Shorewood Teachers Work on Common Core Alignment
Each Wednesday, when Shorewood students are dismissed from school one hour early, the District’s teachers stay at school to work on a variety of tasks. One of the biggest projects our teachers are working on is aligning Shorewood’s current curriculum to the Common Core State Standards, which were adopted by Wisconsin in 2010.
The Common Core State Standards establish a single set of educational standards for K-12 schools in English/language arts and math. The standards are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are ready to enter post-secondary education programs or the workforce. The standards also provide parents, teachers and students with a clear understanding of the grade-level expectations in both math and English, which will give students from around the country a more consistent curriculum, even if they change schools or move between states. Click here for more information about the Common Core State Standards.
Besides the Common Core State Standards, Shorewood will also be implementing the New Generation Science Standards. Like the Common Core initiative, these standards identify the content as well as science and engineering practices that all students K-12 should learn before graduating from high school. For more information about these standards, click here.
Although it will likely take three to five years to fully align Shorewood’s curriculum to the standards, teachers from all grade levels are meeting by department this year to begin the process. For example, K-6 teachers have been working to create common reading and writing workshop units of study.
In addition to implementing the standards in traditional classes, such as English or Algebra, teachers of specials classes, like art, music and physical education, are meeting to document electronically their units of study for publication.
While there are no standards in place yet for social studies, department teachers have begun meeting to determine essential learning outcomes and document electronically their units of study for publication.
In Shorewood we believe that aligning our work to the Common Core, to clear essential learning outcomes, or units of study in other academic areas provides a solid foundation that defines what we want all students to know and be able to do. This work defines the floor for learning and commits us to the work of ensuring all students are standing on this floor. However, Common Core, essential learning outcomes, and units of study do not limit how far students can go. By clearly defining what we want all students to know and be able to do, we are more equipped to see opportunities for students who are ready to go well beyond this learning. Common Core establishes the floor but there is no limit to how far past the ceiling our students will continue to go. Common Core helps us ensure that all students are proficient or better but more importantly they help us identify the students who are ready to excel well beyond proficiency and to provide the learning opportunities to push them further.
Thursday September, 19, 2013 at 09:12AM
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