Change is inevitable in education. However, it often seems the changes we want are slow to come and the changes we can do without are numerous and frequent. Am I right?
If you’re a teacher in New York State you’re probably aware of the changes being made to our learning standards. Once referred to as Common Core Learning Standards, they are now freshly renamed and reimagined as Next Generation Learning Standards. If your district hasn’t begun implementing these newly revised and newly named standards, they will soon. In fact, by 2020 NYS intends to have them fully implemented with testing aligned to these standards taking place in 2021. You can access the ELA Standards here.
I’ve found the shift to these next gen learning standards comfortable and the language used very friendly for students.
In true teacher fashion, I’ve also taken to simplifying the standards to meet the needs of my students in the classroom. I teach 5th grade ELA and Social Studies, so my focus is on the ELA Standards.
I’ve created posters for my focus wall so our objectives are clearly stated each day. I’ve done this for reading and writing. They have worked out very well!
I use the PNWBOCES integrated ELA/SS curriculum and the posters I created line up well with the objectives for each unit.
In addition, I created rubrics that are easy to use with my class. It’s the perfect way to make sure we’re hitting all the standards and tracking our progress. These posters and rubrics are appropriate for grades 3-5.
It’s important that the language be accessible to students so they can set goals for themselves. Self assessment is so important in the upper grades! Read more about how and why I use rubrics.
Rubrics are Essential
We spent some time with the standards at the start of the year. The students assessed their understanding of the standards, asked questions, and basically familiarized themselves with what we would be working on all year. We revisited the rubric throughout the year, although, I need to be better about doing this more frequently next year! Life happens!
However, when we did revisit the rubric, the students were very honest with themselves regarding where they were successful and where they fell short. Kids can be pretty amazing! I love giving them the power to drive their education and set goals for themselves. After all, that’s when the real learning happens. Do you use rubrics? You can explore some helpful classroom rubrics here!
I hope you’ll discover some ideas to help you and your students thrive! Enjoy♥️
I’m looking forward to learning more about how best to implement these standards in my classroom next year. Follow me on Instagram to see what’s up in fifth grade!