I mentioned in my last past post that my focus needs to be on instruction and assessment. In turn, I need to help teachers keep instruction and assessment at their forefront. Teachers should “begin with the end in mind” as Stephen Covey would say. This philosophy is important with the year just getting started. With new common core state standards, a new evaluation system, and new measurable student learning objectives in Ohio, it is easy to get overwhelmed and wondering how one is supposed help students learn everything they need to know. The end in mind should be about the enduring understandings, essential questions, requisite reasoning/problem solving skills and use of creativity to provide a student with a solid foundation of said content area. I often refer to these pieces as the Big Rocks of the curriculum.
So let's take a step back and breathe. Let's not micro-manage every little standard; instead let's focus on a rigorous curriculum that actively engages students in relevant work. In the end, a student might miss an isolated knowledge question, but will excel on the majority of the work especially the meaningful stuff. What's more important: a student remembering a question that they can Google or a student analyzing information to produce original thought?