Professional Learning with GCA (Part 1): New Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science and Social Studies

The 2016-17 school year has been filled with rich collaborations with districts, schools, and RESAs in areas like text-dependent writing and building better classroom assessments. A sincere thank-you to educators and students everywhere. We continue to learn from you all.

GCA’s updated professional learning sessions for 2017-18 reflect what we’ve learned. For instance, co-creating lessons and co-teaching with educators in 2016-17 has led to updates in our text-dependent writing sessions. These sessions include several new elements in 2017-18, including an increased focus on helping students read more deeply. Furthermore, our sessions on building better assessments have become more job-embedded – that is, embedded in the daily practice of instruction. Teachers are invited to bring their own classroom assessments to the sessions for fine-tuning.

Broadly speaking, GCA’s professional learning offerings for 2017-18 include sessions on:

  • The new Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science and Social Studies – matching instruction to the new Standards
  • Better tools, better evidence – fine-tuning your own classroom assessments
  • Text-dependent writing – reading with purpose, writing that shows it

A common theme across these sessions is strong alignment between standards, instruction, and assessment, necessary for high levels of student achievement in any subject area.

In this first of three blog posts, the session on the new Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science and Social Studies takes the spotlight. The next two blog posts will focus on the other two sessions, in turn. Look for these within the next few weeks.

The new Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science and Social Studies – matching instruction to the new Standards

As educators begin transitioning to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) in Science and Social Studies, conversations naturally move to instructional and assessment practices – what needs to change?

GCA has been thinking about the same question, and we’ve already had rich discussions on this topic with science and social studies teachers across the state. These discussions have informed the development of this professional learning session.

The session begins with deconstructing selected standards from the GSE in science or social studies, clearly identifying what students need to know, how they need to reason, and, if applicable, what processes they need to demonstrate or products they need to create.

The next step is to focus on creating or modifying instructional activities so that they clearly address these learning targets.

What can participants expect from this session?

Participants can expect a focused, practical discussion on aligning their instructional practices with the rigor of the GSE, and to leave with two assets:

  1. At least one concrete instructional activity aligned to a specific standard;
  2. A clear process for aligning their instructional activities with all other standards from their course.

Click here to visit our Professional Learning webpage to discover more:

Professional Learning