Friday, August 17, 2012

Common Core Standard based versus Standard reference

Had a meeting/training today with another school about the common core, it was led by our local CESA people (Cooperative Educational Service Agency, group of people who support local schools).   It was a good training and I am glad districts surrounding me are sharing/networking.

It is networking that I think of first because without it today would have never happened. What I mean is the training was not by my school or district; yet I was allowed to sit in without paying (or my school).  This may be the best thing for smaller districts going forward, figuring ways to share without arguing over the incident hours (and that can include teaching time if done right).  I will surely help them out when I have something too.

The real meat of the day was the concept of teaching standard based versus standard reference (while intro-ing the CC).  And while there were some things I already try hard to do, such as learning is constant and time is variable.  I discovered that I need to reflect deeper on my daily teaching as I move forward on the common core.   (See this document about SB vs SR RobertMarzano)

Yet there is seeming to be a hole in the software to support this standard based approach.  I know what I want/need -- I need curriculum mapping software that operates in a standard based way but yet can be viewed like a traditional planbook (or an online program like,, etc.).  So I can make the links to the standard and yet have a plan to look at in a format that works with all my preps.

The problem I see currently is I would spend a lot of time entering info creating material that is not easy to access and use, and I would quickly fall back to system that  I am used to.  I have about 3 minutes to move from one class to the next, I really need all my things visible in one spot for my day (like my planbook).   It seems that there is software to map and software to plan but the 2 do not connect well. The mapping software is all by standard but the lessons are buried 3 screens away with no connection to a schedule. And the planbooks do not track standards well or drive planning by standard (like the mapping software).

So either I continue being standard referenced (nope) or I try and figure a way to marry them....  Unless I can find something that does it all.... (Currently have seen Curriculum Companion and Eclipse)

So I sit here at the end of the day thinking of what my next step is and my goals.  The number one goal is to work and plan in a system where the standards guide and texts/materials support.  But it has to not kill me either....

So my plan is to use an on-line gradebook which I am in the process of reviewing (, starplanit, & planbook 2.5) using the standard as the lead, connecting my map (somehow) and using it as place for reflection, mapping and cultivate a system where I think of my teaching in a standard based way.  And the last important detail is that I can then use the planbook again with improvements thus becoming more effective.  Ah....  now if only the software would do what I want.....