Sunday, June 29, 2014

Planning a Better Lesson

While reading through my state teaching association's monthly magazine, I discovered cc.betterlesson.com, a website dedicated to Common Core aligned lessons.  While some districts were ahead of the eight ball on Common Core and have been planning for years, other districts are still trying to wrap their heads around making sense of the new standards.  For those of you in the latter category, this website is a great place to start as 5,000 model lessons for every grade level are provided.  The "meet the teachers" section of the website indicates which type of district (rural, suburban, urban) each teacher works in and provides a link to his or her lesson contributions.  This section is valuable for the "this teacher does not teach students like mine" crowd.

Each lesson is broken down by stage and most resources are provided (in some cases you will need access to the text mentioned or be able to substitute a different text).  There are even videos that demonstrate what a particular activity should look like.  One of my only criticisms of the lessons provided is that I saw very little evidence of differentiation, especially for English language learners. However, it's a very rare circumstance when teachers are able to take "canned" lessons and teach them without making any modifications for their specific group of students.  I believe that the purpose behind CC BetterLesson is to give teachers a starting point for planning Common Core aligned lessons and this site does an excellent job of achieving this mission.


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