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The Standards Juggling Act: Balancing the Common Core, ISTE, and 21 st Century Skills in Your Unit Design. Molly J. Bestge 6 th Grade ELA Teacher and National Board Certified Teacher STEM Center—West Fargo, ND Tri-City Tech Camp June 5-7, 2012. Presentation Description.

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The Standards Juggling Act: Balancing the Common Core, ISTE, and 21st Century Skills in Your Unit Design

Molly J. Bestge

6th Grade ELA Teacher and National Board Certified Teacher

STEM Center—West Fargo, ND

Tri-City Tech Camp

June 5-7, 2012

presentation description
Presentation Description
  • This session will provide participants the opportunity to apply their new “tech” knowledge to unit design.
  • Learn how you can easily incorporate some of your new skills to create units that will assess content standards as well as address ISTE-NETS standards and 21st Century skills.
  • Participants will gain access to a wonderful unit template that will make balancing these important standards manageable.


--Sticky Notes

--7-Essentials article

--Middle Level article

--ISTE standards (laminated)


--6th ELA Template

--6th 21st Century Template


participants will be able to
Participants Will Be Able to…
  • Define 21st Century Learners, Learning, and Educators.
  • Apply Understanding by Design (UbD) to unit creation.
  • Use Common Core and ISTE Standards as well as 21st Century Skills in Unit Design.
how do today s kids learn
How Do Today’s Kids Learn?
  • Sticky Notes! Need to sit in TEAMS of 3!!
  • SOLO

Answer the question, “How do today’s kids learn?”

Put one answer on each sticky note. Place in the center

of the team. Keep going until time runs out…(3 minutes)

  • TEAM
  • Identify a SORTER for the team (P1) Sort the sticky notes, putting same ideas in a stack.
  • Identify a RECORDER for the team (P2). That person records on a new sticky note all of the ideas where EVERYONE in the team had agreed.
  • Identify a SPOKESPERSON for the team (P3). Share out what the team identified as ways that today’s kids learn.
  • Molly will record on the slide…
quote from eric schmitt ceo of google
Quote from Eric Schmitt, CEO of Google
  • “What you see is a culture where people feel that they can build things; that they can actually accomplish what they want. And ultimately people stay in a company because they can achieve something.”
  • How is there a disconnect between this and today’s education???
  • How are WE preparing our students for this type of work environment?
social media video 4 26
Social Media Video (4:26)
this is the 21 st century
This is the 21st Century.

How are we…

  • Keeping abreast of the newest technologies?
  • Filling a students’ social need to network with


  • Creating relevancy in the way that students

publish/communicate their work?

  • Utilizing the devices that they bring to school each day?
  • Supporting collaboration, creativity, innovation, critical thinking?
  • Modeling life-long learning?
the 4 c s critical 21 st century skills
The 4 C’s—CRITICAL 21st Century Skills
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Communication & Collaboration
but what does 21 st century learning look like
But What Does 21st Century Learning LOOK LIKE?
  • Inquiry
  • Real Problems and Real-World Problem Solving
  • Higher-Order Thinking & Questioning
  • Project-Based Learning
    • Designed BackwardsUbD
  • Relevant & Timely Topics
  • Technology Infused Throughout Units of Study
  • Embraces the “Culture” of the Student
  • Collaboration/Cooperation
  • Final Communication Piece that is as “REAL” as it can get!
the 21 st century teacher
The 21st Century Teacher…
  • Engages students in authentic “work.”
  • Thinks globally, not just locally.
  • Is a “guide on the side,” collaborating with students to solve problems.
  • Is OK with “organized chaos.”
  • Realizes that this kind of work can be “messy” and challenging for all.
the 21 st century teacher1
The 21st Century Teacher…
  • Begins with the “end” in mind--designing units with big ideas, essential questions, and enduring understandings.
  • Can go with the “flow” if students need more time to finish creating.
  • Is constantly learning from his/her students, and adapting lessons to make them relevant to the students’ needs.
  • Is not afraid to take a “risk.”
  • In every lesson, is preparing his/her students for the future that is theirs…
digital native vs digital immigrant 3 08
Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant (3:08)
stem center philosophy
STEM Center Philosophy
  • At the STEM Center in West Fargo, we have decided that we use Backward Design along with Project-Based Learning.
  • It’s a nice combinationWe“begin with the end in mind” and design projects that allow our students to engage in critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills.
  • We each are continuously doing individual projects that align to Common Core Standards, but we come together several times a year in interdisciplinary projects that we plan together.
understanding by design ubd
Understanding by Design (UbD)
  • UbDGrant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
  • “Begin with the End in Mind.”
  • Teacher is…the instructor, coach, friend, evaluator, disciplinarian and advisor.
understanding by design ubd1
Understanding by Design (UbD)
  • PLANNING and DESIGN of the Curriculum

and Assessment is most important!

1. Identify Desired Results

2. Determine Acceptable Evidence

Then, and only then…

3. Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction

understanding by design ubd2
Understanding by Design (UbD)
  • Common MistakeIdentify content, brainstorm activities, come up with an assessment and link it to a standard.
  • UbD”Think like an assessor, not an activity designer!!”
    • Big Idea & Enduring Understandings
    • Essential Questions
    • Design Assessments/Performance Assessments
    • Plan learning activities that will meet standards and build toward the assessment/performance assessment.
remember whereto
Remember WHERETO
  • Where are we headed?
  • How will the student be ‘hooked’?
  • What opportunities will there be to equipped, experienced, and explore key ideas?
  • What will provide opportunities to rethink, rehearse, refine and revise?
  • How will students evaluate their work?
  • How will the work be tailored to individual needs, interests, styles?
  • How will the work be organized for maximal engagement

and effectiveness?

project based learning pbl
Project-Based Learning (PBL)
  • Video from

(EXCELLENT resource for instructing with technology!)

why teach with project based learning
Why Teach with Project-Based Learning?
  • “Project learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying.”
                  • Source:
a good combination
A Good Combination!
  • PBL and UbD are the perfect combination!
  • Designing projects with “the end in mind” allows teachers to start with the big idea that leads to a quality assessment.
  • Don’t just do a project to do a project.
  • Do a project with and for a PURPOSE!
nets s standards
NETS-S Standards
  • Not only are we accountable for our Common Core Standards, but WFPS is using the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S).
  • These standards encourage everything that STEM is about!
    • Creativity and Innovation
    • Communication and Collaboration
    • Research and Information Fluency
    • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
    • Digital Citizenship
    • Technology Operations and Concepts
  • Here’s a laminated copy for YOU!
other resources for you
Other Resources for You…
  • “7 Essentials for Project-Based Learning” article.
  • If you are a middle level teacher, “Middle Schools Preparing Young People for 21st Century Life and Work” article will be GREAT for you!

Developed by the National Governor’s Association.

  • North Dakota has adopted the Common Core Standards with supplements, effective July 1, 2013. The old standards are no longer available on the DPI website. We will explore them later.
  • In order to receive certain funding from the federal government, states have had to adopt these standards.
  • They focus on 21st Century skills and college/career readiness.
anchor standards
ANCHOR Standards
  • Off of the English Language Arts Standards, there are ANCHOR Standards that ALL content areas are going to be responsible for teaching.
    • Left hand side under “6-12 Literacy”

  • It is EVERYONE’s job, not just the English/Language Arts teacher, to be teaching these standards.
building interdisciplinary connections
Building Interdisciplinary Connections
  • Teachers trained in Elementary Education have been instructed about the importance of building connections between Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies.
  • Secondary teachers are trained to departmentalize—to “owning” their own discipline, teaching the concepts only within that discipline.
  • 21st Century Learning requires more of ALL of us. We must make learning


how can you
How Can You…
  • Use RELEVANT non-fiction articles to highlight concepts?
  • Tie other disciplines into your discipline?
  • Increase the amount of WRITING your students do in your classroom?
  • Increase the amount of READING your students do in your classroom?
  • Use READING STRATEGIES with your students as they read?
how can you1
How Can You…
  • Create PROJECTS that are high-interest for your students?
  • Make the REAL-WORLD come into your classroom?
  • Infuse 21st Century Skills into your practice?
  • Make sure that the 4 C’s (Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication) are a part of your lessons?
  • Allow students to COMMUNICATE in relevant and authentic ways?
time to explore the common core standards
Time to Explore the Common Core Standards…
  • Please notice…
    • At the end of the ELA standards, there are standards for ELA in Science and Social Studies
    • New standards for Math and ELA based on the Common Core Standards, with ND additions throughout…
    • Go back to the ANCHOR Standards to see where you fit in!
    • As you EXPLORE, record on a sticky note how you can incorporate the COMMON CORE Standards into your current practice…

nuts and bolts the 21 st century unit template
Nuts and Bolts… The 21st Century Unit Template
  • Developed it after I saw a need to organize my own work on new Common Core Curriculum for 6th Grade ELA.
    • Not going to lie… When I first got my hands on the Common Core Standards, I knew I had a lot of work to do to make it all make sense in my brain!
  • Wanted everything in ONE document so that I could see the “big picture” of what was addressed in a unit and how all of the things our district values in our strategic plan are being met in the units I teach.
two templates
Two Templates…
  • 21st Century Template with Standards
    • To be used for INTERDISCIPLINARY planning, as it lists out the Common Core Standards for ELA, Math, and Science, as well as the Anchor Standards…
    • ISTE, 21st Century skills, and Library Media Standards are included.
    • Feel free to ADD standards for Social Studies/Humanities as the standards are unveiled.
  • 6th Grade ELA 21st Century Template with Standards
    • Created specifically for 6th grade ELA.
    • Includes “I Can” statements from the (BTW—this is an incredible resource!!!! Put it in your favorites!!!)
    • Modifications were made to fit with the needs of ELA.
    • PLEASE NOTE: Both of these are WORKING DOCUMENTS. Modify them to fit your needs. You will NEED to put your own grade level standards into the document to make this work…
big picture thinking broken down into digestible bits
BIG PICTURE Thinking Broken Down into Digestible Bits…
  • The templates are at times overwhelming, but they work…
  • Begin with UbDBig idea, Essential Questions, and Assessments.
  • Create/design the assessment.
  • Design activities and identify the essential standards that lead to the assessment. Figure out resources needed for the unit and record them. Nonfiction is HUGE for Common Core.
  • Highlight ALL standards (Common Core, ISTE, 21st Century skills, and Library) that are addressed during activities and assessment. Delete the ones NOT addressed.
  • You have a UNIT and you’ll know exactly what you have addressed and addressed well!
time to explore and ask s
Time to Explore and Ask ?’s
  • Sent you the PowerPoint and the two templates.
  • Explore the site, site, and site.
  • Any questions you have about anything?
thank you
  • I hope that you’ve learned a few things you can take back to your classroom. I know that I have learned so much from you!
  • Molly J. Bestge

6th Grade Language Arts Teacher

and National Board Certified Teacher

STEM Center in West Fargo, ND