The great part of the day came in the afternoon when we met with one of our district instruction coordinators. She is new to the position this year. She moved to our county from Texas two years ago and taught 5th grade in our county last year. I am very excited to have an instructional coordinator from a different place. I feel like she will have lots of new things to share with us!
One thing she mentioned is that in the district she came from in Texas, they were told to use the text books and provided curriculum as A resource, not the only resource!!! This idea is not new to me, this is what we were taught to do in all of my education classed in school. However, when I got my first job last year I found that all of the teachers teach with the reading series and never stray! BORING!!! I soon learned that the reason for this is because in our county, we have been told that we need to teach our reading and math series with fidelity, meaning that we were told to basically follow them verbatim. In both teacher manuals for reading and math, there are blue words that are basically a script for the teacher to follow. I was very shocked when we were told to "read the blue words!" You mean I went to college to read from a teacher manual? I could have done that right out of high school.
With the new Common Core standards though...... the tides are starting to turn! We were advised today that because our reading series is not aligned with common core we can use the material if we would like, or we can use other resources more aligned with common core! Yay!!! So, I am on a quest to find and create the best resources for common core! Wish me luck! If you know of any great blogs out there to help me please please please let me know! I am a seller on TPT and work on a lot of (in my opinion) great products. However, I know that I will not be able to tackle this job on my own!
Oh, and I'd like to share a little "pat on the back" moment with you all! During our meeting, she asked us to share anything that we were doing in our classrooms that might be different from everyone else or that others might like to hear about. A co-teacher suggested I share about my Writer's Workshop, so I did. She was really impressed with what we were doing in our classroom and she loved it! She said that I was the first person in the county that she had heard of doing this! Yay me :)