Category Archives: Standards

Looking Forward to 2013-14 School Year

UbD-SummaryA message from Will Pierce, Director of Student Achievement:

Hello 27J Educators,

We hope your summer is offering you exactly what you need this summer, rather it be relaxing with your families, traveling the world, or actively learning and preparing for the up-coming 2013-14 school year.  Our team is trying to have a little bit of it all this summer.

As the student achievement team prepares for the up-coming school year, we felt it necessary to share some curricular changes with all of you.  This is the year that the “new” Colorado Academic Standards, and National Common Core Standards go live.  We know that many of you have been “playing” with these standards and you can expect more “play” this coming year at your school, within your departments, and across the district, as we continue our work toward Thinking Classrooms, and actualizing the teaching practices that we know produces higher levels of learning.

As a district we want every student in every classroom to be chasing rigorous instructional goals, and these goals are derived from standards.  We want our students to be assessed in ways that show evidence of learning toward these goals.  We want our students to be in classroom environments, and have educational experiences, where they have the responsibility for the attainment of such learning.

Instructional Goals (from Standards)… EvidenceLearning Experiences.  The new standards are only part, but an essential part, of what we want for every classroom.  For a view of the new 27J standards, resources, and links, please visit the Student Achievement Page on the 27J website.  There are plenty of resources available to you to help you interact with and understand the new standards if you follow the various tabs and links.

Please enjoy the remainder of your summer, and we will look forward to your return after a hopefully amazing summer.

A Day with Planning, Standards and Thinking Classrooms

This week the Student Achievement team met with a cohort of district teachers, literacy coaches and administrators to continue the work they started last year. The work centered around the three “stages” of backward unit planning–The Big Idea, Assessment Evidence, and Daily Instruction–based on the Understanding By Design principles.

The question of the day was “Why the Thinking Classroom?” Attendees had several opportunities to answer this question within the frame of one of the three stages. Here are some of the responses and comments –

“…to teach the skills and processes to access the content”

“…to instill inquisitiveness in our students”

“…It hurts to think, especially when you are asked to do things you haven’t been asked before”

“…innovation needs space to breathe”

“…why wouldn’t we want thinking classrooms?”

To facilitate our work and our thinking about this question, we used several videos as “thought jump-starts”. Check them out and then share your answer to the question.

Above and Beyond
Above & Beyond is a story about what is possible when communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity take center stage in schools and transform learning opportunities for all kids.

Tedx Talk: How to Learn from Mistakes
Diana Laufenberg, a teacher in Philadelphia, shares surprising things she has learned about teaching — including a key insight about learning from mistakes and the history around where knowledge is stored.

The Formative Principles of the Common Core Standards
Phil Daro, a mathematics expert who helped author the national Common Core Standards, talks about what the new standards are, and what they are not. Our work is starting with instruction in the classroom, and we will be spending more time in the upcoming year delving more into standards, including Common Core, Colorado Academic, WIDA and others.

Seinfeld Teaches History
In this classic Saturday Night Live skit, Jerry Seinfeld plays a teacher trying to get his students to “Think History”. It is an entertaining reminder that the mindshift of teaching in a Thinking Classroom is not only hard for teachers, but hard for students as well.

Add you Comments and share your answer to the question: “Why the Thinking Classroom?”
photo credit: Krissy.Venosdale via photopin cc

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