Friday, November 8, 2013

Taking the Common Core Challenge!

     Every week, I take time to catch up on the latest blogs and videos at Teaching Channel.  I'm at this
website more often than any other educational website for so many reasons, but mainly I love watching other teachers teach; it inspires me and motivates me to keep trying new lessons, better understand Common Core, and connect with other educators outside of my little bubble.

     When I logged in this week, I noticed that they were hosting a Common Core Challenge.  Naturally, I accepted.  I watched several videos of teachers in action, reinvented their strategies into my own new lesson, taught it, and now have the lesson to share with you!  I actually did this for an observation with my secondary evaluator and it went pretty well (a few technology glitches with, but that was okay).  So here you go, world!  This is how I took on Common Core Challenge 2013:

  1. Accept the challenge:  I registered here to officially accept the challenge
  2. Watch the videos:  I watched Sarah's videos for "Meeting our Monsters" and Sayuri's "The Omnivore's Dilemma:  Close Reading of a Non-Fiction Text".  I don't think I followed the challenge exactly, but both videos inspired my lesson for the week as I somehow combined my favorite elements of each.  I needed to do a close reading activity, and I really liked the group think strategies that Sarah used.
  3. Write/Plan the lesson:  Using the CCSS Instructional Practice Guide, I crafted my lesson to use with The Hunger Games.  We did a close reading analyzing Katniss' complex characterization.  You can check out my lesson here and my handouts below:

    Dystopia KQL (my spin off of the KWL)

  4. Send feedback:  the final step in the challenge was to report back to Teaching Channel about how the Challenge went.  I send mine in today!  Overall, the lesson went really well.  I have the videos to thank for that.  There's something about watching another teacher in action that makes doing it yourself feel so much more successful.  The use of polleverywhere was a great success.  With the kiddos, it was a bit rough (they kept getting confused with which number to text, how to start the message, etc.) but they LOVED seeing their responses pop up on the screen in the front of the room.  The passages were also a really nice scaffold:   because they were long, every student could close read as much or as little as they could handle.  Then, when they turned and talked to each other, they were still able to have a shared text and help each other see it through the eyes of their annotations.
Check out the Common Core Challenge videos here:

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