With the Common Core State Standards staring everyone in the face, many districts are left scrambling to either (1) purchase “Common Core certified” materials or (2) adapt their old materials for the Common Core. In general, I prefer the latter. Simply purchasing a new series could most likely lead to teachers “doing the same thing” but with new materials, treating the series as if it is the curriculum when it is just a tool or resource. Furthermore, it is obvious that publishers have rushed their products to market in an effort to cash in on the new standards. (I’m surprised that our cafeteria milk has yet to be Common Core approved.)
When rolling out Common Core professional development in a subject such as Language Arts, it could be advantageous to focus on the current series, as this is where most teachers are comfortable. Then, discuss how to reinvent the series in order to meet the needs of the Common Core and higher-order thinking.
At a recent building-based professional development session, we took the following steps: