When I first started teaching it was without the benefit of textbooks. Although at the time I thought of it as a hardship, looking back I realize that the lack of textbooks is what enabled my team and I to really focus on the standards and teach to them, instead of following a textbook scope and sequence.
I look back on those early days of teaching with fondness. I was working with a team of three other teachers, and we did all of our planning and photocopying together, as a team. We spent common planning time pouring over the standards together, deciding how we would assess mastery of those standards, and then we would pull our resources together to teach to those standards. It was a great system, and I long to get back to it.
I see the implementation of the Common Core Standards as my golden ticket to getting back to planning and teaching in a way that truly makes sense to me. As this school year winds down, teachers all over the world are thinking about how they want to change things next year and asking themselves what they can do better. It’s one of the areas that I find inspiration in my role as a teacher. Every year I get a fresh start, a chance to make things better, a clean slate.
With this new school year I’m going to dive into the Common Core Standards. I’ve been slowly implementing the CCS over the past two years, but I’m going to be moving to the middle school next year and starting over anyway, so what better time to implement the standards completely than right now?
Not to be a buzz kill with summer vacation right around the corner, but I plan to spend a lot of my vacation time this summer planning curriculum and writing Learning Targets. Learning targets are simply the standards in kid-friendly language, specific to the lesson for the day and directly connected to assessment. I had learning targets in mind when I had the vinyl cut for my whiteboard in the picture above.
I’m very excited about implementing the CCS.
How about you? Are you ready?
*Jill Scott, Controlling My Chaos