CCLA is Busy Transitioning to the Common Core

Cali teachers have been busy learning about the CA Common Core State Standards. We have been attending workshops at the Sonoma County Office of Education, both during the day and in the evening. Teams of teachers have also been working together on campus with Jennifer Martínez. Many changes in curriculum and instruction will be implemented in phases over the next few years. Some of the biggest shifts in language arts include:

  • Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
     
  • Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from the text, both literary and informational
     
  • Building knowledge through content-rich non-fiction

There will be many changes in mathematics as well. One of the most significant will be equal focus on conceptual understanding; procedural skill and fluency; and application. Students will be justifying their thinking both orally and in writing.

Below is a summary of the major work in grades K-8:
K-2: Addition and subtraction – concepts, skills, and problem solving; place value
3 – 5: Multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions – concepts, skills, and problem solving
6: Ratios and proportional relationships; early expressions and equations
7: Ratios and proportional relationships; early expressions and equations
8: Linear algebra and linear functions

Technology is an Absolute Necessity
We are very grateful to the CCLA PTA and the John Jordan Foundation for their generous contributions to our technology fund. Teachers and students are excited about lessons using the document cameras and projectors. The teacher laptops finally arrived and we are already using them for professional development in addition to the daily tasks of curriculum development, tracking student data, email, etc. The district has ordered three iPad carts with keyboards and headsets for our school.

Testing Practice
Students in grades 3-8 will soon begin taking practice test items online to prepare for the CA CCSS Field Test this spring. In addition to the rigor of the new standards, students will be challenged with the task of manipulating the technology correctly. Our goals are to help familiarize with the item types and technology; and to lower anxiety levels. Students would benefit tremendously from practicing keyboarding as well as other computer and iPad skills at home. There are many free sites online to learn and practice correct keyboarding skills. Here are a few:

Parents can learn more about the Common Core on the national PTA website. Parents and students can access the practice items online at: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test/
Please contact me at 837-7747 ext. 4108 or jmartinez@wusd.org with any questions.