I don't want our faculty to feel disheartened and give up from being so overwhelmed. I absolutely believe we are on the right track, and have begun taking the small steps that will eventually get us where we need and want to be. This morning I spent some time visiting classrooms looking for evidence of these small steps with CCES to prove that we are doing it, and I want to share some of what I saw.
- One class had created character portraits for a book they read, and had to include on the portrait a quote from the text with the page number cited which gives evidence for the characteristics they included in their drawing. (adding depth and text based answers)
- In two classrooms, students were working on a tic-tac-toe choice board to research information about Ancient Egypt. (differentiation and writing from sources)
- In another class, students were designing human eyes based on radial design, warm and cool color schemes, and accurate eye structure. (working from sources and integrating science)
- In another class, students were doing research on a particular animal and creating a brochure product using Microsoft Office. (writing from sources and integrating science)
- Another class was practicing math skills with the activities differentiated to meet the level each individual student is working at. (differentiation and taking ownership of learning)
- A final class I visited was discussing how to read word problems and translate them into numerical expressions. Students were going to discuss this in collaborative groups. (21st Century Skills and Mathematical Practices 1 & 3)
These are some great example of how we are rising to meet the expectations of Common Core and Essential Standards! We can do it; in fact we are doing it! Remember CCES is not about a one size fits all program or doing a song and dance. It is about facilitating learning for students and pushing them to greater depths of understanding.
So, as a great book which I read often says: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal 6:9 NIV