Common Core Implementation in a PLC - Part 3 of 3
Part 3: Principals Lead Common Core Implementation
Change can be a challenge for schools—for the individuals within the school, as well as for the school as a whole. Common Core (CC) implementation presents the opportunity and challenge of change. The fatal attribution error, as described in Influencer (Patterson, Grenny, Maxfield, McMillan, & Switzler, 2008), is to assume the lack of change as a motivation issue, when in reality it is often an ability issue. To help principals lead CC implementation, new skills—new abilities—are required, so I developed a process for principals to weave curriculum mapping with unwrapping CC standards within a PLC at Work framework (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, 2008):
Principals Guiding Teams in Curriculum Mapping
I. Provide teams with copies of the curriculum.
II. Teach teams how to determine an essential learning outcome (ELO) or power standard. Teams evaluate if a standard meets one of Douglas B. Reeves’s (2005) three criteria for determining ELOs:
- Endurance: Knowledge and skills students must know that are recurring
- Leverage: Success in this standard is likely to be associated with success in other standards.
- Essential for the next level: If your team was asked to give advice to the teachers in the next lower grade level, these are the skills students would need to advance with success and confidence.
If teams get stuck, the principal can use probing questions to help teams clarify ELOs:
- Are students going to need to know this for life?
- Will students be at a serious disadvantage when they move to the next grade level if they don’t know this?
- After providing more time and support to students who didn’t learn a particular skill, would you consider referring these students to special education because they still struggle with this skill?
III. Help teams unwrap the ELOs using the steps in Common Formative Assessments (Bailey & Jakicic, 2012).
IV. Teams plug each ELO into a template to dig deeper into its meaning.
- Would the appendices in the Common Core documents help you find an example of rigor?
- Are there resources in your textbook teacher edition that could help you complete the template?
- What assessments do you currently have that might be adapted or revised to align with this standard?
- How much time do you anticipate your team will need to teach this ELO well?
- How will your team respond when students don’t learn this ELO the first time?
V. Teams map out the entire core for language arts and math (or their secondary content area) by determining as a team what to teach when. Principals decide if they are going to use a schoolwide template or let teams select a format of their choice (a calendar, a table, Excel template, etc.) for their curriculum map.
Bailey, K., & Jakicic, C. (2012). Common formative assessment: A toolkit for professional learning communities at work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press
DuFour, R., DuFour, R., & Eaker R. (2008). Revisiting professional learning communities at work: New insights for improving schools. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Mattos, M. (2008). Presentation at CITES Principals’ Academy at Brigham Young University.
Patterson, K., Grenny, J., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2008). Influencer: The power to change anything. New York: McGraw-Hill.