With a majority of U.S. states on track to fully implementing the Common Core State Standards during this year, many around the nation are left with questions about the changes in education and how the implementation will happen. Whether you’re a fan of the new standards or not, field testing has already started in 36 states and will continue through June, and there is growing pressure on teachers to get ready for the complete Common Core roll-out. In many cases, teachers are expected to promote the standards and fully understand the implementation and purpose of the CCSS, but are you prepared?
1. Become a student of CCSS
Although teachers are usually on the other side of the desk, becoming a student to the CCSS will allow teachers to take the important plunge into learning what the new stardards entail and how they will change your classroom. Professional development is essential for teachers to continue to progress and develop a classroom year by year, and the implementation of the Common Core is no different. There are courses available based on Common Core mathematics and Common Core ELA that enable teachers to see the differences between the old and new standards as well as provide opportunities to learn how to transform a current lesson plan into one that is aligned with the Common Core standards. Besides, how are you supposed to teach something to your students without learning it yourself first? Check out these affordable online courses, which include lesson plans you can use in your classroom tomorrow.
2. Clean up your classroom
Once you’ve learned about the CCSS through your professional development courses, it is time to do some serious closet cleanup in your classroom. Many old lesson plans and past student work will only clutter your newly Common Core aligned classroom. No, this doesn’t mean you need to take a leaf blower to every old copy of material you’ve got tucked away, but now would be a great time to sift through the weeds to find the gold. Stick with tried and true lessons and use them as foundation to build your new course plans with the help of quality resources and materials.
3. Get ready to implement
By now you’ve learned the best practices of the Common Core State Standards, you’ve de-cluttered and regrouped and you’re ready to get down to business. One of the biggest changes in the CCSS is the development of a student-centered and task-oriented classroom. This is a big change for most teachers, who have been using traditional teaching methods of lectures and take-home work. In order to change how your classroom operates, find new resources that you can use to develop a new plan of teaching. Explore other Common Core materials already existing, and see how others are using them to enhance their classrooms and lesson plans. Find what works for your style of teaching and what your students need to accomplish. Remember, this is a learning process for all teachers, so collaboration and discussion are essential to creating the best possible lesson plans for you to implement the Common Core in your classroom.
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