One teacher's attempt to connect with other educators across Massachusetts and beyond and provide relevant, up-to-date, and sometime helpful information on next generation assessments, common core state standards implementation, and college and career ready initiatives
Districts are moving at different speeds with adoption of the standards, but many are now seriously considering how to look through their lessons and align, revise or redesign them either for the first time or for the second or third time to the Common Core State Standards. One of the many great tools that are available to teachers is the tri-state rubric jointly developed by Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts. This tool is a real asset for teachers, coaches, administrators, and those that evaluate/purchase resources for the following reasons:
1. A common rubric that norms discussions around the same language and criteria.
2. Carefully constructed criteria that develop and isolate the key instructional shifts that are embodied in the Common Core.
3. Balanced criteria that provide a diverse set of criteria that range from rigor to instructional supports to assessment.
4. Each criteria serves as prompt for a concrete discussion about the meaning of Common Core as it comes to live in the classroom.
This tool and the criteria within it can be used in a variety of ways and I see it playing it out in at least a couple of the following:
1. A tool for self-reflection. How are my units? What are some things I should be looking for and how am I doing with my own transition to these new standards? Where and how can I improve my alignment with the common core?
2. A tool for purchasing materials or adopting open source materials. Does this resource help and support my own, a team of teachers, a school, or district transition to the new standards? Where is a resource strong or weak?
3. A tool for groupings of teachers either at department, grade, school, district, state, or interstate level to communicate about units and lessons around specific criteria as well as to share best practices around lesson design and delivery to meet the demands listed in the criteria. How do we understand how lesson or unit develops both the content and shifts in the Common Core? Does this lesson or unit align? How can we use the criteria to improve this unit or lesson? What best practices do we use that may help meet this criteria?
4. A tool for planning the development or revision of lesson and units. What should I be considering when I am revising, redesigning, or creating this unit? What are the “must have” components to be Common Core ready? What should I be considering in my assessments? How can I increase rigor? What instructional supports am I providing to enable students to meet the rigorous criteria I have set for myself and them?
Obviously there are many ways to use the rubric, but it is a tool that is a crucial component for those transitioning from standards to instruction. The resources below are intended to provide an orientation to the rubric and give those interested a way to start using the tool.