Friday, April 20, 2012

Literacy SkiLLS for LIFE

As promised we have began to explore the ELA Common Core Standards and have created 1 page snapshots of the Common Core ELA Standards for grades PreK - 6. We call these snapshots our Literacy SkiLLS for LIFE. This phrase stands for the 6 domains represented in the CCSS. Speaking & Listening ; Language Standards ; Literature; Informational Text; Foundational Skills; Experience Writing. 
Our plan is to use these snapshot boards as you would for the Math GNOMe. We created them to be a tool for both teachers and students to use. This way we have a clear visual of what the learning/teaching expectations are for ELA. You can purchase the Literacy SkiLLS for LIFE snapshot boards at our TpT store (our 5th grade one is FREE!). 
Have no fear because we have also created independent practices that model after our Math Common Core 4. The ELA Common Core 4 activities we have in mind and will put in place with our students next year are...Read, Write, Spell, Respond. Stay tuned for more on our ELA plans. 

As always we are looking for feedback, ideas, and suggestions on all of our thoughts and products. Feel free to comment anytime! 

  With the Common Core in Mind  ~ The Work Wives

Monday, April 9, 2012

To Grade Or Not To Grade? That Is The Question

This post is inspired by a question we received at our TeachersPayTeachers store
One of our newest buyers asked us ... “How do you grade during Common Core 4?”

NO GRADING is required for Common Core 4 activities. That is the BEST part :o) . Take a breath of relief now. LOL. Now, we for sure understand that not having your inbox full of papers to grade and checking to see if every student understands the center you have going on is a change in mindset. You have to remember that Common Core 4 is meant to give you more time one on one with students to work on specific skills rather than waiting for them to fill out a worksheet. The hardest part for us was letting go of a certain amount of control. We felt that without the paperwork we did not have the self validation that we did a good job teaching the specific skill to the class. However, with Common Core 4 the validation you get is amplified. You now have the time to reach all your students on an individual basis. You can focus on their mathematical level to pre-teach, reinforces concepts or meet with small skill groups.

Ok, so you may not be grading everyday but you are summatively assessing. Here is a will always need to assess your class based on the skill you have taught whole group and based on what your district requires you to do. What Common Core 4 allows you to do is that digging deeper with your students that the Common Core Standards asks us to do. What about having a “show me what you know folder” in their math box? Here you can store a GNOMe snapshot , and assessments for each skill. When the student is ready to show you what they know give the assessment and mark it down in their folder and in your grade book. Remember this is for the individual students.

Now, the next step would be finding appropriate assessments. This is where we are at a bit of a road block. Our district does not have assessments set for the core and are in the process of implementing a program or structure for administering formative assessments. In the mean time we wanted to find some assessments that we could use to directly assess the skills from the Common Core. I have come across some websites that have some wonderful assessment resources that I know I will be using right now as well as in the next school year.

These first 2 sites give examples of what is expected from the students for each domain and specific skill

The following sites is what I have found so far to help with the development of assessments to use

As we discover more helpful tools we will post them for sure. Please feel free to comment if you have any helpful sites or tools to add !