Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 1: Utah Core Academy: Common Core LA Standards Training

Today I started the first day of a four day training dedicated solely to the Common Core Language Arts Standards that the great state of Utah has adopted.  I decided to come on every day and share some of the information or ideas that I have learned from the day's session.

Today we went over the LA Common Core for third grade into some depth and looked at what we were already doing in our teaching practices, and what was new that would need to be implemented.  It was good to see that much of it was what I was already doing.  However, I have learned that I really need to beef of my expectations for my students quite a bit.  This is true for all teachers.  It's time to re-evaluate our current teaching practices. :)

The main focus of this training will be on Writing.

Ideas that I learned today that I liked:
  • Thinkpads:  A "Thinkpad" is a notebook (spiral or composition book) where the students will write in for specific tasks.  
  • Quick Write:  This is a writing activity that could be done at any point in the day (not during your instructional writing time) where the students write for 4-5 minutes without stopping.  At first this might be a difficult task,  but with time they will build up stamina.  This stamina will help them to be better writers.
  • Knew-New-Q:  This is a quick writing assignment where the kids write down what they already KNEW before starting that day, something that they learned today that was NEW, and then one Question they might have.  (This can be set up just like a KWL chart)
The standards for the Lexile range for 2nd and 3rd grade has been bumped up to 450-790.

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