Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Common Core Based Curriculum at Sorenson's Ranch School

A new teacher, new books, and a new Common Core-based curriculum have been welcomed to the Language Arts department at Sorenson’s Ranch School. While school is year round at Sorenson’s Ranch and a new school year comes more often than once a year (because students work through classes at their own pace), the current changes at Sorenson’s have been notable for students and staff. Christy Parrish, recently of Monument Valley High School on the Navajo Reservation, has relocated to Koosharem, Utah to fill the post of Language Arts Teacher here at Sorenson’s Ranch. She trained to become a teacher at BYU in Provo, Utah. During her training, she took specialty classes in ESL which prepared her to scaffold her lessons based on students’ understanding and unique needs. She also studied languages extensively and is thrilled to be able to share her love of language and love of reading with all students she comes into contact with. Additionally, Christy has completed the coursework for a Reading Specialist. Understanding how students develop in their reading as they progress through school has helped her to carefully select and recommend engaging and interesting reading assignments for her students. She is becoming an integral part of both Sorenson’s Ranch School and the Koosharem community. Christy is currently writing new Common Core-based curriculum for the Language Arts classes. While it is no easy feat to concurrently teach and prepare courses for 6th through 12th grade, she is thrilled to have 2012 WriteSource books as a guide to her preparation of writing projects, reading assignments and formative assessments that align with the Utah Common Core. Christy is using the Utah Core to guide all aspects of the Language Arts courses and will continue to create lessons and activities that will meet the unique needs of Sorenson’s Ranch students. As students study the writing process and learn to revise and edit their own work, their own problem-solving and cognitive processes will be strengthened. As students use the Six Traits of writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions) to tailor their writing for specific audiences, they will be prepared to write for many real-life occasions. Sorenson’s Ranch School graduates may choose to apply for college, prepare for a technical school or present themselves as the best possible candidate for employment. In all of these potential futures they have to choose from, the burgeoning curriculum at this school gives students the skills and information needed for them to succeed in their future learning or employment opportunities.

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