Working for the past 15 years in an underperforming inner city school district, I have become intimately familiar with the need to align all lessons to the state—and now federal—standards. This year, our district will be making an extra effort to ensure that teacher lessons are better aligned to the Common Core Standards.
My new role as the Supervisor of Instructional Technology within my district will have me walking through classrooms twice a week in order to see how teachers are teaching within our district and to give feedback on ways that we are using 21st-century skills well and ways we are aligning our teaching to the Common Core Standards. Part of what we have been asked to do is to ensure that teacher lesson books have lesson plans in them that align to these standards. As I have always done, I have begun to ask myself: how can we make this job easier for our teachers?
Knowing that my Andorid will be my lifeblood as I do these walkthroughs, I decided to look up some resources to help me make sure that I have a better grasp of all of the Common Core Standards for all grade levels—as I move through various grade level classrooms this year throughout the district. The first thing I came across is the app Common Core Standards by MasteryConnect. This app allows the user to pull up the Common Core Standard in both Math and Language Arts in grades K-12. The Standards are nicely arranged in categories where each standard can be selected to read a detailed description of that standard.
Thanks to a little help while searching online for additional resources, I came across a post by tech4ed that directed me to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Standards Aligned System’s website. This site was great because it offered lesson plans already aligned to the Common Core Standards. Each lesson is broken down by grade level and content area. When the lesson is selected, you then can see what Common Core Standard that lesson is aligned to. I will share this with my teachers. They will need a way to help quickly align lessons they plan to teach to the Common Core Standards and this site will help them do just that.
I then started to wonder if there was a lesson plan book my teachers could access from anywhere that would allow them to create lessons and then allow them to choose which Common Core Standards the lessons was aligned to. While once again doing a little searching, I came across LearnBoost, an online website offering a free online grade book that allows me to do just that. This tool will allow my teachers to easily create lessons, store them on the cloud and with a click of the button, align them to the Common Core Standards.
As a way to have the Common Core Standards in print, I came across this PDF that would help to give me one file listing all the Common Core Standards. Little did I know that this document would be such a great resource. While I was looking for a PDF to follow along with, I came across an article written for school CIO which reminded me of the product TestWiz by DataMetrics and the great job it’s doing with aligning to the Common Core Standards.
Now, it’s back to work for another school year where we work towards ensuring that all students are taught the Common Core Standards—and what better way to do that than through the integration of technology in our educator’s day.
Greg Limperis, now Supervisor of Instructional Technology for his district, was recently the Middle School Technology Facilitator in Lawrence, Mass., and founded the very popular Technology Integration in Education professional learning network, reaching thousands of educators worldwide. He has shared with others what he knows and they have joined him in sharing their insights as well. Join them in bringing about change using your 21st century skills.