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Understanding the Structures of Common Core Curriculum

Engaging in Professional Growth and Leadership
Prezi Presentation Link: A Framework for Design Author Stream Presentation Link: Professional Growth in the Common Core Presenter: Mike King SLIDE ONE: Into the World of Endless Opportunities "Today’s educators must provide a learning environment that takes students beyond the walls of their classrooms and into a world of endless opportunities"

SLIDE TWO: Overview: Our objective for this presentation is to understand the mission and goals for adopting technology into the Common Core. Today we will review the NET Standards as they apply to teachers and administrators, we will create a unit of study and demonstrate how technology can be incorporated into the common core using the Unit Development Template. Along our way we will create a theme for today's unit, show how the theme becomes a part of the essential questions and how the essential question drives the selected content of a unit. SLIDE THREE: So let's get started by first selecting today's content. Our content will be based on National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for administrators and teachers which states, "Today’s educators must provide a learning environment that takes students beyond the walls of their classrooms and into a world of endless opportunities" SLIDE FOUR: NET Standard 2: Engaging in Professional Growth and Leadership SLIDE FIVE: Essential Question: How can we model digital age work in the classroom to ensure that students understand the essential skills needed to compete in the work force of tomorrow? SLIDE SIX: The process of adopting technology into the with the Common Core has five stages, (1) determining gaps within the existing curriculum while unpacking standards, (2) determining real life themes of study through the establishment of an essential question and constructing a curriculum web to identify standards to be included in a unit of study, (3) creating multidimensional task using a rigorous/relevance framework, (4) designing performance based assessments for real world applications and (5) developing unit maps that are tied to standards. The five tools required to complete a unit of study are assembled around the Common Core Unit Development Model.

SLIDE SEVEN: The Unit Development model pictured here represents the necessary steps and tools needed in developing a Common Core unit of study. Notice that the outer rings represent the units of study that are constructed from a unit development template. SLIDE EIGHT: Identifying gaps is a process that will help identify the discrepancy, or the gap, between the current state curriculum – “What Is” –which is identified teacher practices–and the common core curriculum.

SLIDE NINE: The first step in developing a Common Core unit is to bring a team of content teachers PLC (Professional Learning Community) members together to existing gaps between the current curriculum and the new Common Core using the Content Analyzer and to select a theme for unit development.

SLIDE TEN: First we have to Determining Gaps within the Existing Curriculum and Unpacking Standards A gap occurs when content previously taught at one grade level is now included in the Common Core at an earlier grade level. Thus, as students move to the next grade, they will miss exposure to that content. Slide Eleven: The gap may occur between one or more grade levels. A gap does not occur if the content is now present in an upper grade level. This simply means that students will be exposed to that content in a later grade. Using the Content Analyzer is a process designed to guide schools or school districts in identifying where gaps in the current curriculum may occur as they begin to transition to the new Common Core Standards. SLIDE ELEVEN: Completion of the gap analysis will enable the PLC Team to answer the equity and adequacy questions relative to curricular practices. The following short guide outlines recommended steps for beginning indepth analyses to focus the work of state education agencies, districts, or school leaders in leading change in curriculum and instruction to meet the new Common Core Standards. The following link provides a short guide to recommended steps for beginning in-depth analyses to aligning existing state curriculum to the Common Core. (Content Analyzer)

SLIDE TWELVE: In this portion of the presentation a discussion on how to integrate NET standards into existing Common Core Standards using a Curriculum Web.

SLIDE THIRTEEN: To create a Curriculum Web two important elements must be available, the central theme of the unit and the selected standards that will be emphasized within the unit. SLIDE FOURTEEN: At the center of the curriculum web is the central theme or essential question, and spanning outward from the theme are the strands, each relating to a different set of standards. To accomplish this task the PLC team will need to know how the ELA Common Core codes are structured in terms of strands, standards and numbering system. SLIDE FIFTEEN: What is the Essential Question in the Theme?: For a Common Core Unit to be successful, the theme must allow for many different areas of exploration and should relate to some facet of the students' lives so that it will capture their interest and give the unit a real-life application. SLIDE SIXTEEN: Each standard articulates what students are to learn by the end of a school year. For the purpose of understanding the difference between strands/domains and standards each are given a special coding. Letters are associated with the strands/domains while numbers are assigned to the standards. In the chart below each ELA strand is represented by the number of standards and subsets associated with Common Core coding practices. For more information on how ELA Common Core Standards are organized go to http://digitalsandbox.weebly.com/curriculum-web.html SLIDE SEVENTEEN: Using these codes to formulate a curriculum web will help demonstrate how each strand is related to common core standards and their subsets. As stated earlier the purpose in developing a curriculum web is to show relationships between standards and theme or essential question. To display this relationship an example of a curriculum web for an unit entitled "Author and Artist" has been provided below. SLIDE EIGHTEEN: Integrating Technology Standards: The next step in developing the Curriculum Web would be to integrate additional standards that support the ELA standards charted for the unit, such as NETS Technology Standards. To integrate technology standards would be to construct the a curriculum coding system using the same structure as the ELA standards by identifying grade level technology strands and standards that support each strand. An example of how these strands could be developed is used by the Topeka School District in Kansas. The Topeka School District uses six strands for eighth grade that are identified by number of standards in progressive numerical order as the standard code is attached by the number of standards identified under each strand. An example of how codes are assigned to each strand is provided in the chart below. (See Curriculum Web)

SLIDE NINETEEN: To integrate the Common Core unit standards the PLC team would chart the Technology Standards within the ELA curriculum web as they match to the skills needed within the theme of the unit. The technology standards could be linked to the specific theme independently like, "ET.08.312: Develop a collaborative project using online tools." or integrated directly to an ELA standard within the unit like, "ET.08.3.10: Determine the most appropriate search engine for a given task." (See Example of

Educational Technology Standards Topeka School District) The curriculum web below provides a schematic diagram of how technology standards, represented in the blue ovals, can be integrated in a unit of study that are both tied to the ELA standard or independently tied to a theme. SLIDE TWENTY: To complete this process successfully should promote high yield instructional practices by bringing together elements of the Common Core curriculum, assessment, and instruction (of materials and practices) into a coherent, workable unit of study. This process is accomplished when using the Common Core Unit Development Template which includes two of the remaining three tools. The two tools represented in the template include, constructing task using the rigor and relevance tool and developing performance assessments. SLIDE TWENTY-ONE: When constructing a Common Core unit, NET 21st Century learning standards for students are to be taken into consideration. The supporting NET Standards within the unit will build strong capacity for the development of future work related skills. In part four of our presentation we will provide you with information on how to construct a Common Core thematic unit. According to definition of a unit of study within the Common Core four types of constructed units. These four types of units can be selected from the following list;

1. Thematic - emphasizes the use of an essential question or big idea to support the theme of the unit. 2. Genre based - emphasizes an approach with the whole text as the unit in focus rather than the sentence. The focus on the whole texts implies that there is higher level of order and patterning in language than just in sentence-grammar at the level of discourse, like the organization and metapatterning of grammatical features. 3. Skill-based—Emphasizes application (writing narratives; using context to determine meanings of words) 4. Topic-based--Emphasizes a cluster of skills related to one topic but that contains several skills

Conclusion It is important to note here that our selection was primarily determined within the theme frame work. The reason for thematic preference over the other three types of units is that thematic common core units is flexible to integration of multiple standards outside of isolated strands. Additionally the essential question within the theme plays a key role in constructing the scaffolding need to constantly articulate learning parameters of the unit.

For more information on intergrating technology into the classroom visit The Digital Sandbox.