As the new Common Core standards take the country by storm, teachers are scrambling to not only learn and understand the standards, but they must also find a way to ensure that students are being taught all that is needed for their grade level. This past year the school where I teach dove in head first to common core. I initially found it to be such a huge chore in my planning because while my standards changed, my textbooks did not. Compound this with the million and one questions from parents and you have a long year ahead of you!
In an effort to make my teaching experiences more smooth and organized feeling I put together a checklist of all of the standards for my grade level (4th grade). What I now have is a Standards Notebook and this item is a part of that notebook.
What I really like about my Standards Notebook is that not only am I feeling more organized but my students are also an active part in their own learning and accomplishments. Once a week (usually on a Friday) I have students open their Standards Notebook and we note what standards we worked on that week. If there are any assessments of the standards we mark those as well and include the grades earned on assessments. Their tests are kept in the notebook and can be used as part of the student portfolios to pass along to the next teacher. After a few weeks of updating the notebooks my students were able to accomplish this in about 5 minutes. I also would from time to time write the standards and dates on the board and students would update throughout the day when they had free time. It has worked wonderfully in my classroom!
The Standards Notebook also makes parent / teacher conferences a snap. When I have conferences I simply pull out the student notebook that I need and can easily review all subject areas as well as tests in an instant. Because it is updated weekly it makes it very easy to prepare for conferences. Standards Notebooks can also be sent home for parental review throughout the quarter or between conferences. Additionally, parents have been thrilled about the organization and informative nature of the notebooks. Happy parents = happy teacher! :)
I have included a few pages for you to review. I didn't recreate the wheel here, I simply organized it! I hope you will find it useful in your classrooms as well.
Have a great summer and happy teaching!