Power Standards – What They Are And How To Use Them

by | Oct 20, 2020 | Distance Learning, Teaching Strategies | 0 comments

COVID-19 has changed virtually everything about how we teach, from wearing a mask while trying to teach phonics to teaching 100% online. 

With so much change in our classrooms, it can be difficult to see what is most important to teach. 

This is why teachers should identify and focus on their Power Standards. 

Power Standards, also known as essential standards or prioritized standards, are the standards decided upon by teachers/administrators as “highest priority”.

Why Use Power Standards?

Using Power Standards is a great way to determine the most important standards for your classroom.

It can be difficult for teachers to hone in on the things that matter most for our students. Using Power Standards can make it simple for you to zero in on what you need to teach. 

Using Power Standards does not mean that you ignore all of the other standards given to you. It just means that you focus on the main standards and supplement them with the rest of the standards. 

We all know that the sheer amount of academic standards given to us for our students is an unattainable goal. Power Standards allow teachers to build units based on the information that is vital for students’ growth, rather than bouncing all over during the school year or rushing through everything. 

A narrow focus is a more effective approach to teaching than a wide focus is (depth over breadth), which makes Power Standards a perfect move for your classroom.

My School Does Not Have Power Standards. What Do I Do?

If your school or district does not have a group of essential standards, I would suggest that you buddy up with the teachers in your grade and discuss which ones are the most important for your grade level. 

When deciding which standards to elevate to Power Standards, be sure to consider which skills and knowledge your students need to have mastered in your grade so they are prepared for the next grade. 

Once you’ve established your Power Standards, share them with your administration, and get their feedback.

How Do I Use Power Standards In My Classroom? 

I always liked to have my Power Standards in the front of my mind (or in front of my face 😃) when I was planning my units or lessons. This helped me to focus on what I needed to address.

In short, Power Standards are the standards that you:

  • Spend the majority of your classroom time teaching
  • Assess your students on their mastery of them.
  • Intervene and assist students if they need your help mastering 

In this time, where everything we thought about teaching has turned upside down, using Power Standards is a great way to make sure you are teaching your students what they absolutely need to know.

Still Have Questions About Power Standards?

Are you curious about how Power Standards work in an academic setting? Ask away! I’d be happy to help you gain some context.

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