In its attempt to help teachers across New York transition to Common Core in ELA, NYSED has released curriculum modules aligned to the new standards. This likely isn’t news to anyone who frequents EngageNY, the CABOCES ISS calendar of offerings, or even your local Facebook newsfeed. What may be of news to teachers is the state’s message about how to use the modules. Move over “3 Rs” – thanks to the rollout of curriculum modules teachers now are hearing about the “3 As”: adopt, adapt, align. Not sure how this may impact you? Keep reading.
Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and MIT professor, coined the term "Gracious Professionalism®."
Gracious Professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.
With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process. Knowledge, competition, and empathy are comfortably blended.
We just love to read news stories in Allegany-Limestone’s MS/HS English as a Second Language room! At ALCS, I am an itinerant ESL teacher in a shared position through BOCES. This fall, the students and I joined an online site called http://newsela.com. It offers a constant flow of excellent current events articles and presents each at five different reading levels. Some of the articles are so fresh; they were on the television the night before! Pierre Ancelin, grade 6, recently came across an article discussing Richie Incognito, the NFL player. He remarked, “Hey! That was on ESPN this morning and last night too!”
While we, as adults, often experience that “bad case of the Mondays,” dragging our feet as we kick off another workweek, we have to wonder what our children feel like when they wake up, day-in and day-out and prepare for school. Many children come to school lethargic, not looking forward to the day of learning ahead. However, in Olean, many teachers have adopted the use of Chris Biffle’s Power Teaching philosophy, where repetition of important content is taught in a series of rules and in an energetic and engaging manner.
A student in Miss Bess’ First Grade leads the class in the rules of Power Teaching. This is done first thing every morning to reinforce the behavioral expectations of the day.
After working in several districts since the beginning of the year, I have seen many teachers at all grade levels K-9 using the Math Modules as a resource to teach to the Common Core Standards. Some teachers are using them as their primary resource while others are using parts of them; the fluency activities, application problems, and math models to develop conceptual understanding with their students. Many of us are learners as well as teachers, and it reminds us of our first year of teaching again!
With the release of the Common Core Modules by New York State Education Department, many K-5 Math teachers asked for time to work, brainstorm and share ideas on best practice to handle the new curriculum. On October 22nd over 70 Kindergarten through 2nd grade teachers met and the next day approximately 60 grade 3-5 teachers met at Southern Tier West in Salamanca. Although there has been some anxiety over these new modules and the state assessments, the major feeling at the end of each day was that “we’re in pretty good shape after all”.
A hot button topic in many schools throughout New York State is the Common Core aligned curriculum modules in math. Many are questioning the instructional strategies used to teach various mathematical concepts. To help answer the questions of parents, 4th grade teachers in Olean held a parent night for the purpose of highlighting the concepts of the Core Knowledge math modules, explaining the reasoning behind building this conceptual understanding among the whole of the student population.
Sue Kallenbach and Nancy Sullivan of Olean Intermediate School welcomed parents to OIMS this month for an evening of math conversation. Both teachers discussed where they had been in the curriculum thus far this school year and explored new mathematical concepts with the parents present. They welcomed questions from parents, many of which wondered why they couldn’t just “teach the trick” to the students when solving various mathematical problems. Kallenbach and Sullivan both held the importance of building the conceptual understanding of the students as a means of outfitting them with multiple strategies to use when solving a problem. When we “teach the trick” students are only given one way to derive a solution and aren’t given the option to solve in multiple ways, or in the way of which they are most comfortable.
Parents look on as Mrs. Kallenbach and Mrs. Sullivan explain where they’ve been in the curriculum modules, and the direction that they are headed. Parents also reviewed several problems and posed questions to the teachers to provide further clarification about the mathematical concepts being taught.