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Write for Signpost - Issue # 3 - The Common Core

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    Ben Smith

There is tremendous buzz in the field of education about "aligning" to the Common Core State Standards.  Expeditionary Learning believes that our vision of teaching and learning can illuminate how teachers can leverage the CCSS in service of deeper learning.  Our January edition of Signpost will help paint a picture of EL's unique approach to the CCSS by offering articles that show what it means to truly meet the "Common Core challenge" with a sense of purpose, joy, and high student engagement. 

Please help us by writing an article describing what you are learning, and the difference it is making for students. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • As a teacher, how has the transition from state standards to the Common Core affected your curriculum plans for the year? Have you designed or significantly modified expeditions, case studies in order to address the standards? How are you making sense of the instructional shifts (three in literacy, three in math), and how is that impacting your long-term planning or daily instruction?  How are your daily lessons different?  What difference is this making for students?  Have you had particularly successful professional development around implementing the Common Core?  What are your dilemmas related to meeting the CCSS within the context of EL's model? 
  • As a school leader, what are the best ways you've found to support your teachers? What professional development opportunities have seemed particularly helpful to your staff? How is your staff's work with CCSS affecting expedition planning or teacher collaboration? What are your concerns as you prepare for full implementation and eventual assessments based on the standards? Have you discussed the changes with your broader school community, including parents?
  • We are also looking for student voices to write about how they are adapting to the Common Core. What have they experienced as they seek to master things like close readings of informational texts? Or writing with evidence? Or reasoning abstractly or quantitatively? 

Please send your ideas to Todd Felton by November 5. Final drafts will be due the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 26.