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30 Nov 13

Excellent word clouds created by Ben Rimes over at Tech Savvyed related to the Common Core State standards. This demonstrates how technology standards are related and embedded in the standards, particularly the writing standards. This is one big reason I'm publishing the book "Reinventing Writing." I think a lot of people know they need to write with technology but just don't understand how. This blog post is useful to read if you're having anything to do with Common Core implementation and these charts would be useful to share with your teachers in a quick teacher's meeting. Great post, Ben!

21 Oct 13

Through the end of the year, Discovery just sent me a note that they are offering these three common core academies at no cost. Here's the info from Steve Dembo. I've done some work with their SIEMENS STEM Academy and am a sTAR Educator and everything they do is top notch. If you can work it out before the end of the year, this is something you'll want to do.

From Steve Dembo:
"We know that implementing the Common Core can be an uphill climb.

That's why Discovery Education is proud to partner with educators to offer Common Core Academies in ELA, Math, and Leadership at no cost.

From now until the end of the school year, educators across America are invited to sign up for an Academy and receive:
practical strategies to implement CCSS
reseach-based instructional practices
best practices in using digital content
resources and digital tools for immediate classroom integration
Discovery Education Common Core Academies offer one day of immersive professional development and two follow-up virtual sessions at no cost to support educators and leaders in effectively implementing the Common Core State Standards.

Educators may choose from three Academies offering a unique combination that brings together best practices in digital integration with proven research-based instructional practices:

Literacy and the Common Core in a Digital World
Teaching and Assessing Common Core Math in a Digital World
Leadership Strategies to Support Digital Literacy and the Common Core"

22 May 13

You can help them think deeper but it takes time and sharpening the saw. Great article.

"A common occurrence in classrooms is that the teacher, when he or she sees the students struggle mightily to "think out of the box" will precipitously step in and give the students the answers, or throw the deeper learning activity out all together, thinking that the students aren't ready for it. What these students and the teachers need is to be patient, practice and build those mental muscles over time. One thing that helps teachers and students is a better understanding the nature of the advanced thinking tools."

17 Apr 13

Last week a 20 page document was issued from the Common Core Math standards writers to make "more clearly visible" where materials faithfully reflect both the letter and spirit of the math standards... I read in this... just because it SAYS it is common core math aligned, doesn't mean it is. Read this before buying and tread with caution.

17 Apr 13

Not sure where this blog will move, but if you're aligning with common core math, Darren Burris is your man. There are so many great resources on this website.

13 Apr 13

There are many nations (like Finland) who have national standards but local flexibility. This technologist writes an article supporting Common Core while saying that many don't understand what they contain. Honestly, I see another person who hasn't read some of them.

My biggest issue is - who controls the standards and how can they be revised in the future.In a country showing a poor ability to keep politicians from writing standards, by centralizing they become easy target to the whims and sways of the pendulum of politics in the US. That said, I think national standards are likely inevitable.I just hope they put enough different people onto Common Core that group think doesn't send us in a very bad direction. If we have national standards and make it there, they become very important to our future as a country.

25 Feb 13

Free tools for implementing common core standards in the US.

25 Feb 13

The Florida Center for Reading Research has created an incredibly useful set of downloadable activities aligned to common core standards for fourth and fifth grade students. If you're teaching reading, you'll want to refer to this and dowlnoad some of these PDF's.

31 Dec 12

Nice article at edweek about the informational texts versus great works of literature debate and what Common Core will do to lit. The one important, practical issue that all parties to this discussion MUST recognize - the classroom time is FINITE. Teachers would love to cover EVERYTHING but it just isn't practical. So, if one thing is emphasized over another, it may push something out. Unintended consequences are happening as people "align" their curriculum to common core standards. As all of the pundits and advocates argue this, it would be telling to sit down with an actual aligned curriculum to SEE what happens where the standards meet the lesson plans and what is actually pushed out - until then - it is all, rhetoric. Give us practical application, we're teachers, after all.

From the edweek article:
"Until recently, the closest we'd come to a major speech on the nonfiction-versus-fiction question was a piece in the Huffington Post by the English/language arts standards' co-authors, David Coleman and Sue Pimentel, insisting that literature "is not being left by the wayside."

The message to rally the troops must have gone out, however. Because since the Coleman/Pimentel piece appeared, the common core's defenders have stepped up to counterbalance the literature-pushout crowd. The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation's Kathleen Porter-Magee, for instance, posted a piece arguing that it's a misinterpretation of the standards to say that teachers will have to teach less literature.

In a recent email blast, the Foundation for Excellence in Education—led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the common core's biggest backers—declaimed the "misinformation flying around" about what will happen to literature under the common standards. "Contrary to reports," it said, "classic literature will not be lost with the implementation of the new standards." A glance at the standards' own suggested text lists, it noted, "reveals that the common core recognizes the importance of balancing great literature and historical nonfiction pieces.""

29 Jun 12

Educators are coming together to say they will reject textbooks and instructional materials not aligned with Common Core Math and literacy standards. My new book, Collaborative writing in the cloud, will be aligned with common core writing standards. This is a collective effort. If you're a publisher or author, read this article.

15 Apr 12

Common Core Career lesson kit from Lenovo that you can download for free for grades K-8. 

27 Mar 12

Eric Sheninger shares notes from a presentation at ASCD about Global Competencies and the Common Core. Of course, there are many other resources that are connecting globally besides the Asia Society - iEarn, ePals, Global Schoolnet, and (of course) Flat Classroom Projects as well as sites like eTwinnings. Great read to frame the thoughts around global competence and common core. I look forward to being at Eric's school in October.

27 Mar 12

I like that those in the great lakes area are talking about the important things that those living in the Great Lakes area should know. This points out one important factor as one moves to common core approaches. We must leave room in the curriculum for local and regional issues. In fact, I think it should be carved out of the standards that local literacy in history, science, literature, and all subjects should be included. This is part of the "think globally act locally" glocalization that Friedman talks about in his book. As states move to Common core - they must again, specify some room for local issues.

14 Feb 12

A popular white paper from Lauren Davis at Eye on Education for schools that are using common core.

15 Oct 11

Suzie Nestico is our project manager for this semester's Flat Classroom project and is doing an incredible job. She is a history teacher and is doing work at her Pennsylvania school to align everything with common core.Here,you can see her transparency with her students about each aspect of the FlatClassroom project, what they are doing, and how those things are aligned with what they need to know. While she very humbly pointed out to me that her blog is just beginning and still a work in process with some things to iron out - it is a great example of how global collaboration, common core, and core courses can go hand in hand.

in list: Flat Classroom

28 Sep 11

Article about Georgia Dept of Ed rollout of common core standards and their self admitted botched rollout of state standards several years back. The worst issue from my discussions with Georgia Public school teachers was the attempt at Math I, II, III, an attempt to combine Algebra, Geometry, Trig and Statistics. Not only did the teachers complain but so did parents. I know of several math teachers who quit over this. This is what happens in experiments like this. Standards sound great but who writes them? What happens when they are cumbersome? Look at technology standards which many (including me) think are way too heavily influenced by industry.

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