Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cornerstone Tasks

I've been working hard at Understanding the CCSS and it's implications for Curriculum development in my role as facilitator (coordinator).  People ask me questions everyday about how it will impact our curriculum.  

I've been saying in a nutshell it will cause us to rewrite and rethink.

Read my post on CCSS here then check this out:

Cornerstone tasks are opportunities for student to USE knowledge and skill they have learned throughout a unit or duration of study in order to INDEPENDENTLY demonstrate their learning.

These tasks are REALISTIC in nature.  Have an authentic audience (See Ron Berger, An Ethic of Excellence)

Cornerstone Tasks involve MANY:
  • CCSS
  • Content standards
  • 21st century skills (creativity, technology use, teamwork, etc.)
These cornerstone tasks "honor the intent of the standard within and across subject areas."

This SCREAMS Project, Problem, Passion and Game-based learning. 

See my post here on Curriculum Models throughout time....

Cornerstone tasks are designed to reoccur from grade-level to grade-level progressing from simpler to more sophisticated.  From more scaffolded to more autonomous in nature.

As we continue down the road of learning about the CCSS and begin looking at other standards, outcomes and expectations from areas such as NCSS, NCHE, NGSS, and others we MUST be so moved to revision items that impact our alignment:

1.  Our grading practices from points to standards based
2.  Our summative assessments from paper/pencil to something more authentic
3.  Out schedule from math only happens from 8:47 - 9:33 to when it's needed for the project
4.  Our role as educators from holder of knowledge to advocator of learning
5.  Our training of new teachers
6.  Our model of checklists and scope and sequences to Cornerstone Tasks

We will not be able to meet the myriad of tasks and performance outcomes simply by making a list and checking it off.  We MUST throw the goals and outcomes off the table, start fresh with these cornerstone tasks (project, problems, games, and passions) and pull in standards when and where they fit.

The CCSS will eventually cause us to change our thinking from:

Scope and sequence/step by step/1st hour, 2nd hour, 3rd hour

to this:

Theme/Project/Student-Centered/Passion-Driven/Cornerstone Task centered

Support and resources:

Images from:
Cornerstone -
Dominos -

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