AAMP UP Teaching

 

 

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Welcome to AAMPUPTEACHING, a website dedicated to the unlimited teaching and learning potential of every teacher. To ease teachers’ progress through the increasing demands of the Common Core State Standards expected in 2014, this website provides links to the newest research and videos on effective teaching and authentic assessment and links to invaluable resources from respected educational researchers, philanthropies and publishers. It also includes links to school districts’ and states ‘ websites that contain helpful resources based on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills

which infuse the 3Rs and 4Cs (Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity and innovation). In addition, you will find links to websites of the noble work of exemplary teachers who are constantly renewing and reinventing themselves.

 

Virtually every visionary in education recognizes what Michael Fullan calls the “simplicity in the complexity” of teaching, or the “simplexity” of teaching-- finding the smallest number of high leverage, easy to understand actions that unleash stunningly powerful consequences. This website is devoted to that concept, framed around Mike Schmoker’s visionary body of work, which provides clear insights into how to “radically improve student learning”, and driven by the urgency of Doug Reeves’ Navigating Implementation of the Common Core Standards. It presents not only elements of their shared visions for improving student achievement, but the synthesis of many other researchers, who all agree with Mr. Schmoker’s demystification of the fundamentals of teaching and learning, reducing it to three simple elements:

 

1. What to Teach,

2. How to Teach

3. Purposeful Reading and Writing.

 

Because of the depth of the intricacies required for “How to Teach”, I split this category into two sections and recast it into a recognizable, “energetic” acronym AAMP:

A: Align to an objective

A: Actively teach

M: Measure performance and

P: Purposeful reading and writing.

 

Any teacher who integrates these elements into their instructional design, even at the basic level, will see significant student gains. AAMP presents John Hattie’s groundbreaking research which identifies the statistical foundation of “visible learning”, called the “. 4 hinge effect” where innovative teaching practices begin to produce measurable student achievement. This website will include links to numerous .4 and above visible learning practices, all flexible strategies to help teachers achieve the CCSS. John Hattie:


This is the good news. We know what teaching IS and what teaching IS NOT. The bad news: Universal “belligerent neglect” from teachers and administrators (Doug Reeves, 2001) and “Benign Neglect” from parents, has produced a stagnant school culture incapable of the robust change needed to promote the levels of literacy needed for 21st Century Skills or Common Core Curriculum Standards.

Never has there been more urgency. Our inferior education system represents the single greatest economic threat to the survival of this country; however, this nation is crippled by inaction, despite glaring data that continues to spell “epic fail” across all our efforts.

Visionary leaders and philanthropists, like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are forging the way, creating am achievable path of success for all teachers, underwriting innovative teacher improvement initiatives like the MET Project, (Measure of Teaching Effectiveness, seeking to quantify that “great teaching matters”), and funding Common Core Curricular Maps for Language Arts and Math   These books, written by teachers for teachers, are filled with “substantive and challenging content with engaging and interesting instructional approaches” for all grade levels. These stand-alone products include a minimum of four complete units, with suggested resources and activities, such as digital resources all of which promote “visible learning” in the Common Core Standards.

 

These, and the countless other resources on this website, will inspire the “learning teacher” to explore and seek out research-based ideas; however, they are not a substitute for the type of rich, content based, substantive staff development ”capacity building” activities needed to build teacher mastery in understanding and implementing the sophisticated level of teaching and assessment required to implement Common Core State Standards. Each state must design programs to support teachers through this historic era of re-shifting teachers’ mind sets about their own abilities to promote high levels of achievement for all students.

 

Moreover, the resources on this website invite teachers and school districts to “live in the solution not in the problem.” It is a call to action for teachers, unions, administrators, teacher education colleges, parents and community members to assure a good teacher, not necessarily an exemplary teacher, is in every classroom.  Hopefully, all these stakeholders will demonstrate “the will and persistence to implement what we already know” as good teaching and have the courage to question the status quo. (Schmoker). Based on the breadth and depth of the free materials on the Internet, there are no longer any excuses or any exceptions, for NOT teaching.

If you are a teacher committed toward the fundamental rights of intellectual empowerment for all children, your courage to improve your teaching will inspire others. Your vision of continual self improvement will create a “butterfly effect” of courageous decisions, eventually promoting high quality “basic teaching” in every classroom in the world.

My own research for this website has both humbled and reduced me, even after forty-three years of teaching, to a “work in progress”. I invite all teachers to demonstrate the “courage to be imperfect” and to reflect, renew and revitalize themselves by experimenting with the innovative teaching strategies and resources they find on this website.         

Claire Ratfield

 

National Board Certified: Early Adolescence Generalist
National Board Certified: Middle Childhood Generalist
John’s Hopkins University-CTY For Talented Youth-Exemplary Teacher