These first weeks of school, I have been seeking out Common Core lessons to watch and get a feel for what has changed. Here are some notes that never made it into the stories:
Kids helping one another with mechanical tasks not only gives them responsibility, it lowers the number of times the one teacher has to get around to dozens of desks. Group discussions, kids coming up with their own arguments and other self-run activities also give teachers time to move around the room – time they did not have when lecturing.
In an Enochs High class, Janeen Zambo has a square on each desk with either A or B, a group color and an individual number. The A and B pair teens, allowing her to have the A’s speak first, or the B’s do a task. To call on individuals, Zambo pulls Popsicle sticks labeled with numbers from a cup – no need for six sets of sticks with each period’s names.