I’m working through the PD modules recently posted to the achievethecore.org website. My notes from the 46 min introductory webinar are below (my thoughts included).
Student Achievement Partners
- Claim no intellectual property to modules/materials—use them at will
- Receive no state/local funding
- Have no financial connections to textbook companies
- True goal is to just offer information and resources for others to use to aide implementation efforts
- Feel free to adapt and modify
- Can be done in 1.5 hours
- Could do all modules over a few days or just one
- Can be done for full staff, small PLCs, just interested teachers (Personal thought–I think this is wonderful. Here I sit, by myself, working through these modules simply because I am interested in the information contained therein–interested in learning and keeping abreast of available common core resources. Because I can do it on my own and engage in my own professional learning without an administrator, department head, curriculum person, etc. telling me to do the work, any teacher can engage in this learning as well. Educators should always be advocates for their own professional growth)
- All very relevant work, created for and ready to be used in a variety of contexts by curriculum coordinators, principals, teacher leaders, teachers, etc.
- All come with annotated PPTs—“so individuals feel comfortable to deliver this information”
- Quality implementation of the standards demands attention and thought, so modules include hands-on activities and discussion topics (It has only been through really diving into the standards and trying some of the work on my own that I have been able to continue developing my understanding of the standards. 10 months of intense standards study, and I’m still learning all the time!)
Why these modules first?
- Math: Key Shifts—really understanding the “forest for the trees.” This module outlines what really is different from previous standards. Really understanding these shifts deeply is a very important first move.
- ELA: Key Shifts—Same rationale as Math
- Text-Dependent Questions—The questions students respond to must require evidence from the text. Explains why these questions are important, evaluating these types of questions, and how to develop. Added with first batch of PD modules because 1) It’s a K-12 concept, 2) It’s a cross-content concept, 3) You don’t have to buy or change anything to just ask better questions using the materials you already have. (The school year is coming quickly, and if you/your teachers haven’t been doing intense work in the common core this summer, this is a practical place to start. Increasing the quality and level of questions asked in classrooms subsequently increases the rigor of lessons, holds students to higher expectations, and allows for more critical thinking. It’s also a relatively easy change to make in all content areas.)
- Implications for Instructional Leadership—RTT schools went from rating instructional leadership at beginning of RTT as least important to now, it is the most important piece of implementation. Because CCSS is about changing practices and redesigning our education paradigm, it takes leadership to lead CC implementation. This module is appropriate for leaders at all levels (including teacher leaders!).
We are all learning—there was once a time when we thought instructional leaders had to be experts. This is not the case. We are all learning as we go, and these modules support that mindset. (I appreciate that she said this. I don’t think anyone is an expert in common core at this point, and it’s important for teachers to collaborate and come to common, and informed understandings of common core expectations.)
Accessing and Using the Modules
- Though the PD section says it is “creative commons” license, you do not have to attribute use of the modules to them. They have changed their mind on this—they do ask that people are pointed to the achievethecore.org website to access the documents instead of hosting them elsewhere.
- Each module includes: Facilitator’s Guide for notes and guidance, Presentation slides (with and without facilitator’s notes), handouts and activities
- Can click email icon to receive an email when there are updates to each resource