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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Common Core Lesson Planning and Implementation Is Much Simplier Than It Seems

Common Core Lesson Planning and Implementation Is Much Simplier Than It Seems

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Common Core Lesson Planning and Implementation Is Much Simplier Than It Seems

Many districts are now aligning their curriculum to the Common Core State Standards. Teachers are the ones on the frontline and must be equipped with the tools needed to prepare their own classrooms as well. The success of students depends on the ability of teachers to effectively utilize their instructional materials to meet the standards set forth in the common core.

Many teachers, especially those in low performing school districts serving more than 90% minority and economically disadvantaged students are concerned that the adaption of the Common Core and accompanying assessments are purposely designed to set their students up for automatic failure. It is understandable for teachers to be apprehensive about the uncertainty of their students ability to meet the new expectations. But, assuming that this must be some kind of conspiracy is unfortunately the kind of misconception and attitude that will cause many schools to fail before they even have a chance to get started.

The new standards focus on the end result of what students should know by the end of the school year. They do not tell you which standards to use to drive your instruction and obtain a successful end result. It is now left to classroom teachers to use their best professional judgment to figure out the most feasible pathway to lead students to success with the common core. Utilizing Common Core Lesson Plan Templates that have the new standards embedded in drop down menus within the lesson plans and are customizable for differentiated instruction is by far the better choice for many very important reasons. First, using these kind of templates give teachers the freedom to teach at their own pace. Secondly, it encourages collaboration with teachers from other subjects (i.e. History, Science, ELA) during lesson development. Third, it helps keep all teachers on track with the common core implementation. Fourth, it gives teachers the flexibility to use their own creativity when developing lessons. And finally, it is the most cost effective option for Common Core implementation that every teacher can use regardless of their technical skill level.

Collaboration among teachers from various subjects during lesson plan development is especially important in English Language Arts because of the increased focused on informational text reading in the new standards. This increased focus makes it even more important for teachers to be able to easily collaborate during lesson plan development. Computerized application systems which automatically generate lesson plans can never replace the professional knowledge and expertise of a highly qualified teacher. After all, teachers are there to teach students, not robots. No one knows about a students learning style and abilities better than their teacher. It is imperative to use lesson plan templates that allow teachers to target instruction and develop lessons that are related to the expectations set forth in the common core.

Despite all the hype, Teacher's really don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on curriculum materials just because they have the title "Common Core" on the cover. There are hundreds of resources available online for FREE. Creating lessons for the new standards will require teachers to put more thought into their lessons regardless of rather they buy additional CCSS materials, create their own lessons and/or utilize free CCSS resources available online. There are a lot of theories on how to best prepare students for the new standards. Teachers are the best decision makers when it comes to how to best prepare their students. According to the Common Core Standards Website, "Teachers should continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms." Furthermore, the CCSS website states that it is the responsibility of teachers and administrators to decide how the standards will be met, and speaks nothing about the need to spend thousands of additional dollars to implement the common core.

Stars Educational Consortium is the publisher of great Common Core Templates for Lesson Plan Development at
These templates have all of the great features discussed in this article.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Create Rich Lesson Plans Using Common Core Standards with LearnBoost FREE!

This is a really great find! LearnBoost. I was completely amazed at how useful this is to schools in need of resources for the Common Core. LearnBoost’s free, all-in-one solution empowers teachers in managing their classrooms. Teachers use the intuitive gradebook software to track student progress and generate beautiful reports and analytics in real time. Plus, you can create rich lesson plans, track attendance, maintain schedules, integrate Google Apps and tag Common Core State Standards.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Common Core 360 Free Resources

This video is a look at all of the valuable free resources offered by Common Core 360.