Educators in Search of Common-Core Teaching Resources

States and districts are working to turn academic standards into curriculum and instruction, searching for teaching resources but the search has been frustrating and fruitless. Teachers and curriculum developers trying to capture the Common Core State Standards find their materials fall short and there is nothing to fill this void. SMALLab Learning offers Professional Development by Design to as a solution. Catherine Gewertz writes for Education Week, February 29, 2012.

COMMON CORE STANDARDS

The states that have adopted the standards—and districts in those states—have been responding to the need for knowledge and resources in a variety of ways, sharing information online and at "summer academy" convenings.

Even as such resources can help educators shape curriculum, they can’t address the need some feel to have lesson plans available immediately, said Mike Shaughnessy, the president of the Reston, Va.-based National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, one of the Math Common Core Coalition members.

“Teachers want something right away, but I say, ‘Look, this is going to take some time. We have to stay the course.’ Lots of folks are working on this, and there will be some good things,” he said. “But it will take some time.”

Much of the push to produce common-core resources is—and should be—about changing teaching, said Barbara A. Kapinus, a senior policy analyst at the National Education Association.

“Many conversations about ‘creating resources’ are really about professional development,” she said. “What we need is not a bunch of lesson plans online. It’s not a simple matter of step A, step B, then step C.

SMALLab Learning has been committed to developing and refining learning modules that capture K-12 Common Core State Standards for the classroom, with a clear identification of how these modules fit into learning curriculum. Together with teachers through our Professional Development by Design program, developers create scenarios for our learning environments that are embodied and engaging, custom fit to student learning levels and designed to help them achieve.