DA Academy

Last week I was chosen to attend a training called the “DA Academy” or “Differentiated Accountability Academy”. I was with eight other people from my school: my principal, four assistant principals, our two coaches (math and science), and two teachers (including myself). My school was required to come to this training because we were a ‘D’ for two years in a row – although we are hoping our grade for last school year will be better than a D!!

While the first two days were good information, they were dry. The third day was probably my favorite. We were broken into subject areas and dove more deeply into common core. While elementary schools have already made some degree of a dive into common core, there were a lot of lightbulb moments for secondary teachers.

Here is a picture to consider:

Both of these questions are designed for Algebra 1, which is typically a 9th grade course. The top is a old standard question designed for the rigor of an FCAT or EOC style test. The bottom is a question designed for a Common Core Assessment (in Florida they are moving towards the PARCC tests).

Questions to consider:
Could your students attack a question like this?
What would need to change in your instruction to meet he rigor set forward by the second assessment?
How would your assessments look different based on the second question?

My thoughts:
Although I strive to create an environment that challenges my students, I am going to have to add additional levels of rigor and discovery for my students. This is a change in thinking because the question isn’t specific about the skills that a student would need to draw upon to answer the question. My students are going to be able to know the ‘tools’ in their toolbox in order to answer these questions! This will lend itself to Problem Based Learning, which I am already working with my math coach on!

I’ve had a lot of people read my posts about common core, so I’d like to hear your thoughts. Was this information helpful? What was your take-away?
I’d love to hear from you!

What’s next?
Although it’s summer, I’m diving head on into this common core stuff. This week is a four day workshop to chuck standards and create pacing guides for secondary math for Pasco County. I’m one of two people assigned to Geometry!! Excited, but a little scared!

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