Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Unwrapping Common Core State Standards and Unit Planning (Deer Creek Public Schools)

These are my notes from today’s professional development day with Deer Creek Public Schools (in Oklahoma) focused on understanding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), learning to ‘unwrap’ the CCSS, creating a CCSS unit based on an existing ELA or math unit, and learning about resources for teachers/students to share for teaching/learning. This day was led by Cindy Koss, the Curriculum Director for Deer Creek Public Schools. I attended today along with other representatives of Yukon Public Schools, where I’m working this semester as an innovative instructional coach.

This is the three minute reflection video teachers created at the end of the day.

If we start in kindergarten asking students to explain their thinking in math, how will that change what we’re doing in math class?

CCSS will force students to justify their reasoning, to do public speaking, practice oral communication skills
– justifying thinking is a key element

Marzano challenges us to move from the information age to the interaction age
– if CCSS will make a difference for us in Deer Creek

“Common Core is not a standards checklist”
– professional learning communities are where you talk about this integration

See this PPT from Ohio SDE: “Focus One: TPD Meeting” linked on “Mathematics Common Core State Standards and Model Curriculum

CCSS are always looking for real world examples

The (+) in the standards indicates more advanced concepts or skills

What does literacy look like in the mathematics classroom?

In ELA with CCSS, we are all “Reading like a detective”

Common terminology for ELA
– ELA strands, topics and standards

Appendix B has appropriate texts by grade level, and appropriate tasks for students by grade

In Deer Creek, students in 6th grade will be required to take a 9 weeks course on “Presentation Technologies”

What standards do NOT define:
– how teachers should teach
– all that can or should be taught
– nature of advanced work beyond common core
– more….


Larry Ainsworth is the author of “Rigorous Curriculum Design: How to Create Curricular Units of Study that Align Standards, Instruction, and Assessment
– he developed a process for unwrapping standards, which long precedes Common Core
– we are going to follow Larry’s process today

6 steps:
1- select unit of study
2- identify matching priority standards
3- ‘unwrap’ selected priority standards
4- create graphic organizer and identify learning goal(s)
5- determine the big ideas
6- write the essential question

Official definition of unwrapping standards: “deconstructing the priority standards for a unit of student to determine exactly what students need to:
1- know (teachable concepts) the important nouns or noun phrases
2- do (skills) the verbs

Step 3:

Step 4: Create a graphic organizer
– unwrapped skills with approximate Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels
— recognize (main idea)
— provide (supporting evidence)
— contrast (facts, supported inferences, opinions)
— draw (inferences, conclusions, generalizations)
— support (inferences/conclusions with text evidence, prior knowledge)
— (this is what students need to be able to do)

Remember you can’t / shouldn’t use “verbs” in isolation here: it is VERY important what the context / subject of your lesson

At the end of the day I shared a bit of “Mapping Media to the Common Core” including moderated, interactive blogs, screencasts and narrated slideshows. (This is a work in progress.)

Mapping Media to Common Core » #playingwithmedia navigational aides

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