Discovery Education to offer local Common Core workshops
by Mark Andrews
May 31, 2013 | 1176 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nearing the middle of June, Discovery Education, a leading company who provides standards-based digital education content, will host local workshop academies to assist educators in adapting their classrooms to the growing requirements of the Common Core State Standards.

“These academies are focused on helping teachers, administrators and education leaders with the implementation of the Common Core Standards, and we approach it from a perspective of focusing heavily on instruction and instructional practices,” said Karen Beerer, vice president of professional development for Common Core State Standards for Discovery Education. “Certainly, Common Core brings the standards, and those standards provide the framework for what to teach and the districts use [that framework] to build their curriculum, but they also bring with them instructional shifts, shifting from where we have been and cranking it up a notch to ensure all students are college and career ready.”

She said the academies will focus on the instruction of English Language Arts as well as math as outlined in the Common Core.

“... The question we get most often is, ‘How will this look in my classroom and how is it different from the last standards?’” Beerer said. “A large part of the Common Core Standards is technology and the integration of technology, and we bring a unique perspective of implementing that digital content into instruction.”

She said the academies will provide examples on how teachers can adapt to the instructional shifts associated with the Common Core.

“Both [English Language Arts] and math have six instructional shifts, so we will unpack those instructional shifts to talk about if [an instructional shift] is in place, what are students doing, what are teachers doing, and specifically, what are the instructional strategies that would align to these shifts,” Beerer said. “[For example], one of the shifts in English Language Arts is having students read more complex texts and being able to answer questions about the text by citing evidence from the text. One of the practices that really is a good strategy for helping teachers implement that is something called ‘close reading,’ and so we will look at close reading, we’ll watch a video of close reading in progress as administrators monitor close reading, the participants will practice close reading and then we’ll develop a tool that uses close reading.

“That tool could be a lesson plan, it could be using text and digital video to create a text that students would close read and answer some questions. ... We want teachers to leave with tools that they can implement in their classroom when they return in the fall.”

According to a press release provided by Discovery Education, “The immersive, two-day professional development events are designed to provide teachers and administrators a better understanding of the key components of the Common Core State Standards, strategies for effectively integrating the standards into curriculum and instruction, and methods for aligning assessments to the standards. The events will be held at the Bartow County School District office.

“The Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states, provide teachers and administrators a consistent framework for the knowledge and skills students need to be college and career ready.”

The academies will be titled “Moving Toward Greater Focus and Coherence In Your Classroom: Making Common Sense Out of the Math Common Core State Standards” and “Making the Common Core State Standards Make Common Sense In Your ELA and Content Area Classroom.”

The academies will be held at the Bartow County Learning Center, 738 Grassdale Road N.W., from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 13 and 14.