by Andrew Foster
Many states, districts, and individual schools are preparing to dive in to Common Core implementation this summer and during the 2012-2013 school year. Teachers and administrators have heard enough of theoretical discussion of the Common Core and are ready to get down to business. Professional development opportunities centered around the CCSS are becoming more commonly available, books are being published, blogs and websites are proliferating. It is important that our progress toward implementation includes a major focus on quality instruction.
Fortunately, some great work has been done exploring the specific changes that will need to be made in most classrooms for intruction to meet the challenge of the Common Core State Standards.
Specifically, six “shifts” have been identified and explained in some detail by authors of the CCSS. New Mexico has published a handy reference page here. New York has defined the shifts in practical language here. Each of the shifts defines ways that teachers and students will be involved in learning the content. Some of the shifts are strategic, others concrete and practical. All require careful consideration and planning to make the changes effective in the classroom. As I look toward the next school year of instruction in my own classroom, I will examine these shifts one by one and share what I learn here.