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Common Core Curriculum Training in NYC

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    April Hattori

Expeditionary Learning this month trained more than 700 New York City teachers who will be using its Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum for Grades 3-8 this fall.

About 200 schools have signed up for the online curriculum.  The New York City Department of Education  (NYCDOE) is also providing schools printed versions of the curriculum.

The NYCDOE chose Expeditionary Learning as one of two ELA curriculum providers for Grades 3-5, and also as one of two for Grades 6-8.  Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum, created in collaboration with the New York State Education Department and authors of the Common Core State Standards, combines high quality, rigorous, standards-aligned content with effective instructional practice, bringing together the “what” and the “how” of the standards. Teachers who use these materials are not only ensured that they are addressing the standards, they are also being coached to use proven instructional strategies that actively engage students.  Schools can sign up for additional professional development services in addition to the training.

 “At the training meetings, our goal was to give teachers an understanding of the research and theory behind the curriculum and enrich their practice with hands on activities.  We’re pleased with the positive reaction to both the curriculum and training,” said Cheryl Dobbertin, Director of Professional Development.

Leslie Liang, a Grade 7-12 teacher at Hunter’s Point Community School who has never used the curriculum, liked the detail the curriculum provides.  “I’m very excited about it.  I’m taking everything and adapting it to my lessons,” she said.

Tom Sjogren, a teacher at the International School of Liberal Arts in the Bronx, found Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum late last year and started using it with his students. “I did the curriculum without any PD.  It was great to see the methodology and reasoning behind the structure.  The curriculum is rigorous and is aligned with the PARCC assessments.”  All of the students at his school are English Language Learners.

Cheryl noted that next steps for Expeditionary Learning in New York City include reconvening with teachers in the fall after they have worked with the curriculum and generated work samples.  “Looking at these examples of student work, we can help them accelerate learning and determine where the gaps are,” she said.

For more information on Expeditionary Learning’s Common Core curriculum, visit: elschools.org/commoncoresuccess.