We seem to now live in a world abuzz with the “Common Core,” and the resources are plentiful. Great problem to have, right? Wrong! Too many resources and so many require time to sift through for quality, applicability to our differing student populations, and then finding them later when we realize the resource was good. It’s exhausting. That’s why, when Teaching Channel (Tch) was recommended by a colleague, I thought, “Finally!”
As part of a county office team, I work with many school districts. We regularly run across superintendents or board members who want to know, “How will classrooms look different in the Common Core era?” Tch can help answer that question. To start with, Tch has introductory videos the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with a toolbox and an ongoing series of video conversations that address the stages and challenges of implementation.
The next highlight is the depth of videos they have on every subject (currently 155 in ELA and 113 in Math) that are broken down by grade level and concept. For example, I previewed a 2nd-3rd grade video on “number sense.” When you click on the lesson, the standards are highlighted and when you scroll over each standard, it details each beyond the number and header. This particular lesson has an 8 minute long video that focuses on the teacher leading a group of students through the lesson.
The teacher models a couple of ways to count to a specific number using counters, with students attentively watching. She asks questions and students come up to model how they might record their answers. A quick check for understanding leads students into a group activity that was rich with academic vocabulary and mathematical conversations. The teacher moves around the room, working with small groups and asking probing questions that require the students to defend their thinking and math processes.
Grade level ranges are broken down into preK-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The videos are also delineated by topics, ranging from student engagement to differentiation to digital literacy. And although the actual lesson plans are not provided, there is enough solid modeling in the videos that a novice teacher can pick up the particular lesson and run with it. Likewise, a superintendent or board member—or anyone—can get a good look at how classrooms implementing CCSS are different.
Since much of my work in CCSS also focuses on the arts, I had to check out some of the 41 videos already created for the arts. I was pleasantly surprised to find the art lessons were tied to other core subjects, especially the ever-so-popular STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). From high school vocal warm-up techniques to kindergarten science/math/art animal patterns, even the arts have a central place in Tch. More importantly, the videos on Tch are rich with student engagement, conversation, clear instructional objectives that students articulate, and strong examples of formative assessments.
I have been most impressed with the reach of Tch. Check it out.