I’ve been teaching long enough to finally see for myself the proverbial pendulum swing of education. What we did 10 years ago, is coming back again but with a different name or a little fancier ribbon on the package. Flipped classes? Yeah, been there. Done that. Cooperative Learning? Don’t make me laugh. Critical thinking, essential questions, board configuration, bell work, rigor and the list goes on and on and on. I’m not saying these are bad things, but ask anyone who has been teaching 20 years and they’ll tell you the same thing: Been there. Done that.
Common Core For Now
The Common Core State Standards, however, may be the closest we’ve ever come to a national set of standards, something we’ve never done before. There’s much controversy about them. But, as a teacher, I’m required to use them because my district says I have to whether I like them or not. That’s the bottom line.
Yet as a middle school teacher, I’ve found that I’m not having much difficulty implementing them. Most are broad enough that what I’m teaching can easily be used to cover these standards. (It’s helps having been a die-hard English teacher for most of my career!) In fact, being a Florida teacher where grammar and conventions haven’t been taught in the last 8-9 years, I’m very happy to see that now the CCSS is bringing that back to the classrooms. What WERE we thinking? Kids don’t need grammar, spelling, and conventions? Heaven help us! Now we’re reaping what we sowed, and it’s a mess!
“I Can” Statement Can Help
Because I’m now using CCSS and my husband, as a middle school science teacher, is too, I had an idea I hoped would be useful. I’ve been working on something that I know will help him: “I Can” statements for science based on the CCSS. I’ve created two sets, one for writing and the other for reading. Each set is color-coded to match a checklist. This makes it’s easy to document when the standards are being covered and when they are being assessed.
We already have tons of lesson plans and forms to complete, so I decided to keep this one super simple. All you have to do is print, complete it, and keep it with your lesson plans so your administrators can quickly and easily see your CCSS documentation. If your district hasn’t really started with CCSS but you know it’s coming, these “I Can” statements and checklists will put you ahead of the crowd.
Visit my TPT store today to download a preview. Signs and checklists are in PDF format which means you can use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader found on most computers to open them. Visit Adobe.com should you need the latest version.
Thank you for visiting and happy teaching!