Students Graduating with Regents or Local Diploma After 4 Years </li></ul><ul><li>Results through June, All Students </li></ul>
College Instructors and Employers Say Graduates Are Not Prepared for College and Work <ul><li>Average estimated proportions of recent high school graduates who are not prepared </li></ul>Source: Peter D. Hart Research Associates/Public Opinion Strategies, Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work? prepared for Achieve, Inc., 2005.
College and Career Readiness <ul><ul><li>Aspirational Performance Measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attainment of a 75 on the ELA Regents and an 80 on Math </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other College and Career Readiness Indicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>International Baccalaureate Diplomas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advanced Placement Courses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Earning College Credits in High School </li></ul></ul></ul>
Rigorous Standards and Assessments Pre-K to 12 NY Graduates are College and Career Ready NY HS Grads Have Skills to Enroll in and Pass Credit-bearing Courses in 1 st Semester and/or Embark on Careers NYS Common Core Standards and Assessments
ELA/Literacy & Math Shifts 6 Shifts in Mathematics Focus Coherence Fluency Deep Understanding Applications Dual Intensity 6 Shifts in ELA/Literacy Balancing Informational and Literary Text Building Knowledge in the Disciplines Staircase of Complexity Text-based Answers Writing from Sources Academic Vocabulary
ELA/Literacy Shift 1: Balancing Informational and Literary Text What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Build background knowledge to increase reading skill </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to the world through reading </li></ul><ul><li>Apply strategies to reading informational text. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide students equal #s of informational and literary texts </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure coherent instruction about content </li></ul><ul><li>Teach strategies for informational texts </li></ul><ul><li>Teach “through” and “with” informational texts </li></ul><ul><li>Scaffold for the difficulties that informational text present to students </li></ul><ul><li>Ask students, “What is connected here? How does this fit together? What details tell you that? “ </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase and provide equal amounts of informational and literacy text to students </li></ul><ul><li>Hold teachers accountable for building student content knowledge through text </li></ul><ul><li>Provide PD and co-planning opportunities for teachers to become more intimate with non fiction texts and the way they spiral together </li></ul>
ELA/Literacy Shift 2: 6-12 Knowledge in the Disciplines What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Become better readers by building background knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Handle primary source documents with confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Infer, like a detective, where the evidence is in a text to support an argument or opinion </li></ul><ul><li>See the text itself as a source of evidence (what did it say vs. what did it not say?) </li></ul><ul><li>Shift identity: “ I teach reading .” </li></ul><ul><li>Stop referring and summarizing and start reading </li></ul><ul><li>Slow down the history and science classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Teach different approaches for different types of texts </li></ul><ul><li>Treat the text itself as a source of evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Teach students to write about evidence from the text </li></ul><ul><li>Teach students to support their opinion with evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask : “How do you know? Why do you think that? Show me in the text where you see evidence for your opinion. “ </li></ul><ul><li>Support and demand the role of all teachers in advancing students’ literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Provide guidance and support to ensure the shift to informational texts for 6-12 </li></ul><ul><li>Give teachers permission to slow down and deeply study texts with students </li></ul>
ELA/Literacy Shift 3: Staircase of Complexity What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Read to see what more they can find and learn as they re-read texts again and again </li></ul><ul><li>Read material at own level to build joy of reading and pleasure in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Be persistent despite challenges when reading; good readers tolerate frustration </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure students are engaged in more complex texts at every grade level </li></ul><ul><li>Engage students in rigorous conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Provide experience with complex texts </li></ul><ul><li>Give students less to read , let them re-read </li></ul><ul><li>Use leveled texts carefully to build independence in struggling readers </li></ul><ul><li>More time on more complex texts </li></ul><ul><li>Provide scaffolding </li></ul><ul><li>Engage with texts w/ other adults </li></ul><ul><li>Get kids inspired and excited about the beauty of language </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that complexity of text builds from grade to grade. </li></ul><ul><li>Look at current scope and sequence to determine where/how to incorporate greater text complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Allow and encourage teachers to build a unit in a way that has students scaffold to more complex texts over time </li></ul><ul><li>Allow and encourage teachers the opportunity to share texts with students that may be at frustration level </li></ul>
ELA/Literacy Shift 4: Text Based Answers What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Go back to text to find evidence to support their argument i n a thoughtful, careful, precise way </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a fascination with reading </li></ul><ul><li>Create own judgments and become scholars , rather than witnesses of the text </li></ul><ul><li>Conducting reading as a close reading of the text and engaging with the author and what the author is trying to say </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate evidence based conversations with students, dependent on the text </li></ul><ul><li>Have discipline about asking students where in the text to find evidence, where they saw certain details, where the author communicated something, why the author may believe something; show all this in the words from the text. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan and conduct rich conversations about the stuff that the writer is writing about. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep students in the text </li></ul><ul><li>Identify questions that are text-dependent, worth asking/exploring , deliver richly, </li></ul><ul><li>Provide students the opportunity to read the text, encounter references to another text, another event and to dig in more deeply into the text to try and figure out what is going on. </li></ul><ul><li>Spend much more time preparing for instruction by reading deeply . </li></ul><ul><li>Allow teachers the time to spend more time with students writing about the texts they read- and to revisit the texts to find more evidence to write stronger arguments. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide planning time for teachers to engage with the text to prepare and identify appropriate text-dependent questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Create working groups to establish common understanding for what to expect from student writing at different grade levels for text based answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure student work protocols for teachers to compare student work products; particularly in the area of providing evidence to support arguments/conclusions. </li></ul>
ELA/Literacy Shift 5: Writing from Sources What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Begin to generate own informational texts </li></ul><ul><li>Expect that students will generate their own informational texts (spending much less time on personal narratives ) </li></ul><ul><li>Present opportunities to write from multiple sources about a single topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Give opportunities to analyze, synthesize ideas across many texts to draw an opinion or conclusion. </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to push towards a style of writing where the voice comes from drawing on powerful, meaningful evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Give permission to students to start to have their own reaction and draw their own connections. </li></ul><ul><li>Build teacher capacity and hold teachers accountable to move students towards informational writing </li></ul>
ELA/Literacy Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Spend more time learning words across “webs” and associating words with others instead of learning individual, isolated vocabulary words. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop students’ ability to use and access words that show up in everyday text and that may be slightly out of reach </li></ul><ul><li>Be strategic about the kind of vocabulary you’re developing and figure out which words fall into which categories- tier 2 vs. tier 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the words that students are going to read most frequently and spend time mostly on those words </li></ul><ul><li>Teach fewer words but teach the webs of words around it </li></ul><ul><li>Shift attention on how to plan vocabulary meaningfully using tiers and transferability strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Provide training to teachers on the shift for teaching vocabulary in a more meaningful, effective manner. </li></ul>
Mathematics Shift 1: Focus What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Spend more time thinking and working on fewer concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Being able to understand concepts as well as processes (algorithms). </li></ul><ul><li>Make conscious decisions about what to excise from the curriculum and what to focus </li></ul><ul><li>Pay more attention to high leverage content and invest the appropriate time for all students to learn before moving onto the next topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about how the concepts connects to one another </li></ul><ul><li>Build knowledge, fluency and understanding of why and how we do certain math concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Work with groups of math teachers to determine what content to prioritize most deeply and what content can be removed (or decrease attention). </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the areas of intensive focus (fluency), determine where to re-think and link (apply to core understandings), sampling (expose students, but not at the same depth). </li></ul><ul><li>Determine not only the what, but at what intensity . </li></ul><ul><li>Give teachers enough time, with a focused body of material, to build their own depth of knowledge . </li></ul>
Priorities in Math Grade Priorities in Support of Rich Instruction and Expectations of Fluency and Conceptual Understanding K–2 Addition and subtraction, measurement using whole number quantities 3–5 Multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions 6 Ratios and proportional reasoning; early expressions and equations 7 Ratios and proportional reasoning; arithmetic of rational numbers 8 Linear algebra
Mathematics Shift 2: Coherence What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Build on knowledge from year to year, in a coherent learning progression </li></ul><ul><li>Connect the threads of math focus areas across grade levels </li></ul><ul><li>Think deeply about what you’re focusing on and the ways in which those focus areas connect to the way it was taught the year before and the years after </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that teachers of the same content across grade levels allow for discussion and planning to ensure for coherence/threads of main ideas </li></ul>
Mathematics Shift 3: Fluency What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Spend time practicing , with intensity, skills (in high volume) </li></ul><ul><li>Push students to know basic skills at a greater level of fluency </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the listed fluencies by grade level </li></ul><ul><li>Create high quality worksheets, problem sets, in high volume </li></ul><ul><li>Take on fluencies as a stand alone CC aligned activity and build school culture around them . </li></ul>
Key Fluencies Grade Required Fluency K Add/subtract within 5 1 Add/subtract within 10 2 Add/subtract within 20 Add/subtract within 100 (pencil and paper) 3 Multiply/divide within 100 Add/subtract within 1000 4 Add/subtract within 1,000,000 5 Multi-digit multiplication 6 Multi-digit division Multi-digit decimal operations 7 Solve px + q = r, p(x + q) = r 8 Solve simple 2 2 systems by inspection
Mathematics Shift 4: Deep Understanding What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Show, through numerous ways, mastery of material at a deep level </li></ul><ul><li>Use mathematical practices to demonstrate understanding of different material and concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself what mastery/ proficiency really looks like and means </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for progressions of levels of understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Spend the time to gain the depth of the understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Become flexible and comfortable in own depth of content knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Allow teachers to spend time developing their own content knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Provide meaningful professional development on what student mastery and proficiency really should look like at every grade level by analyzing exemplar student work </li></ul>
Mathematics Shift 5: Application What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Apply math in other content areas and situations, as relevant </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the right math concept to solve a problem when not necessarily prompted to do so </li></ul><ul><li>Apply math including areas where its not directly required (i.e. in science) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide students with real world experiences and opportunities to apply what they have learned </li></ul><ul><li>Support science teachers about their role of math and literacy in the science classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Create a culture of math application across the school </li></ul>
Mathematics Shift 6: Dual Intensity What the Student Does… What the Teacher Does… What the Principal Does… <ul><li>Practice math skills with an intensity that results in fluency </li></ul><ul><li>Practice math concepts with an intensity that forces application in novel situations </li></ul><ul><li>Find the dual intensity between understanding and practice within different periods or different units </li></ul><ul><li>Be ambitious in demands for fluency and practice , as well as the range of application </li></ul><ul><li>Provide enough math class time for teachers to focus and spend time on both fluency and application of concepts/ideas </li></ul>
CCSS Training Scope and Sequence <ul><ul><li>Watch the Common Core PD Video Series on EngageNY.org and complete the post-video activities to internalize the information presented in the videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze curriculum exemplars with your team to identify the key shifts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure planning time for grade level/content areas to use curriculum exemplars as a guide for planning their one CCSS unit this semester </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan a student work protocol at the end of the CCSS unit for teachers to analyze student work samples and compare how student learning and performance looked different with a CCSS unit </li></ul></ul>