How The Teaching Channel can Improve Instruction

A few years ago, a colleague introduced me to The Teaching Channel after I voiced the need for a video about persistence in math class to use with a group of upper elementary teachers, a group frustrated with their students’ lack of skills in persistent problem solving. I was amazed to discover this remarkable resource! Since that time, I’ve often used videos from this site while planning training to provide educators with a visual for a training objective. In coaching sessions, I’ve used this site as a resource to help teachers find excellent videos to use to inform their practice and hone their teaching craft.

Let me tell you what I like best about this resource: these videos show teachers and students sharing their learning in authentic situations. There are over 1100 videos with an excellent filtering system so you can easily look for videos by subject, grade and topic. During training and coaching, I’ve found the list of standards at the top of the video to be invaluable as Continue reading

Shift Happens

Several years ago, the ELA/Literacy Shifts were introduced to teachers in school districts across New York State with the anticipation that all teachers, regardless of grade level and content area, make these shifts in pedagogy in order to develop the necessary literacy skills students need to be successful in college and career. Did the anticipated shifts happen?

Let’s use the following questions as a self-assessment to determine where shift happened – or didn’t: Continue reading

Being Clear about the Common Core, Clarified

Note: This is a revised and updated version of a previous post. The gist of the article remains the same. Information about standards revisions and transitions has been updated.

The Common Core State Learning Standards are standards. Not curriculum. Not tests. Not evaluation. Standards.

Standards are the “to do” list for learning. They are a list of the things we want students to know, understand, be able to do, and be like. In 1996, New York State issued a complete set of standards for all subject areas and grade levels. There were twenty-three sets of standards that were organized into seven bundles. For example, math, science, and technology were grouped together in a bundle of seven standards (and the accompanying detail). Similarly, Health, Physical Education and Family and Consumer Science were bundled together. Continue reading

Let your voice be heard – Complete the draft NYSSLS survey

The draft New York State Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS), were released for public review, on November 19, 2015. A survey to collect feedback on the draft NYSSLS is open until February 5, 2016. It has been approximately 20 years since we have had the opportunity to welcome new science standards. The adoption of new science standards to incorporate the most recent research related to how students learn science and prepare students for their future is overdue. The opportunity new science standards provide occurs infrequently. We need to maximize this opportunity by taking the time to understand the draft NYSSLS and respond to the survey.

The OCM BOCES Center for Innovative Science Education has developed a resources page to support Continue reading

Attention Content Area Teachers: You Can Help Students Understand Your Content Area While Developing Literacy Skills!

Standards can be found in almost every area of our daily lives, but why do we need them? Imagine if the healthcare industry did not have standards or the food service industry. What would healthcare and food service look like without standards? I dare say the quality and consistency of healthcare and food service would not be the same. Standards provide a common language and set of expectations regardless of the industry.


Watch this video to learn about the creation of the Common Core Learning Standards.

The NYS Common Core Literacy Standards serve this same purpose and requires all teachers, regardless of content area and grade level, to embed literacy into their curriculum. This task does not fall on the shoulders of any one discipline area like English, but all discipline areas. Another way to say this is that all teachers play a role in developing literacy skills so that students are prepared for college and career after high school. Continue reading

The wait is over. The new science standards are here.

The draft New York State Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS), were released for public review, on November 19th. A survey to collect public comments on the draft NYSSLS is expected to be released on December 2, 2015. Here are OCM BOCES Center for Innovative Science Education’s top ten things to consider when reviewing the NYSSLS:

  1. Review the process by which NYSED went through to create the NYSSLS from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The process began in 2013 with a public survey that asked respondents to compare the NGSS to the current New York State science standards. Two sets of standard writing teams made edits to the NGSS to develop the NYSSLS. The Science Education Steering Committee reviewed the preliminary drafts after the first round of edits and provided SED with feedback.

Continue reading

Let’s Get a Few Things Straight

Common Core ArtThe Common Core State Learning Standards are standards. Not curriculum. Not tests. Not evaluation. Standards.

Standards are the “to do” list for learning. They are a list of the things we want students to know, understand, be able to do, and be like. In 1996, New York State issued a complete set of standards for all subject areas and grade levels. There were twenty-three sets of standards that were organized into seven bundles. For example, math, science, and technology were grouped together in a bundle of seven standards (and the accompanying detail). Continue reading