Discover Great Common Core PD

guest post by Johnna Weller, Ed D.

guest post by Johnna Weller, Ed D.  
Note from Vicki: Johnna from Discovery Education,
wrote the recent post 15 Wrong Ways to implement Common Core.
Discovery is offering Common Core Academies this summer.
I've done work with Discovery and am a Den Star Educator and
Love their work, so I asked her to share about their Academies
this summer and what to expect. Having been part of
one of their STEM institutes, I know first hand what
an excellent job they do. I can personally attest to the
fact that their training is exciting, engaging, and hands on. As always
please review the disclosures at the bottom of this post.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about 15 Wrong Ways to Implement the Common Core.  Since then, I’ve been asked to list the “right” ways.  

Is there a Common Core “checklist?”

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a list of things that, if completed, would ensure that your classroom/school/district was “Common Core-ized”?

But, it’s not that simple.  As much we educators love checklists (I make them almost daily!), I don’t believe that there is checklist for implementing the Common Core. 

We must be critical thinkers as we plan Common Core Implementation

Just as the Common Core requires deep and critical thinking of students, so it is the same for the adults.  As we design, plan, learn, and reflect on instructional practices that will move our lessons toward Common Core, we must be deep and critical thinkers — not simply list-checkers. 

Instruction that builds deep and critical thinking is vital for our students everywhere, even in places that have not adopted the Common Core.  No matter where we are — it’s all about powerful instruction that develops powerful thinkers.

“Instruction that builds deep and critical thinking
is vital for our students everywhere,
even in places that have not adopted the Common Core.”

The Cognitive Workout of Common Core Implementation

The complexity and rigor of designing complexity and rigor should not be minimized.  It’s a cognitive workout (“brain sweat,” as some people say). Educators must design instruction that intertwines the needs of their students with the standards, curriculum, and assessment.  They must continually monitor students’ learning to adjust their instruction.  It’s definitely complex.  Joyfully complex… but complex all the same!

So, it’s all about instruction — the designing, planning, reflecting, monitoring, adjusting, and thinking that teachers do to nurture their leaners.  It’s not a list … it’s an ongoing process.

Discovery Common Core Academies

But, since we do love lists (and I haven’t made one yet today), I

will share 3 ways how Discovery Education’s Professional Development can support teachers in their complex work.  

This summer in various locations across the U.S., Discovery is offering Common Core Academies
1. Are research-based: Professional development that integrates proven curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices from expert practitioners.

2. Are personalized:  Each academy addresses educator-identified needs related to the transition to more rigorous standards.

3. Are practical: Educators leave with practical strategies for immediate classroom application.

Whether you are just starting on the path down CCSS implementation and need an introduction to the CCSS standards or you are ready to dig deeper into the specifics of the standards, we’ll meet you where you are and help you take the next steps toward successful implementation of the CCSS in your classroom, school, or district.

There are four Common Core Academies to pick from:


·       Making the Common Core State Standards Make Common Sense in Your English Language Arts and Content Area Classroom

·       Moving Toward Greater Focus and Coherence in Your Classroom: Making Common Sense Out of the Math Common Core State Standards

·       Connecting Specialized Instruction to Common Core State Standards: An Academy for Teachers of Students with Special Needs

·       Not-So-Common Leadership Strategies for Successful Common Core Implementation

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I have used personally. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.I reserve rights to edit and/or all editorial rights for what is published on this blog. If you don't fall into this category, please don't request a guest post.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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