The VERY first thing you need to know is that we have FIVE essential questions that guide absolutely everything we do in our school district.Lots of great things going on in the CRSD, but with a limited amount of time with you today, we had to choose what we believed to be the MOST important information that we could share: OUR journey in developing a guaranteed and viable curriculum in a SMALL, RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICT with limited resources.
Standards are hot topic nationally -- 45 states and 3 territories have adopted CCSS – and though AK not officially one of them, our state’s new standards are nearly identical to the CC. Fall of 2010, we adopted Common Core because we valued the rigor and content-rich nature of the Common Core.
As you know, adopted by state board in June 2012. At this point, very limited information has been made available – you have to find it, it is not yet coming to us. Webinars, information on EED website, limited “toolkit.” While it says the Department’s “toolkit” will make the transition to the new standards “effortless,” we know better and want to share with you what WE have learned about what seems to be working.We participated in state’s efforts to develop new set of state standards last year and Copper River completed a line-by-line, word-for-word comparison between the CC and AK’s new standards last winter, and with the exception of the addition of a few math standards at the elementary grades, the standards are nearly identical. These standards are dramatically different from GLEs, and there isn’t a second to waste so that all students in Alaska can experience a world-class education that will prepare them for whatever they choose to do after they complete our programs. Our journey in developing a guaranteed and viable curriculum has been in process for two years and it’s a story worth telling.But a bit of education may be in order so we are all speaking the same language.
Our state has adopted a new set of STANDARDS, but this isn’t enough.
This is the part we struggled with over the years – developed a well articulated curriculum that includes all essential parts
School districts are charged with ensuring a GUARANTEED and VIABLE curriculum that drives instruction in ALL classrooms. We liked to think we had it, but we didn’t...and we had no way of measuring whether or not we had it.HEAVY on the “all”
Standards are important, but content is king! It isn’t enough to teach students how to locate a main idea – a great education requires knowing CONTENT that makes main ideas important
Literally, most committees started with a blank sheet of paper. A handful of willing educators on a committee, a few days of administrative leave, …and no idea of exactly how to go about the process of “writing curriculum.”We did the best we could with what we had … but the result, in most cases, was a document that took days and days of work and was used very little to actually guide instruction in our district.
Thinking back over the curriculum committee experiences I’ve had in the CRSD, THIS QUOTE definitely does NOT “fit” for the mood and tone of most of those meetings. Sitting down with that blank sheet of paper, wondering how things were going back in my classroom with the sub, feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand … just wasn’t fun. Definitely bring any of the people in the room “alive.”We have GREAT teachers – very knowledgeable, very talented, very dedicated. FRUSTRATION was result of sitting down and trying to craft curriculum that made sense ... In the absence of a lot of time, cross-content collaboration, etc.
Inevitably the conversations would turn to TEACHING and questions about CONTENT:WORKING TOGETHER brings them alive!
Rolled out Common Core Standards in Fall 2010– our awareness and exploration year; teachers focused on mapping the CONTENT they were currently teaching to the standards so THEY could see the connections and really get to know the standards2011-12 SY: continued to develop tools for teachers to use, admins required CCSS on lesson plans, transitioning from GLEs to CCSS and talking MORE about content alignment; initial introduction to common formative assessments and Discovery Education Assessment tools2012-13 SY: Identification of common quarterly units at all grade levels, common content rotation for multi-grade classrooms, and grade-band/content area TEAM development; and QUARTERLY common formative assessments Our focus is on CONTENT – Conversations in the legislature last year were frustrating for us. The word “curriculum” was used a lot, but what they were actually talking about was INSTRUCTION. It wasn’t question #1 but question #2 they wanted to focus on – strategies to make curriculum culturally relevant.We believe it is essential that we redirect the dialogue to focus on CONTENT and to provide CLARITY for our teachers, our students, our parents, and our community.
BEFORE we started with a blank sheet of paper and curriculum document samples from other districts. Now we started with something else:New standardsCurriculum maps for ELA (perfect because literacy standards extend to history/social studies, science, and technical subjects in CCSS)Core Knowledge Sequence for K-8 (CONTENT IS KING!)Teamwork to ensure common understanding of each standard
Common Core mapping project – non-profit group, many folks who helped craft the CC ELA standards, lay out scope and sequence for entire year that addresses all standards and is focused on RICH content in RIGOROUS learning environmentsInitially launched in summer of 2011 – Second Edition maps became available to “members” and print editions releasedALIGNED! All standards covered! All types of texts included! Exemplars available!
K-8 – lays out CONTENT so that we KNOW what students should learn at each grade level ...Avoid learning about salmon or Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech every year for 13 years and ensure there is both breadth and depth in teaching and learning.TEXTBOOK is no longer the curriculum! Textbooks change; curriculum doesn’t.CONTENT IS KING!
Our back-to-school in-service workshops this fall – worked with administrators; education for staff; development of GRADE-BAND and CONTENT AREA TEAMS! Not a this-school-versus-that-school anymore, but TEAMS of teachers working together to master the standards and CONTENT at their grade levels!
Common Core Curriculum Maps are tremendous resource – Former language arts teacher, the maps make me want to return to the classroom, especially as a rural educator.So beautifully laid out, so thorough.Descriptive enough that even a veteran, master teacher will love them;Prescriptive enough that even a first-year teacher knows what to do (even in a multi-grades classroom)
LITERATURE AND INFORMATIONAL TEXTS!!!!!!!Huge huge difference between old GLEs and new state standards (and Common Core) is emphasis on non-fiction text and reading “graphic” text and media.
The maps are DESCRIPTIVE rather than PRESCRIPTIVE and provide ALL teachers a common starting point. Most importantly, the units detail a set of STANDARDS on which to focus during that unit.
Each unit identifies a set of FOCUS STANDARDS. Teachers who use all of the units will address all standards over course of a school year, with many standards occurring again and again.
Push Back: We were ready with responses and tools in place.GLEs – tools from stateMulti-grade classrooms – content rotation guideAccountability – Discovery Education assessment tools for TEACHERS to use in the classroom
Drew on the wealth of resources available across the country, thanks to Common Core in 45 states and 3 territories. Kentucky’s DECONSTRUCTED standards are amazing – help teachers to really understand standards down to the fine grain level.
Take 2TWO significant passages from readingMODEL EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES AT YOUR MEETINGS with administrators! So they can model for teachers ... So teachers can use in the classroom.*** CONTENT IS KING! CONTENT IS THE FOCUS! ***
So we answered Question #1.Question #2 – How will they learn it – what happens in the classroom. You’ll see some of that this afternoon when you visit Kenny Lake School and one of our classrooms.Question #3 – HOW WILL WE KNOW. What we measure is what we teach...so if we teach CONTENT, students are learning!If all students are LEARNING the same content, we can use common assessments to make comparisons between and among students, classrooms, sites, and district-wide ... And THEN we have something to talk about!
Explored a number of different tools for formative assessmentsWanted one that had an item bank so that we KNEW assessments would be measuring the standard. Difficult for teachers to write questions that we know are valid.Host of assessment tools for teachers to use in the classroom. Great reporting system. Easy to use. CUSTOMIZABLE!
Assessment windows identified on district calendar at beginning of yearOpportunities for teachers to USE Discovery Ed assessment tools to build their own assessments so that students can practice with tool ... And teachers can measure student proficiency along the way
DO SOMETHING with the data at ALL levels so that it matters and people pay attention!WHY might this matter to you? Because the game is changing in Alaska with the new standards. They are MUCH more rigorous! Short timeline to prepare TEACHERS so they can prepare STUDENTS for success on new assessments in spring of 2015 or 2016.
Information shared at DTC meeting on September 11 – first time shared with large group of AK educators.EED is concentrating its roll-out efforts into 3 phases: awareness, transition, and implementation. We are currently developing a self assessment to assist districts determine where they fall within these phases.Tools are being developed specifically for each phase to differentiate the support available to districts.EED publishing a self-assessment tool next week
In June of 2012 the New ELA and Math standards were adopted by the State Board of Education. In School Year 2012-13, EED continues the awareness campaign started last spring. 2012-13: EED will implement an awareness campaign across the state and develop tools to assist districts in the transition to the new standards. Districts may begin implementation of standards in some grades (e.g., K-2). We will begin field testing of new assessment items (this will continue through until 2016).2013-14 Districts will start the process of aligning curriculum and instruction to the new standards. Districts will want to begin to implementation standards in some grades or in some content areas to maximize the time students will be exposed to the new standards. The Curriculum Alignment Institute will help provide guidance to districts. SY 2014-15SY 2015-16 All grades and content will be taught to the new standards so all students will be receiving instruction on the new Standards before they are assessed. In the spring of 2016, the new assessment will be in place.
We are just one district, but we believe we’re on the right track. Because we are working together as a TEAM (not separate schools) we are making significant progress that directly impacts student success.It is in OUR best interest for ALL school districts in Alaska to have strong, CONTENT rich curriculum focus so that we may work together to better prepare Alaska’s students, provide our teachers with tools and materials for support, and provide CLARITY in education.Together we’re better – we welcome your questions, your partnerships, your ideas.
Resources available onlineEncourage you to contact us to continue the conversationTHANK YOU for the leadership you provide to Alaska’s school districts!
Supt presentation sept-26-12.ppt
OUR FIVE ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:1. What do our students need to know? (Curriculum)2. How will they learn it? (Instruction)3. How will we know if they have learned it? (Assessment)4. What will we do if they don‟t learn it? (Intervention)5. What will we do if they already knew it? (Enrichment)
“Standards describe the destination that schools and students are supposed to reach, but by themselves have little power to affect change. Much else needs to happen to successfully journey toward that destination.” (emphasis added)Chester E. Finn Jr. & Michael J. Petrilli(2010) Now What? Imperatives & Options for “Common Core” Implementation & Governance
A well-articulated curriculum, aligned to standards, is critical for student achievement.Marzano 2003, 2006
DO WE CURRENTLY HAVE A GUARANTEED ANDVIABLE CURRICULUM THAT ENSURES:•Allstudents learn the same content in a timeframe that meets their needs?•All students gain the skills necessary to succeed at the next level or course, without gaps or mindless repetitions?•All students are assessed fairly, with tools that accurately measure the skills developed?•All students exit the K-12 curriculum, having mastered the same essential content and skills?
ANSWERING QUESTION #1What do our students need to know? Standards + CONTENT
IN YEARS PAST, CURRICULUM COMMITTEES STARTED WITH:
“Don’t ask yourself whatthe world needs –ask yourself whatmakes you come alive,and then go do it.Because what the worldneeds is people whohave come alive.” – Howard Thurman
WHAT BRINGS EDUCATORS “ALIVE”?Conversations about CONTENT & INSTRUCTION What are you teaching? Which lesson are you on? Have you read this book with your students? Which vocab strategies do you use? How did that project work? Have you tried … ? How did it go … ? Here’s what I’m doing that’s working for me and my students… What is working for you and YOUR STUDENTS ?
OUR STARTING POINTS:• Common Core Standards• Common Core Curriculum Maps for English Language Arts• Core Knowledge Sequence for Science and Social Studies (Grades K-8)• DEEP and COMMON understanding of the standards on which the curriculum is built
AUGUST 2012 WORK SESSIONS:• Select FOUR common units at each grade level (one per quarter)• Align Social Studies and Science content to these units (Grades K-8)• Understand the standards as a team
UNIT MAPS ALSO INCLUDE:• Sample activities and assessments• “Additional Resources” (e.g., videos, additional texts, links to lesson plans)• Terminology / Vocabulary• Interdisciplinary Connections
BUT, WHAT ABOUT...?• GLEs• Multi-grade classrooms• Accountability that guarantees STUDENTS the same opportunity to learn
RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR SUPPORT:• Common Core State Standards (formally adopted in the CRSD in Fall 2010)• EED‟s “Transition Tool” with Alaska‟s New Standards aligned to GLEs• Common Core Curriculum Maps for English Language Arts• Core Knowledge Sequence for Social Studies and Sciences, Grades K-8• Kentucky‟s “Deconstructed” Standards for ELA and Math• YOUR COLLEAGUES and the shared knowledge and expertise in this room crsdteach.weebly.com
READ TO LEAD: “Nobody Loves Standards (and that‟s O.K.)” --Robert Pondiscio June 14, 2012
QUESTION #3:HOW WILL WE KNOW IF THEY HAVE LEARNED IT? ASSESSME NT
COMMON FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTA formative assessment, like a physical examination, can provide both the “doctor” and the “patient” with timely information regarding the patient‟s well- being and can help with a prescription for an ailing person or assist a healthy person to become even stronger.Common formative assessments inform the practice of individual teachers. They provide teachers with a basis of comparison as they learn, skill by skill, how the performance of their students is similar to and different from other students who took the assessment.Common assessment is one of the most powerful, high-leverage strategies for improving student learning…..and it is available to all schools.If all students are expected to demonstrate the same knowledge and skills, regardless of the teacher to which they are assigned, it only makes sense that teachers must work together in a collaborative effort to assess student learning. DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, et. al.
WHAT DOES “COMMON” MEAN?“The term common assessment refers to those assessments given by TEACHER TEAMS who teach the same content or grade level –those with “COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LEARNING OF A GROUP OF STUDENTS WHO ARE EXPECTED TO ACQUIRE THE SAME KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS.”For the assessment to be common, no teacher can opt out of the process; it must be common to all teachers who teach that course or grade level.
BENEFITS OF COMMON FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS• Promote efficiency for teachers• Promote equity for students• Provide an effective strategy for determining whether the guaranteed curriculum is being taught and, MORE IMPORTANTLY, learned• Inform the practice of individual teachers• Build a TEAM‟S capacity to improve its program• Facilitate a systematic, collective response to students who are experiencing difficulty• Offer the most powerful tool for changing adult behavior and practice Bailey & Jakacic, 2012
QUARTERLY COMMON FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS • Measure proficiency on focus standards identified in common unit for each quarter • Are NOT meant to be summative and may NOT be used for a “grade” • INFORM teachers, administrators, students, and parents • Guide instruction • Help to identify students in need of intervention and enrichment • Help to identify strengths/weaknesses of curricular materials
AND THEN WHAT?• Monthly Admin Team conversations focusing on curriculum and data from CFAs• Site-level conversations during staff meetings and early- release days• District-wide conversations during early-release VTC meetings and in-service workshops• ACTION as a result of the conversations: • Intervention • Enrichment • Supplementary materials development • Mentoring and instructional coaching
ALASKA STANDARDS TIMELINE ROLL-OUT PHASESSelf-assessment Implementation Transition Awarenes s
ALASKA STANDARDSTIMELINE SY 2012-13 KEY: EED Work • Awareness SY 2014-15 Campaign • Continue with District/School • Transition curriculum Work Tools alignment and Developed implementation • Field test new assessment items June 2012 SY 2013-14 SY2015-16• Adoptio • Alignment of • All grades and n by curriculum to content taught State new standards to new board • Begin standards implementatio • Spring „16 new n of new assessment in standards place
OUR JOURNEY: A TEAM EFFORT INTENTIONAL and frequent conversations “Education” for stakeholders at ALL levels Work sessions at in-service & via VTC Site-level conversations at staff meetings On-demand presentations addressing “hot topics” HANDS-ON INVOLVEMENT for teachers Relentless focus on and attention to what matters most
“PROVIDING A QUALITY EDUCATION IN A RURAL ENVIRONMENT” www.crsd.us -> Teaching & Learning -> Resources for Superintendents
CONTACT US: Copper River School District PO Box 108 * Glennallen, AK * 99588 907.822.3234 / fax 907.822.3949 Michael Johnson, Superintendent firstname.lastname@example.org Tammy Van Wyhe, Director of Teaching & Learning Support email@example.com