Getting Ready for College, Careers, and the Common Core


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College, Careers, and the Common Core Bookcover

CATEGORY: Action and Awareness Steps

Professional Development Workshops

EPIC staff can lead workshops for your organization on the topics identified in the book chapters. Please visit the EPIC Workshop and Professional Development Page) to learn more about the services offered and to contact an EPIC representative for further information or scheduling.

Discuss the Four Keys to College and Career Readiness

Review and discuss the four keys model. Refer to table 3.1 , which contains the forty-one aspects of the model.

Use the Four Keys Model to Examine Educational Programs

Examine one or more programs, such as AVID, and identify which aspects of which key the program helps develop.

Identify Range of Strategies to Complete a Task or Deal with a Problem or Challenge

Think of a situation in which you, as an adult, select from among a range of strategies to complete a task or deal with a problem or challenge. How did you develop that range of strategies? How do you choose among them?

Review the Book Website for Programs and Techniques that Teach Cognitive Strategies

What percentage of students would be able to complete an assignment that required them to use the key cognitive strategies? Which key cognitive strategy would cause students the most difficulty? See the website for this book for programs and techniques to teach cognitive strategies to more students.

Review the Sample ThinkReady Task

View the sample ThinkReady task in the appendix. Which elements would be challenging for students? What kind of support or scaffolding could be provided to help them complete it successfully?

Design a Poster with Students Using Chapter 3′s AP Example as a Model

Using the Advanced Placement example as a model, design a simple poster, or work with students to do so, that shows the big ideas of your subject, the enduring understanding, and the organizing concepts. Often this information can be found on the websites of content organizations and other groups concerned with teaching in the subject area in question. Post the resulting product in the classroom. Refer to Essential Questions by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins for ideas and examples.

Survey Students about Sucess (Aptitude vs. Effort)

Survey students to determine what percentage think success in each content is a function of aptitude and what percentage think it ’s a result of effort. Consider programs such as Carol Dweck ’s Brainology ( or your own approach to get more students to believe effort is the key to success.

Identify in Each Course Syllabus How the Course Builds on Previous Knowledge and Skills

Add a section to each course syllabus that identifies how the course builds on knowledge and skills from the previous course or grade level and how it prepares students for the next course or grade level.

Require Students to Expand Their Research Skills Using Research Methods Knowledge Base

Require students to expand their research skills using Research Methods Knowledge Base, a free web-based textbook that familiarizes students with the diverse aspects of social research: formulating questions, choosing a sample, data analysis, ethics, and so on (

Use Pinterest to Collect Research, Concepts, and to Catalogue Colleges or Careers

Have students use the online site Pinterest to collect sources for research, visualize a new concept, or catalogue colleges or careers they are interested in.

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