Standards serve as guidelines for educators to develop curriculum and assessments that represent what students need to know and be able to do, as well as instructional practices that support the desired learning from teachers’ perspectives, as well as students who are involved in personalized learning.
Teachers are, unfortunately, often asked to focus on standards for the sake of compliance, rather than for robust, systemic standards alignment. It is imperative that educators be provided collaborative opportunities to study and interpret standards to design scaffolded learning expectations and instructional plans—both across and within grade levels.
Teachers and administrators need to be actively engaged in:
- Building Standards Literacy
It is important to be fluent in how to read and interpret standards to best determine and develop learning expectations and instructional practices. The ability to read standards properly involves an understanding in standards’ textual structure and function.
- Ensuring Standards Alignment
Standards alignment involves three sub-focuses: accurate alignment of learning and teaching to standards (and vice versa); determining critical standards for students success; and constructing systemic standards-based learning progressions. Each sub-focus has its own components and processes that can be addressed individually, or in conjunction with one another.
- Engaging in Standards-Resources Gap Analysis
This type of analysis is needed now more than ever given the growing number of “standards-aligned” lessons, activities, and units of study available via Open Educational Resources (OER) and for-profit companies. While standards alignment may appear to be accurate, the question needs to be asked is: Does the resource truly meet our collaborative standards-interpretation across, as well as within, our grade levels?
To discuss your learning organization’s standards needs, please complete a Standards Survey.
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To contact Janet directly, please call her at 520.241.8797, or email her using this contact form.