Use the summer months to dig deeper into your standards and curriculum plans. Be prepared for any kind of teaching.
As the 2020/2021 school year approaches, teachers have a lot of questions about what it will look like. When we ask this question, it seems like all we hear is “We don’t know yet.” Since governors, district leaders and administrators don’t know what schools will look like next year, teachers are struggling to figure out how to prepare. In this blog series, we are looking at 10 ways that we can prepare this summer without wasting our time. Each way will prove beneficial to you, whether your district ends up using distance learning, traditional classrooms, or a hybrid education approach. Included in each blog post in this series will be tech tool suggestions, free resources, and a giveaway entry form.
We have already talked about setting up your digital classroom, exploring technology tools, exploring both digital and paper formats for teaching resources and building up a communication system for parents. Today we will discuss something else all teachers should do to prepare for next school year:
You can dig deep into your standards and your curriculum.
HOW we teach lessons may be up in the air, but the standards and the curriculum are not likely to change over the summer. No matter HOW you are teaching, truly understanding WHAT you are teaching can only make you a better teacher.
Start with the standards. I use the Common Core Standards Website to read each and every standard. Take time to dig into exactly what is expected of students. Look deeper at the standards that sometimes get overlooked (like speaking and listening standards). Go back a grade level and explore what standards they were expected to master last year (and which ones they might not have had a lot of exposure to, due to the closures). Go ahead a grade level and explore what standards students will be working on next year. Think about what you need to cover this year to make sure they are ready for these standards.
Next take time to dig into your curriculum. Start by looking hard at your assessments. Are the assessments properly aligned with the standards? Are they aligned with the curriculum? Are you allowed to change them? (Yes, this is a real question. Some schools and districts require certain assessments to be given as written. If you can't change a bad assessment, you might think about creating other smaller assessments to give along side the required assessment.) What resources (digital and paper) can you use to prepare students for these assessments? Will your curriculum provide you with these resources cover all of your standards and prepare your students for these assessments, or do you need to look elsewhere?
Diving deep into the standards and into your curriculum will allow you to be better equipped to teach next year. No matter HOW you are expected to teach - using Google Meet, prerecorded videos, Google Classroom, in person small groups, in person whole group, etc. - you need a strong understanding of WHAT you are needing to teach. And when you don't know the HOW, the WHAT becomes that much more important.
One additional thing you may want to consider adding to your standards is a digital citizenship program like the one from Common Sense Media. Since our students will likely have additional technology time with any future school program, teaching students how to use the internet well is just as important as everything else we teach.
FREE Resources for Your Classroom
As you take some time to explore your standards and your curriculum this summer, here are some free resources which may help you out:
Playing Card Mat Math Games - While you're digging into your math curriculum, think about which of these mats students could use to play math games - at home or in your classroom.
Text Consumption Sheet - This sheet gives students a chance to show understanding of all reading common core standards - fiction and non fiction.
Differentiated Nursery Rhyme Response Sheets - These three sheets allow students to use any nursery rhyme you have to show reading comprehension. This covers multiple reading standards.
June Digital Learning Resource Bundle Giveaway
Now time for our giveaway!!! With today's giveaway entry form, you will be entering to win my Amazing Americans Bundle. This bundle includes: an internet scavenger hunt with 4 formats, a technology and writing project, a test and a timeline. Enter to win this Amazing Americans Bundle, by completing the the June Giveaway Entry Form #5.
All winners will be chosen on July 1st. Winners will receive the bundle directly to the provided email. All those who enter will also receive my monthly Raki's Rad Resources News Releases.
Interested in more tips on how to prepare for the unpreparable 2020/2021 school year? Come back tomorrow for tip #6!
Missed a day? This blog post contains the entire list of 10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Next School Year.
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