George Lucas Educational Foundation

Improving student learning

Improving student learning

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In the last couple of years, my school has pushed us to use more rigorous learning targets to display the standards that we are going to teach our students. These targets must include high level verbs and must be spoken of many times throughout the lesson. These are indeed helpful so that the students know exactly what they will be learning during that lesson. Being a language arts teacher, I teach reading, language arts, writing, and spelling. It is sometimes difficult to have new targets for each of these areas since I spend a good bit of time on one learning target. As it turns out, it is pretty difficult to cram all of the new Common Core standards into my lessons throughout the year. I have found that collaboration really helps with this, but another struggle that I face is having enough time to collaborate. My fellow language arts teacher and I do not have much time to collaborate. Collaboration is key to improving student learning. Does anyone have any recommendations for some of the struggles that I have been facing? We have recently completed curriculum maps, which should be helpful in teaching all aspects of our curriculum. Are curriculum maps happening in other classrooms? I feel like these will be extremely helpful in a few years once we get to add more activities and lessons to the maps. It is a stressful time now because there have been so many changes and I hope that this stress does not change how I am teaching.

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Brittany's picture
4th and 5th grade self-contained teacher from SC

Amy, I just transitioned from a middle school that was trying to enforce rigorous targets. As teachers the book study that we had to complete was "Rigor Made Easy". It was a great book filled with a lot of ideas for the classroom, including collaboration. Also as a Special Education I know how hard finding time for collaboration or just finding time period can be. Maybe if you and the other teacher could email each other and only did face-to-face meetings as needed or once a week.

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