CCSS_CJT

One of the features I love most about the Teacher Anchor™ is the Common Core standards that are listed in the back.  I very intentionally put them into this planner (read more ahead) but I get a lot of questions about them.  So I thought maybe by putting some of the most frequent questions in this blog post, you will understand more about how you can use them to your advantage to get the most out of your students.  But first, the why

As you know I like to explain a lot of my products.  Everything is created with intention and nothing is accidental.  The Teacher Anchor™ comes with the Common Core standards for grades K-3 included in the spiral planner.  I get a lot of feedback asking if you can order your Anchor with just your grade level CCSS in them?  Some of you have even commented on the fact that it seems like a lot of added paper that can be eliminated by just doing individual grade levels.  Actually, the act of putting all elementary grades in there was quite intentional and the Teacher Anchor™ just would not work the same with only one grade level.  Let me explain more…

One of the main jobs of a classroom teacher is to monitor the progress of your students.  As a first grade teacher, I was constantly using the standards to see where my students needed to be by the end of first grade.  That being said, I CONSTANTLY referenced the kindergarten standards to see where they came from.  It is so important to cross-plan for your students, especially your struggling ones.  When I saw a student that was having difficulty with a basic first grade skill, I’d refer to my K standards and backtrack to re-teach some of those to that student in individual or small group time.  I’d use my student data sheets to record our sessions and notate which standards we were working on.  Then I’d use my binder to file all of my notes on that student so that I had accurate data of my plan towards his/her progress.  On the flip side, if I had a student that was particularly high performing and had mastered many of the grade level standards, I could look ahead to 2nd grade and see what I could start to pre-teach this student in individual conference time.  Also I could look even further towards third grade to see what foundational groundwork I need to lay for those students to be successful down the road.

So you see, if you are just focused on your particular grade level, then I don’t think we are using the maximum potential to get the most out of our students.  The Teacher Anchor™ was always created to be used interchangeably between your student data and your lesson plans.  So often we plan, execute our lesson, assess and move on, leaving students that may be struggling or who may have already mastered this skill behind.  A lot of time is wasted in the classroom by doing blanketed lessons that target the whole group and don’t focus on the individual student progress.  That’s why the Anchor is different than anything else on the market.  Because your data is used to drive your instruction.  You are held accountable for each students progress and preparation for the years ahead.  It’s a big job and the Teacher Anchor™ can help you manage it at any level.  That being said, the CCSS for grades 4-6 are included in my Free Printable Library so that you have access to all the elementary levels.  Now on to some other FAQs…

My (insert state/school) doesn’t use the Common Core!  Can I order mine without?

Unfortunately the Teacher Anchor’s™ are all pre-printed and cannot be ordered without.  That being said, I sell quite a number of Anchors to teachers in schools and states that do not currently use the Common Core.  You can do one of two things:

1. You can print out your standards and just insert them in the binder portion.  Since the CCSS are in the back of the spiral planner, you can easily clip them together and ignore them as you use the remainder of your planner.

2. You can take your Anchor to your local print shop and have them uncoil it and removed your CCSS.  Then hole punch and insert your school/state standards and re-coil.  Most print shops will do this for free (just tell them you’re a teacher!)

I teach the upper grades.  I don’t think I can use the Teacher Anchor™ because the CCSS are only for grades K-3.

Not true!  As I mentioned before, the upper grades are available for free download in our free printable library.  You can easily print them out and take them to your local print shop to have them replaced within your Anchor (as I mentioned in #2 above).  The Teacher Anchor™ is even more applicable to the upper grades because of the customization.  The binder/spiral system is meant to work together to maximize the needs for you and for your students.  Let the data drive your instruction and be intentional with your plans.

I ONLY teach 2nd grade.  I don’t need the other grade levels in there.

Yes you do.  In case you just skipped to the FAQs and didn’t read the above summary, I re-posted this question.  And here is the answer:

One of the main jobs of a classroom teacher is to monitor the progress of your students.  As a first grade teacher, I was constantly using the standards to see where my students needed to be by the end of first grade.  That being said, I CONSTANTLY referenced the kindergarten standards to see where they came from.  It is so important to cross-plan for your students, especially your struggling ones.  When I saw a student that was having difficulty with a basic first grade skill, I’d refer to my K standards and backtrack to re-teach some of those to that student in individual or small group time.  I’d use my student data sheets to record our sessions and notate which standards we were working on.  Then I’d use my binder to file all of my notes on that student so that I had accurate data of my plan towards his/her progress.  On the flip side, if I had a student that was particularly high performing and had mastered many of the grade level standards, I could look ahead to 2nd grade and see what I could start to pre-teach this student in individual conference time.  Also I could look even further towards third grade to see what foundational groundwork I need to lay for those students to be successful down the road.  So you see, if you are just focused on your particular grade level, then I don’t think we are using the maximum potential to get the most out of our students.  The Teacher Anchor™ was always created to be used interchangeably between your student data and your lesson plans.  So often we plan, execute our lesson, assess and move on, leaving students that may be struggling or who may have already mastered this skill behind.  A lot of time is wasted in the classroom by doing blanketed lessons that target the whole group and don’t focus on the individual student progress.  That’s why the Anchor is different than anything else on the market.  Because your data is used to drive your instruction.  You are held accountable for each students progress and preparation for the years ahead.  It’s a big job and the Teacher Anchor™ can help you manage it at any level.

Do you have other questions?  Don’t hesitate to email me: chandra@cjayneteach.com and I’ll answer them for you.

Also if you are waiting on your Anchor to be delivered, they should be in your hands by August 1st.  I truly appreciate your patience.  We have had a busy summer with lots of change and adjustment and I appreciate your kind words, support, and understanding.  🙂  Also only about 20 Teacher Anchor’s™ remain until spring 2015.  So if you’re thinking about it, now’s the time to act!

Enjoy the final few weeks of your summer!

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