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March 26, 2015

Shifting Instruction to the Core: Session II for Mathematics

Math teachers and Options Area administrators gathered this morning for their second session of Shifting Instruction to the Core, this time focusing on Core Actions Two and Three from the Instructional Practice Guides. Participants reflected on their implementation of "Multiple Representations" from our last session, worked through print and video resources on the Standards for Mathematical Practice, and engaged material to support the use of open questions and parallel tasks in mathematics classrooms. Session materials can be found below. 



  • Slide deck in PPT


March 25, 2015

Teaching the Core Video Library


Last week a wonderful resource went live - the Teaching the Core Video Library. This is a robust video library educators can use as we all continue to align teaching and learning to the Common Core and Instructional Shifts. 

The video library contains bell-to-bell classroom lessons focused on ELA/Literacy and Math, some of which feature teachers in Washoe County School District, and is easily searchable across all grade levels. Each video includes descriptive annotations for educator reviewers that call out a teacher action, student behavior, or lesson element that supports the CCSS and is aligned the the Instructional Practice Guides. Other resources include: a full set of lesson materials, examples of student work, and an interview with the featured teacher(s). (Full disclosure – I worked as one of the reviewers annotating lessons.) 

You can find the Teaching the Core Video Library here and read more about the details of the project here.

March 24, 2015

Quarter Four Intersession at RiSE Academy

This week is the fourth quarter interssion at Rise Academy for Adult Achievement and teachers gathered this afternoon to engage in professional learning. A portion of this session focused on the Key Advances for the ELA/Literacy CCRS for Adult Education and Instruction Moves to support teaching and learning aligned to the standards. Participants engaged in print and video resources from OCTAE, Carol Dweck, and Thomas Toch & Susan Headden. Resources for the session are available below. 



March 19, 2015

Shifting Instruction to the Core, Science Session II: Writing to Sources

Science teachers and their administrators gathered today for a second session of Shifting Instruction to the Core. Participants continued their focus on the  Instructional Shifts and Instructional Practice Guides from their previous session, this time with an emphasis on writing to sources. The session included a reflection on teacher's classroom use of Keep It or Junk It, a review of the Instructional Practice Guides and Argumentative Writing, a careful annotation of "The Writing Revolution", engagement in a lesson model for ranking evidence, and time to apply the lesson to their future lessons. Materials for the session are linked below.
  • Presentation deck in PDF

March 13, 2015

Professional Learning: EQuIP Session III for WCSD Implementation Specialists

As part of a continuing effort to help build the capacity of educators to better recognize and use highly Common Core-aligned materials, the Implementation Specialists and Instructional Coaches in Washoe County School District are engaging in ongoing professional learning around the EQuIP Rubric for Lessons & Units: ELA/Literacy (Grades 3-5) and ELA (Grades 6-12). During this third session participants continued to review a training lesson and apply the EQuIP ELA 3-12 Rubric to the materials and calibrated their feedback.Materials for today's session include:
  • Training Lesson: Ain’t I a Woman (not to be distributed as an exemplar)

March 12, 2015

Shifting Instruction to the Core, History-Social Studies Session II: Writing to Sources

History-Social Studies teachers and their administrators gathered Thursday for the second session of Shifting Instruction to the Core. Participants continued their focus on the  Instructional Shifts and Instructional Practice Guides from their previous session, this time with an emphasis on writing to sources. The session included a reflection on teacher's classroom use of Keep It or Junk It, a review of the Instructional Practice Guides and Argumentative Writing, a careful annotation of "The Writing Revolution", engagement in a lesson model for ranking evidence, and time to apply the lesson to their future lessons. Materials for the session are linked below.
  • Presentation deck in PDF
  • Model lesson for ranking evidence & argumentative paragraph writing 

March 11, 2015

Shifting Instruction to the Core: Computer Based Instruction & the Instructional Shifts

As part of Shifting Instruction to the Core, computer-based instruction teachers and administrators gathered today to explore how the Instructional Shifts might be reflected in their classrooms. Participants began by working with the Instructional Shifts and CCSS ELA Reading Anchor Standards and moved on to use ""The Alarming, Long-Term Consequences of Workplace Stress" by Gillian B. White to explore a variety of reading strategies students might use to better align teaching and learning the expectations of the Standards and Shifts. These included AVID Cornell Notes, Mind Maps, and Headings into Questions. Participants spend the end of the session planning for implementation of these strategies into their CBI classroom. Resources for this session include:


  • Presentation deck in PDF