5 Steps Needed To Master the Common Core
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of best practices for teaching in schools and a way of ensuring that teachers leverage their own skills to the best of their abilities. The common core demands that you learn, reflect, leap, collaborate and execute. Here is a breakdown of what those terms mean with regards to CCSS.
1 - Learn
You must continue your personal education whilst teaching others. You should focus on the standards that apply to your grade levels only, but you should review the grades above your own. Doing this will help you to better set your teaching priorities. You should watch a few videos on CCSS and have a look at CCSS libraries that have been arranged via grade level.
2 - Reflect
Look for CCSS-aligned rubrics in online libraries and look for lessons and units too. You need to look for gaps in your own knowledge and skills, as well as looking for the gaps in essential concepts. You need to reflect in order to recognize your weaknesses whilst focusing on your strengths.
3 - Leap
You leap by planning your goals and targets in advance. You must review what you have learnt in the past and apply it to your future plans, making such that your efforts build towards the completion of your targets and goals. You must create student-friendly learning targets with the help of CCSS resources, and collect publications which show the practice of backwards design.
4 - Collaborate
Try to join as many collaboration communities as you can, as they all have a common CCSS framework that you can learn from. You can add to your community by creating open-source (free rights) lessons, and may watch the lessons of others. You can use social media (web 2.0) to allow you to collaborate with a wide variety of others. You will also find that they there are many collaborative interactions that enrich the participants with professional dialogue.
5 - Execute
This is where you take your own best practices and reflection and execute your plan. You link you appropriate skills and knowledge to ensure your students learn better and better engage. You make use of websites and platforms that are all about contemporary connections and current events.
As a process, you will see that the aim is to learn as much as you can, and then apply it to the way you teach. However, the notion of learning all you can is often associated with curated research. This is not the way that the five steps needed to master the common core work. It takes a bit of study via online libraries etc., but it also takes collaborative learning, and more importantly it takes reflection.
Your own experiences are going to help you to create a structure for your teaching, and it going to help you focus your own goals. Mastering the common core is not about creating a teaching methodology that applies to all, it is about manufacturing and evolving a teaching methodology that applies to you and your specific students.