Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How counselors can use Common Core

During this warm month of July, I spent some time learning about common core and how to was going to effect schedules, schools, and learning goals. Like many counselors, I run  MTSS: Multi-Tiered System of Support (YES- this is RTI- education loves changing names and keeping us on our toes!), and was intrigued to see how Common Core was going to change us as a state, county, and school.  The importance of differentiated instruction is crucial- even teaching guidance lessons. I came away with 3 "take aways":

1. Since Common Core is so objective: the standard of the lesson, the actions that students will do, the main idea and the learning goal are all listed. By writing the learning goal on the board, saying it out loud, and then having the students recite it back to me. Since their homeroom teachers will be doing this during their own lessons, it will be a good reinforcer for students to see it applied to subjects outside math, science, reading, etc.

2. Often we have curriculum for each grade as counselors and we tweak it to fit the needs of the specific grade. The "Unwrapping" technique will allow teachers (and counselors) to look at a particular standard for their grade,and see where their students were last year, and where they are going in the future. This is helpful for the differentiated instruction in lower and high students. 

3.When I think of Formative assessments, I often think of benchmark, and high stakes tests. This is clearly not the case! Surveys, exit surveys, open ended responses, polling, rubrics, journals, and and writing stories are all ways that counselors can see if our students are getting the information that we are giving to them. Since we do not grade our own students during guidance, we can use these tools to help us measure who understood the information and who needs some extra help.

I am definitely no Common Core expert in the least, but I did come away with a flavor for August and the changes that will be made.

Any counselors out there find out anything else about common Core?! 
I would love to learn more!

With Love and Common Core curiosity,
Your Floridian Chick