Have you seen this? Last week a colleague forwarded a video that was a great reminder of the components of effective instruction. After watching, it occurred to me that while the content may be common knowledge to some, it is not common knowledge to all. Further thought led me to ask, “If it is not common knowledge for all, then can we really expect effective implementation of ‘next generation a.k.a. internationally benchmarked a.ka. college and career readiness’ standards?” I would argue, “No, we cannot.”
I’m sharing the video here with a few points to consider for the first 4 of the 8 ideas mentioned. (The remaining four will follow next week.) While you may say, “I’m good with this stuff,” my question to you is, “Are your colleagues and/or your staff good with this stuff?” If not, then collectively we’re not good with this stuff.
Take a a look at the video How Youth Learn and the points to consider that follow below.
As a recap, here is a screenshot of Ned’s GR8 8.
Points to consider:
1. I feel okay.
One thing Ned stated was “I’m not stressing or worrying.” The statement made me wonder: do we make our students stress or worry about failure? How do the test taking parties and promises of gifts to the highest performer contribute to their stress? What authentic culture and hope building activities do you engage in all year to help your students “feel okay”? Check out chapters 4 and 5 of Jensen’s book to plan how to build a culture of hope and prolonged success among your students while reducing their stress and worry. (Note that whether your students are in poverty or not, his recommendations are practical and beneficial for all students.)
2. It matters.
When I ask teachers, “Why should your students care about learning what you’re teaching?” the answer tends to be, “Because it’s the standard.” My next question is then, “Why should your students care about that?” Do teachers and leaders go to work everyday thinking about their teaching and leadership standards? Most likely not. So why should that answer be enough for your students? It’s not. As educators we have to engage in some critical and creative thinking of our own. How can we help students make authentic connections with the content to the discipline of study, to other disciplines and to themselves? How do you as the practitioner think beyond the standards to help students make practical and relevant connections? The Core Deconstructed helps you arrive at those answers.
3. It’s active.
Ned stated, “Just taking notes is not active.” I would add that completing a packet of worksheets isn’t active either. How do you ensure that the sheets you put before students support the activity of learning and are not simply busy work? Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites is a good place to start to plan how to move away from packets of worksheets…especially in math! Making Thinking Visible is also another great resource.
4. It stretches me.
The Common Core is explicit about the need to move students beyond the simple recall and understand levels of learning that worksheets tend to encourage. Particularly in math, the language of the standards state, “[students] ought to engage with the subject matter as they grow in mathematical maturity and expertise (CCSS for Mathematics, n.d.).” Check out this pin, then ask yourself, “How do the teachers at my school plan to ensure that students are able to move toward the expert level?”
These are Ned’s first four. Next week we’ll consider points for the remaining four ideas shared in the video. In the meantime, what are your answers the questions presented today? Are you absolutely clear about all of your answers for yourself, your team or your staff? If not, there’s much planning to do this summer.
P.S. The Core Deconstructed is being modified for all mobile devices (not just the iPad) and set to be re-released this summer. Tweet, email, or comment below to let me know you would like to be updated.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (n.d.). Common Core State Standards Initiative-Preparing America’s Students for College & Careers.