Sometimes things can seem overwhelming so we avoid them. For example, my hall closet was a mess and I was desperate, so desperate I offered money to my teenagers to work on it. It’s the catch-all closet, the place where we shove stuff and then forget about it. Needless to say, that didn’t work, my teenagers wouldn’t take the bait, so eventually, after saying for several months I needed to clean it, I finally just did it. When it comes to hall closets, that’s okay, no harm, but sometimes delaying the work because you are overwhelmed can be detrimental to the learning process.
If you are feeling that way about the new streamlined standards, you are not alone, as school gets back into full swing, and teachers are weighted down with back-to-school, many of them have the streamlined standards on their minds but that’s about it. I get that, there really hasn’t been time to dedicate to a deep dive. But as we all settle into our routines, it might be the perfect time to dig in and start taking a look at what’s there.
If you are doing this work on your own or planning it for others it’s important to think about some bite-sized chunks to start with. I’m frequently getting questions about the streamlined standards and a recent coffee chat hosted by Indiana’s Reading League in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education really made me think. What are some steps to take to begin diving in without getting overwhelmed?
1. Step 1
Start with the IDOE: Indiana Academic Standards
Compare the way the two 2020 and 2023 standards are organized.
Take a look at the domains and find places where there are some language changes.
2. Step 2
3. Step 3
Start peeling back the individual standards.
Look at what has been determined to be essential. Compare that with previous work on the 2020 standards. See if there are changes with prioritization.
Identify any slight changes in language.
Think about what students need to be able to do. (I can…We will statements)
Note any academic vocabulary students will need to be successful.
The goal is always to improve student learning outcomes, deeply understanding the academic standards is an important part of that process. Understanding what we are specifically supposed to teach allows us to increase the likelihood of explicit and systematic instruction that results in increased student learning.
Looking for some “Done for You” help with the New Indiana State Standards:
K-5 ELA and Math Standards, I Can Statements & Academic Vocabulary individual grade levels and other bundle options available)