Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum and InstructionUpdates in Professional Development
Middle and high school math teachers met to align the 6-12 math curriculum to the New York State Common Core Math Standards. (See sidebar)
Middle and high school ELA teachers met regularly and worked to finish aligning their curriculum vertically and horizontally, tying in the New York State Common Core ELA Standards.
Teachers and administrative staff worked diligently to expand their knowledge of curriculum and assessment initiatives regarding the New York State Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). Various district staff participated in professional development trainings detailed below.
The PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Model Content Frameworks for ELA and Unpacking the CCLS Instructional Shifts and the Mid-Winter Assessment Institute
Elementary and Jr./Sr. High School teaching staff and Principal Kevin Kolakowski explored the instructional shifts to the Common Core Learning Standards and the assessment process as it relates to English Language Arts.
Within the PARCC Model, training participants focused on applying strategies to address the six ELA instructional shifts in the common core learning standards. They also discussed developing students’ reading skills through greater rigor and support. Each attendee was encouraged to share the invaluable strategies learned through the conference with other teachers in the district.
In the Mid-Winter Assessment Institute, teachers and administrators focused on creating interim assessments to implement in the classroom that aligned with the curriculum maps for ELA and various grade levels. Participants learned how to write and match question items to curriculum maps and common core learning standards, and gained a greater understanding of the principles of reliability and validity along with the usage of data-driven instructional practices.
Common Core Learning Standards Workshop – Math
Core teachers in grades K through 5 re-examined the instructional shifts in the elementary math curriculum as it relates to the common core learning standards. Within the training, teachers discussed the different impacts of the shifts to the curriculum and explored how grade-level classroom topics can be changed and focused to align appropriately with the new learning standards. The teachers also brainstormed and created higher-level mathematical lessons that incorporated specific Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) to be implemented in their classrooms.
Solo Literacy Suite Training – Reading/Writing
Teachers in the Elementary and Jr./Sr. High Schools received training on the Solo Literacy Suite, with a focus on the Read;OutLoud, Write;OutLoud, and Co;Writer programs. They learned how each program worked and how it could be used to assist students in reading comprehension, self-assessment, and writing.
Teachers also had the opportunity to work with their classes and utilize the Solo Literacy program while the students received hands-on training. Students were able to work on various academic tasks, in which they used the Solo assistive technology to complete reading and writing tasks.
Lead Evaluators of Teachers Workshop
All administrators have been attending required trainings related to the evaluation of teachers. The workshops have guided them through the initial steps outlined by NYS in regards to the creation of Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). They also have reviewed the instructional shifts and their inherent position within evaluative rubrics that are part of the teacher evaluation process. Each training session focuses on working within the nine state required training elements to better serve as evaluators.