Thursday, 15 August 2013

Orientation Day 3 - Common Core Exploration

We had a few things on the agenda of todays orientation. Firstly, Team meetings followed by Library Orientation, a lovely lunch, Child Protection session and a Duck Tour of London (yes you heard right!)

It is compulsory at the school to complete the Child Protection Training before stepping inside the classroom. I had already completed this before starting last term and had some extra time up my sleeve (yay!). I went back over the Grade 8 Common Core standards for Mathematics. Not just my own level, but also the standards above and below my planned classes.

Back in Australia in my old school we spent much time unpacking and exploring the Australian National Curriculum, which for my school would be trialing it for the 2013 academic year. It was interesting to compare the two and see what similarities and differences between the two initiatives. I also thought to myself how grateful I had already had experience reading and synthesizing information from a document like this.

Having taught the final term and preparing the students for their end of year exams, I found the standards made so much more sense to me after going though that experience. With my new found enthusiasm in seeing connections I then got on the track of UbDs. UbD stands for Understanding by Design, which essential is a process/template to work backward in designing a unit to drill down what do the students need to know or key skills. I have used this template before, but with mixed results. The mixed result I feel might spring from colleagues having different ideas of some of the working or sections in the past (not at the current school). I really want to create a great document that can be utalised and useful.
On our internal Portal I watched YouTube video on Understanding by Design.

Which then made me go back to the Common Core Site to investigate further.

How were the Math Standards Constructed. It was interesting to hear about their rational behind the move. Much they spoke about getting through concepts, delving deeper, developing curriculum to raise the bar in education and the idea of "strands" (briefly mentioned in the video below, but prominent in the Australian Curriculum but interestingly enough being moved away from in the Common Core)
 Lots to think about and still to do!!!!

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