Tag: common core

Common Core Language: Teach Your Students to Speak Like a Geek

common coreHere’s a free lesson plan from the newest Ask a Tech Teacher book, How to Achieve Common Core with Tech–the Language Strand. This covers K-8, 87 Standards, and has 8 projects.

BTW, the lines at the front of each step are to check off the skill–track progress in case you don’t complete it in one class period. Feel free to print to out for your classroom use:

Essential Question

Why is appropriate vocabulary essential to academic success?

Lesson Summary

Students teach each other domain-specific words through presentations. This reinforces vocabulary, as well as presentation skills.

By the end of this unit, 3rd-middle school students will review up to 7 L, 4 SL, and 1 WHST, as well as authentically use and review Tier 3 vocabulary (or optionally, Tier 2).

Big Ideas

  • Words are beautiful.
  • Knowing Tier 3 vocabulary helps students understand the subject.

Materials

Internet, Speak Like a Geek assessments, Speak Like a Geek sign-ups

Teacher Preparation

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keyboarding

Common Core Breathes Life into Keyboarding

keyboardingAs you read the 100+ pages of Common Core’s ELA and Math standards, you realized that technology is woven throughout as one of the tools students use to prepare for college and career. It is mentioned at least a dozen times (I’ve truncated the bullet list for convenience, but the gist is the same)–

  • Expect students to demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding to type a minimum of one page [two by fifth grade, three by sixth] in a single sitting
  • Expect students to evaluate different media (e.g., print or digital …)
  • Expect students to gather relevant information from print and digital sources
  • Expect students to integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats
  • Expect students to interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., … interactive elements on Web pages)
  • Expect students to make strategic use of digital media
  • Expect students to use glossaries or dictionaries, both print and digital
  • Expect students to use information from illustrations and words in print or digital text
  • Expect students to use a variety of media in communicating ideas
  • Expect students to use technology and digital media strategically and capably
  • Expect students to use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information

Use of technology differentiates for student learning styles by providing an alternative method of achieving conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and applying this knowledge to authentic circumstances.

New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and audio.

The first bullet point–Expect students to demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding to type a minimum of one page [two by fifth grade, three by sixth] in a single sitting–has garnered a lot of attention from not just tech specialists, but all educators because it quantifies keyboarding skill, something not done in the ISTE national standards or many of the disparate state standards.

Last week, Washington Post writer Lindsey Layton wrote a front page article (of the Sunday Education section) on this topic and asked several teachers about their experiences with keyboarding in the classroom. I was thrilled to be included in that list and wanted to share the article with you. I know you’ll enjoy it:

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Common Core requires publishing. Technology makes that happen

common coreThere are a variety of overarching themes in Common Core–‘integrate technology into classroom inquiry’, ‘encourage collaboration and sharing in student work’, ‘use technology to prepare students for college and career’. Each of these could take weeks to wrap into classwork, but there’s one organic tool that accomplishes all three of these while fulfilling a fourth recurring Common Core standard required at all grade levels: Publish student work. Look at this (credit: NGA Center and CCSSO:

  • Kindergarten: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.6 With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • First grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.6 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • Second grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.6 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • Third grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.6 With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • Fourth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Fifth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Sixth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Seventh grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Eighth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
This vertical planning is typical of Common Core where grade-level standards are built from core constructs and scaffolded off prior years.

Book Review: Common Core Lesson Plans

common coreTHE KEY TO ALIGNING YOUR K-5 CLASS WITH COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

30 Projects that integrate technology into core lesson plans

The Key to Aligning Your K-5 Class with Common Core State Standards is for classroom teachers, technology integration specialists and lab professionals, as a resource for aligning your technology program with the Common Core State Standards now implemented in forty-six states. You will find it a foundational tool for scaffolding technology into the areas of math, language, reading, writing, speaking and listening as is required in CCSS. Overall, they are authentic approaches to student-centered learning, asking the student to be a risk-taker in his/her educational goals and the teacher to act as guide. The essential questions are open-ended and conversations organic and inquiry-driven, ultimately asking students to take responsibility for the process of their own learning.

It can be used as a resource book, to provide exciting new lessons that seamlessly blend technology with lesson plans and involve students in the many new tools available to enrich their educational experiences, or a road map, plotting the vertical planning and differentiated instruction fundamental to CCSS goals.

There are thirty lessons, five per grade level. Each includes:

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Dear Otto: Common Core requires publishing student work. How do I do that?

tech questions

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Rox in South Africa:

In my lab I can only do with my learners software that I can get for free. I would like to do some publishing work with them – do you know of publishing software that is free and appropriate for Grade 4 to Grade 6. I have learnt so much from questions asked by others and your kind, informed answers – Thank you

This is a great question, Rox, one that all teachers are addressing right now because Common Core makes ‘publishing’ fundamental to their standards–
  • Kindergarten: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.6 With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • First grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.6 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • Second grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.6 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • Third grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.6 With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • Fourth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Fifth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Sixth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Seventh grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
  • Eighth grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing
Thankfully, technology provides many differentiated ways to accomplish this, from the mundane to the fancy:
learn keyboarding

Dear Otto: What are Common Core keyboarding standards?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Lani :

I am trying to set up my curriculum map for 2013-14, for preK-8. This is the first year I will be actually using the lab f/t…I hope, along with library skills. I purchased several of the structured learning books & your blog has been amazing! My question, you mentioned that keyboarding is part of the CC…45wpm minimum, by end of 8th grade. I have looked at the CC State Standards, but cannot find this or any tech standards. Can you share where this is? I have new administration coming & would like to be prepared! Thank you.

Here are the relevant Common Core standards for keyboarding:
  • Keyboarding is addressed tangentially–saying students must be able to type *** pages in a single sitting (see CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6 for example. The ‘pages in a single sitting’ starts in 4th grade and continues through 6th where it’s increased to three–see CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.6)
  • By 3rd grade, Common Core also discusses the use of keyboarding to produce work, i.e., CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.6 which specifically mentions ‘use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills)’
  • The keyboarding requirement that is giving teachers across the continent heartburn is that keyboarding will be required to take Common Core Standards assessments (a year off except where Districts are testing this eventuality).

It’s worth noting that CC standards are progressive–students are expected to learn material, transfer that knowledge to the next grade level where they show evidence of having learned it by using it and building on it. Therefore, the notation to ‘produce and publish writing using keyboarding skills’ in 3rd grade carries into all successive grade.

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common core in class

7 Ways Common Core Will Change Your Classroom

0diploma grad hatThe biggest pedagogic change to American education since the arrival of John Dewey is happening right now. It’s called Common Core State Standards. Its goal: to prepare the nation’s tens of thousands of students for college and/or career. If you are involved in any part of teaching, administrating, or planning, you are holding your breath, downing an aspirin, and crossing your fingers, knowing a storm is about to hit. You’ve prepared, but is it enough?

46 states adopted the Common Core in an effort to bring consistency and uniformity to the hodge podge of state standards that dot the education landscape from California to Maine and Alaska to Florida. For most states, implementation is piecemeal, a bit at a time, with the full roll out not expected until sometime in 2015.

Besides turning your curriculum upside down, there are philosophic changes you as a teacher will have to buy into to fit the mold that is Common Core:

  1. Depth not width—Dig into ideas. Make them clearer, more robust. Teachers will cover fewer topics in a year, but with greater detail. Trust that the breadth of learning will come from that deeper understanding. The accepted pedagogy that similar topics be introduced every year, each with more detail, is no longer. Now, students will cover new topics at each grade level–fewer but fuller.
  2. Nonfiction, not fiction—Literacy and reading is likely to be comprehensive narratives rather than inference from stories. Why? Post-high school reading in both college and career is more often expository than fiction as high school grads study for college courses or receive specific training on a job. Students need to know how to perform the critical reading necessary to pick through the staggering amount of print and digital information required to thrive at the game called life.
  3. Evidence is required–It will be paramount that students logically and dispassionately prove their claims with organic conversations and authentic, well-understood evidence. Statements must have supporting facts that stand up under cerebral scrutiny. A claim of acceptability because it is ‘their interpretation’ will not be sufficient in a CCSS classroom.
  4. Speaking and listening--Anyone who thrives in the adult world knows the importance of these two skills. Now, they will be taught in the K-12 curriculum. The youngest learners will have guidelines for how to carry on a conversation–come to a discussion prepared, listen respectfully to others, take turns speaking, build on each other’s conversations, ask clarifying questions. As they advance grade levels, so too will the requirements.
  5. Technology is part of most/all standards--Not overtly, but teachers will find a fundamental understanding of how technology scaffolds learning to be essential in delivering Standards correctly. Many times, standards expect knowledge be ‘collaborated on, published and shared’. This is done through technology–pdfs, printing, publishing to blogs and wikis, sharing via Tagxedos and Animotos. Students and teachers will use the internet, online tools, software, tech devices as vehicles for achieving educational goals. No longer will they be ‘fun’ tools employed in the computer lab. Now, they will be integral to the curriculum. This means teachers will have to be comfortable with iPads, online widgets, Google Docs, and all those geeky tools that they admired from afar, when colleagues used them, promising they would try them ‘one day’. That day has arrived.
  6. Life skills are emphasized across subject areas. It’s not good enough students can write in literacy classes. CCSS expects them to communicate just as effectively in every subject. And, where critical thinking has always been fundamental to math and science, that now expands to all classes. Students must understand cause and effect, transfer knowledge from one subject area to another throughout their educational day. That means, math teachers must pay attention to writing and literature teachers to cognitive processes.
  7. An increase in rigor–Accountability will be expected of students and teachers. Too often, passing a test was all the assessment that was expected. CCSS will look for more–transfer of knowledge (see 6 above), evidence of learning, student as risk-taker, authenticity of lessons, vertical planning, learning with increasingly less scaffolding and prompting, and differentiated instruction so all learners get it.

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top tech ed tools

7 Common Core Ways to Assess Knowledge

assessments educationThis is always challenging, isn’t it? Finding evidence that students have learned what you taught, that they can apply their knowledge to complex problems. How do you do this? Rubrics? Group projects? Posters? None sound worthy of the Common Core educational environ–and too often, students have figured out how to deliver within these guidelines while on auto-pilot.

Where can we find authentic assessments that are measurable yet student-centered, promote risk-taking by student and teacher alike, inquiry-driven and encourage students to take responsibility for his/her own learning? How do we assess a lesson plan in a manner that insures students have learned what they need to apply to life, to new circumstances they will face when they don’t have a teacher at their elbow to nudge them the right direction?

Here are some of my favorite approaches:

Anecdotally

I observe their actions, their work, the way they are learning the skills I’m teaching. Are they engaged, making their best effort? Do they remember skills taught in prior weeks and apply them? Do they self-assess and make corrections as needed?

Transfer of knowledge

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Subscribers: Your Special is Available

Every month, subscribers to Ask a Tech Teacher get a discounted resource to help their tech teaching.

This month:

THE KEY TO ALIGNING YOUR K-5 CLASS WITH COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS:

30 Projects that integrate technology into core lesson plans

Why do I need this book?

The Key to Aligning Your K-5 Class with Common Core State Standards is for classroom teachers, technology integration specialists and lab professionals, as a resource for aligning your technology program with the Common Core State Standards now implemented in forty-six states. You will find it a foundational tool for scaffolding technology into the areas of math, language, reading, writing, speaking and listening as is required in CCSS. Overall, they are authentic approaches to student-centered learning, asking the student to be a risk-taker in his/her educational goals and the teacher to act as guide. The essential questions are open-ended and conversations organic and inquiry-driven, ultimately asking students to take responsibility for the process of their own learning.

(more…)