Unwrapping the standards
I would like to hear commments on this topic from Walden U students. Unwrapping the state standards is a number one priority in our district in Georgia. I do not disagree with the necessity to break down the standards; I do wonder if any one is working in a district who is not trying to reinvent the wheel-there has to be a simpler and more efficient way...
Elena Aguilar's simple, but imperative reminder to simply focus our attention with "a sharp, laser-beam, unwavering focus" on the selected standards when teaching is well directed at me. I teach first graders in Georgia and our little learners are subjected to the end of the year-standardized test. We teach in standards-based classrooms and are currently "unwrapping" the standards as grade level teams. We do not have designated "power standards" though we did when I taught in SC.
The lack of "power standards" does create a very dense and mangled collection of standards that are written in convoluted language. However, we are moving through the process of creating the stepping-stones of "sub skills" needed to master each standard, the lack of clarity of the language of the standards are getting in the way. I am not sure why the classroom teachers are asked to dismantle the standards, in each team of grade level teachers, at each school. It seems that a district level group who can devote the needed time and research to this matter would be better able to devise the instructional plan needed to: unwrap the standards, break down the sub-skills needed to master the standards, plan effective instruction, and develop common assessments. Does anyone work in a school system where you are tackling this endeavor with more efficient results? I am frustrated by this massive effort to all "recreate the wheel." I know the necessity of understanding the standards I teach, but I teach six different subject areas. Any suggestions on how to eat his proverbial elephant?