Video Playlist: Strengthening Lessons for the Common Core

How to Strengthen Lessons

As you are setting up your classroom, planning your units, or perhaps already teaching (yikes!), you’re probably digging through last year’s lesson plans. As you look through those plans, you may be thinking, “Wow, this was a fantastic lesson!” Or, perhaps you’re thinking, “Hmmm… this lesson could use a little work.”

To top it off, you may also be thinking of checking your lessons for Common Core alignment. With all of this planning in mind, Teaching Channel has partnered with Achieve.org on a three-part series featuring tools for Common Core lesson planning. The series highlights Achieve’s work with EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products), an initiative designed to identify high-quality materials aligned to the Common Core.

In these first three videos, we introduce you to a tool already used by over 15,000 teachers across the country to help them plan and evaluate lessons aligned to the Common Core: the EQuIP Rubric.

1. Strengthening Lessons for the Common Core: In this overview, you’ll learn about the EQuIP process for evaluating and giving feedback on CCSS-aligned lessons. You’ll see that while one goal of EQuIP is to identify exemplary lessons for teachers around the country to use, another goal is to have teachers use EQuIP’s tools to build their own capacity to develop and find high-quality instructional materials.

2. Peer Review in Action – Math: In this roundtable video, you’ll see a panel of teachers discuss and give feedback on a high school algebra lesson. As you watch, notice how the EQuIP process gives teachers a chance to truly dive in and discuss the standards and their implications for lesson planning.

3. Peer Review in Action – ELA: In this ELA video, you’ll see a different panel of teachers discuss a high school ELA lesson on persuasion. As you watch, notice how the rubric focuses their discussion on text complexity, a hot topic for many ELA teachers. You’ll also hear teachers discuss the value of close lesson examination in ensuring Common Core alignment.

lessons aligned to Common CoreYou don’t need to be part of an EQuIP review panel to benefit from their tools. Here are three ways you can use the EQuIP rubric in your own practice:

  • On your own as part of your instructional planning or self-reflection
  • In an informal group of colleagues as you develop, revise or select resources
  • In a more formalized professional learning community

And, you can even submit your own materials to EQuIP for their review! (This is a free service.)

Have you and your colleagues done similar work with planning and evaluating lessons? How could you imagine using the EQuIP rubric in your own practice? Let us know what you think!

Gretchen Vierstra taught middle school for ten years in the San Francisco Bay Area. During her 15+ years in education, she’s also been a department chair, new teacher coach, curriculum developer, and policy analyst. She is an Education Content Manager at Teaching Channel.

AchieveAchieve is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization dedicated to working with states to raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability.

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