AMORY – The Amory School District is preparing for the transition to Common Core State Standards by holding teacher leadership team workshops.
“We meet with about 21 teachers once a month to discuss performance-based activities and assessments, tier vocabulary and close reading,” said ASD curriculum coordinator Andrea Patterson.
ASD Superintendent Tony Cook, who developed the teams along with the district’s principles, chooses teachers based on leadership abilities and knowledge of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Other selection criteria includes enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
“It’s so hard to get all the teachers free at once, so we choose one or two from each building and discipline to form a central team. They are responsible for taking this information back to their building to share with their peers,” Cook said.
During the last meeting on Jan. 4, the teams met to discuss performance-based assessments, the three tiers of vocabulary and vocabulary development tools. To close the meeting, Cook and Patterson guided teachers through a close reading of The Gettysburg Address. Teachers were then asked to create their own questions for a close reading assignment.
Common Core will be more rigorous than the current Mississippi framework. The focus will be on more complex, nonfiction texts, as well as writing in all content areas. Other changes will include more focus on speaking and listening activities.
Assessments will shift from multiple choice questions to extended responses where students will be required to write their answers.
There will be extensive Common Core training for the district this summer and the curriculum will be fully implemented by the 2014-15 school year.