Many states are currently preparing to implement the Common Core State Standards, but educators have nothing to fear so long as they create their own CCSS checklist. While school officials may come across full checklists on various websites, it is better for them to use these lists as inspiration and create a personalized one that addresses issues relevant to their schools.
Here are a few things educators should keep in mind as they create their CCSS checklist:
The CCSS have been partially or fully adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. Unfortunately, educators will not be able to do a very good job of preparing their students for college and the workforce if they do not have the right classroom resources for the job.
For this reason, school officials should add whatever teacher tools they need to purchase to their CCSS checklist. Perhaps educators believe their students will learn better by using Common Core-aligned software, interactive maps or tablet computers. If this is the case, they will want to add the necessary classroom technology to their checklists.
What about textbooks? Are they aligned with the new standards or were they published before the Common Core even existed? If the latter is true, then textbooks that are compatible with the CCSS should be on that checklist. Then, educators can set out to obtain these items before the full implementation of the standards.
According to the CCSS’ website, educators will be tasked with teaching students core concepts and procedures in a way that will ensure they are mastered by the end of the academic year. If educators are not fully prepared to deliver Common Core-aligned instruction, students are unlikely to accomplish this goal.
A few of the points on the checklist provided on the National Association of Elementary School Principals website would be right at home on any educator’s checklist. For instance, the NAESP checklists state that instructors should have an understanding of the Common Core’s curriculum changes for mathematics and English language arts. Every teacher should be able to explain how instruction in these subjects will be different under the CCSS.
At the same time, educators need to know how changes in the Common Core’s two main focus areas will affect science and social studies teaching. No instructor should consider their checklist complete until they have received the necessary professional development to understand the CCSS’ full impact on instruction.
Teachers may have a handle on the CCSS, but parents could be completely in the dark. This is a problem, as many mothers and fathers will be helping their kids with homework assignments. If they are unfamiliar with the new standards and how they affect instruction, they could steer children in the wrong direction.
It is important that parents, students and teachers are all on the same page. As a result, it may be a good idea for educators to add parent information sessions or one-on-one meetings to the checklist. This will ensure that the CCSS are implemented and every member of the school community, from staff to parents, understands them.
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