SAMR Through the Lens of the Common Core

One of my goals is to weave digital tools into the Common Core to design flexible, student driven learning experiences that are Above the Line as defined by the SAMR model. While this might sound like a mouthful of EdTech, I assure you that combining all that is on our crowded plates is far better than tackling each individual initiative in isolation. This idea is supported by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

“As education leaders incorporate the CCSS into school systems, P21 urges them to do so in a way that honors the fusion of the 3R’s (core academic content mastery) and 4C’s (critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity and innovation). It is imperative that the CCSS be considered the “floor” –not the “ceiling”– when it comes to expectations for student performance in the 21st Century.”   

 Weaving it All Together – In Simple Terms

  • The Common Core defines what students should be able to do.
  • Digital tools provide students with resources, flexible options and support to do it.
  • The SAMR model provides teachers with a point of reference to reflect on what they are asking students to do and challenges them to embrace technology to design learning experiences that allow students to do what couldn’t be done without the tech.
This digital toolkit is filled with resources for compacting that crowded plate and embracing technology as a tool to fuel deep learning. It can be used as a launching pad to shift instructional practices that target the CCSS through active student participation, providing them with opportunities to engage in the 4C’s. Explore it and dive in, one step at a time.

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SAMR Through the Lens of Common Core Standards
Webinar: 12/3 @ 4:00 CST, sponsored by

Are you looking for ways to leverage the power of technology to help students develop 21st Century Skills? Researchers have determined that technology integration typically moves through four specific levels: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition (SAMR).The higher the level of an activity the greater the educational benefit. This webinar will demonstrate how to use the SAMR model of technology integration as a guide for planning and implementing classroom learning experiences that take student learning to higher levels. 

Join me and Infinitec as we look at some traditional learning tasks, align them to the Common Core Standards, and walk them up the SAMR ladder to show how to transform your teaching and “Teach Above the Line.”

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Registration is open to all


LearnZillion – Help Students Avoid the Summer Slide

As another school year comes to a close we will soon be sending our students home for a much needed respite. It’s time for them to play, focus on developing their nonacademic talents, and enjoy a break from the everyday routine of school. Unfortunately, we know that many of our students will return to school in the fall in need of 4-6 weeks of review to get them back on track. This learning loss is commonly referred to as “the summer slide”.

Teachers hope that students will continue to read, write and participate in real world learning experiences that they can bring with them to the classrooms in the fall to help them be successful. Unfortunately, many students do little during the summer months to stay academically stimulated in the area of math, often because parents lack resources and time to help. LearnZillion is a Cool Tool that can provide parents and students with opportunities to retain math skills and perhaps even make gains during the summer months.

LearnZillion is a free resource of Common Core aligned lessons that use narrated video for instruction. The pause button allows students to tackle the learning at their own pace, while built in learning supports make Learnzillion an effective instructional tool that addresses a variety of learning needs. A Coach’s Commentary on the side of each playlists provides parents with additional information and support. The math lessons provide guided practice opportunities and they also offer a downloadable form for taking notes. This is a nice tool for independent practice over the summer and one that many parents would appreciate having.

Features at a Glance

  • Narrated video lessons for students aligned with Common Core Standards and identified by skill.
  • An iPad app.
  • Coach’s Commentary videos that provide teachers and parents with tips, including identifying common mistakes made
  • Guided practice video lessons.
  • Discussion protocol for use by parents and teachers
  • A notes template for student use.
  • Quizzes to check for mastery
  • A parent letter
  • Quick access codes associated with each lesson.
  • Playlists of resources focusing on a particular standard.
  • Additional CCSS aligned lessons in English/LA
Uses for Summer Learning
  • Teachers can use the handy parent letter to provide students and parents with targeted practice on skills they need to master. Just select the appropriate lessons and click on Quick Code, then copy and paste those into the parent letter.
  • Teachers can take it a step further and create a summer class for students and assign a series of lesons and quizzes for individual students.
  • Use the calendar to assign lessons and due dates to students for completion over the summer.