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Professional Development: Instructional Leadership and the Common Core

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Grades K–High School

Overview: The Instructional Leadership and the Common Core State Standards Module is a 1.5 hour module designed to guide you, the school-level instructional leader, in beginning the work of understanding and implementing the Common Core. Resources available in this module may also support content supervisors, central office leaders, and coaches in the work of planning and carrying out the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The module addresses five areas of consideration:

  • Knowledge of the shifts,
  • Setting a vision for college- and career-readiness,
  • Developing clear metrics to guide the work,
  • Building capacity in the school, and
  • Staying engaged in the work.

This module has been designed specifically for leadership teams at the school and district level. It could potentially also be used by school leaders to support their reflective practice in leading their community of educators through Common Core implementation. This module can also be used to lead a series of discussions that can extend into leadership meetings with teams focused on the work of implementing the Common Core State Standards.

How to Get Started: You are encouraged to customize any or all portions of this module to meet your needs, or the needs and structures of your setting. Be sure to read the User's Guide first! You can find it below the PowerPoint presentation.

What's in this Module?

  1. User's Guide
  2. PowerPoint Presentation
  3. Activity: Reflecting on Actions
  4. Activity: Getting to Measurable, Meaningful Metrics
  5. Activity: Building Capacity for the Work
  6. Discussion: Staying Engaged

PowerPoint Presentation

The PowerPoint presentation informs you about 5 critical aspects of instructional leadership important to supporting quality implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The notes within the slide deck provide thorough information to guide individual learning or to prepare to deliver this presentation to a group. The deck can be divided into its five component sections, with time to process each section individually. The notes in the PowerPoint indicate which activities included in the module support each section. To view the notes, download the full PowerPoint.

User's Guide: Be Sure To Read This First!

The User's Guide is a detailed guide for you, the self-learner and/or facilitator. The guide includes a summary of the contents of the module, followed by suggestions for using the module—whether you have 1.5 hours or more time available. There is a summary of each of the activities and full references/links for all papers, videos, and other web resources.

If you have 1.5 hours...
  • Closely view the PowerPoint presentation (60 min.)
  • Complete the Reflecting on Actions handouts (30 min.)
  • The remaining handouts can be used as individual reflection and planning opportunities as time permits throughout the year
If you have 2 hours...
  • Closely view the PowerPoint presentation (60 min.)
  • Complete the Reflecting on Actions handouts (30 min.)
  • Complete the Getting to Measurable, Meaningful Metrics framework (30 min.+)
  • The remaining handouts can be used as individual reflection and planning opportunities as time permits throughout the year
If you have 3 hours...
  • Closely view the PowerPoint presentation (60 min.)
  • Complete the Reflecting on Actions handouts (30 min.)
  • Complete the Getting to Measurable, Meaningful Metrics framework (60 min.)
  • Complete the Building Capacity for the Work exercise (30 min.)
  • The remaining handouts can be used as individual reflection and planning opportunities as time permits throughout the year

 

All times are suggested and can be expanded to incorporate more discussion as needed. Any portions of this module may be modified, reproduced, and disseminated without prior permission.

Activity: Reflecting on Actions

This activity provides you with the opportunity to process and reflect on the shifts. It is important that you not only listen to these shifts, but also internalize them—to be able to speak to others about them, to use them to guide the work of implementation, evaluation of resources, evaluation of PD offerings, etc.

This activity prompts you to start applying the descriptions of the shifts to the work that happens within the classroom. It supports the opportunity to both identify challenges to address as well as opportunities that exist, in an effort to leverage current effective practices.

This activity could be done at the end of each shift presentation [slide 12 for ELA/Literacy and slide 28 for mathematics].

Activity: Getting to Measurable, Meaningful Metrics

This activity is intended to lead you through the process of clearly describing what successful implementation will look like. While completing this section of the module, it is important to reflect and then share your reflections with others. The more effort put into this activity the more useful it will be in actually supporting the work. If you are facilitating this module, encourage participants to be specific in their descriptions, including measurable outcomes wherever possible.

One option for group facilitation is to actually have small groups present their 5 year and 1 year descriptions to each other and provide feedback to each other, most importantly on the linkages between the shifts, the descriptions, and the metrics.

Another important role of the facilitator here is to make sure that the descriptions and metrics are realistically prioritized.

Activity: Building Capacity for the Work

This activity is important in processing and planning strategies to support you in this change process. This activity is best done in groups. The framework includes the opportunity to name individual leaders in each group. This process supports the concept that the work of instructional leadership is more than just creating a plan, but rather requires differentiation in the needs of individual teachers. The discussion here should center on the evidence that would be relevant to determining where individuals are in the continuum. Another important note to acknowledge here is that not all teachers will become advocates and innovators. If the participants in your setting develop a thorough description and evidence statements around each of these levels, it could well inform a set of metrics for the overall implementation effort.

Discussion: Staying Engaged

To reinforce the concept that the work of instructional leadership is one of continuous learning and development, participants will in this section evaluate sources of information that will support their own learning, as well as the learning of others. This includes resources for engaging the parents and community. 

Depending upon the setting and application of this module, participants can evaluate various websites and share with the larger group. In addition, if this module is delivered to a team, this would be a good time to develop an engagement and information sharing process.

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