IRA always has something to offer in the way of understanding the world of education. This year more than any other, it concentrated on trying to make sense of — or as I kept hearing, “unpack”– the Common Core State Standards. The implementation of the CCSS was on everyone’s mind. The fact that IRA advertised over 50 sessions that were all about the standards spoke highly to that. Also, getting into many of those sessions was almost impossible. Sometimes there would be 300 hundred seats, all filled, half an hour before the session. I think it says that while teachers know they need to use these standards to set practices, they just aren’t quite sure about them. The other part of the standards is that I didn’t hear much about the final assessments. No one quite knows what they will look like.
These were the questions that seemed foremost in the minds of those I spoke with. Although no one has absolute answers, they are good food for thought. Here they are: How are the CCSS taking shape in your school? Are you busy seeking new materials? Are you re-evaluating what you have so you can see where some of what you already do will fit? What are you doing to get your kids ready for assessments? Do you have any idea how those will look in your state?