A few weeks ago, I saw a link for an online course for educators wanting to learn more about the writing standards of the Common Core, which my state has fully adopted and is starting to roll out this year. In fact, our school district is in the midst of learning about Understanding by Design (backwards design), curriculum mapping and more as we begin to make the shift to the Massachusetts version of Common Core.
I checked out the link and saw that my friend, Bud Hunt, was the facilitator (Check out his post about his dissertation thesis about school-based online writing and reading spaces. Very intriguing.) Yeah, I signed up.
The other night, a bunch of folks in the Writing & Common Core: Deeper Learning for All course at P2PU (Peer to Peer University) gathered together in a Webinar to chat about expectations of the course, which runs about six weeks, and began some initial discussions around topics that are on our mind with the Common Core. These included: shifting towards more information/expository writing; writing across the content areas; the references to digital media; implementation at various states; and more. It was quite interesting and is an indication of some intriguing discussions to come.
Our first assignment is an online annotation project, in which we are making comments and notes about the writing strands of the Common Core. This kind of activity is valuable, as it not only provides us with an incentive to read the Common Core deeply, but also to engage in some observations and discussions. Bud noted that most teachers don’t seem to have had a chance to really read the Common Core and spend time with it to understand it, and I agree. The annotation activity seems like a nice way in.
My own interest is, of course, for my own classroom. I am already making shifts in what I have done and what I will be doing to reflect more of the new state curriculum. But I have another new motive, too. I have been asked to help facilitate some summer Professional Development session at a local university on implementing the new Massachusetts ELA standards, and in order to do that, I need to have a deeper understanding of the curriculum expectations.
So, I’m diving in, but I am not alone. I’m grateful for the chance to be part of the P2PU Common Core group, and to learn from them and with them. And having Bud as a guide is a great start.
Peace (in the curriculum),