How the ‘Big6’ can aid in Common Core implementation

With implementation of the Common Core State Standards under way, a method known as the Big6 can help ensure that a curriculum put in place to meet the standards is rich in information, problem-solving, and decision-making, its creators say.

The Big6 is a six-stage model that develops students’ literacy and information skills as they solve problems and make decisions using the resources that are available to them. In essence, say creators Bob Berkowitz and Michael Eisenberg, the Big6 process can help students master the Common Core standards, because the process gives students a way to actually “do” each specified portion of the standards.

“The Common Core State Standards present a challenge for schools and educators to integrate the standards into existing curriculum and into classroom instruction, and [they] present an opportunity for teacher-librarians to be part of the solution, to meet specific standards through information and technology literacy programs, and to raise the status and awareness of the information and technology literacy program,” said Berkowitz.

An educational consultant and retired library media specialist, Berkowitz was speaking during an webinar that focused on helping educators create an instructional program around information and technology skills.

One of the biggest challenges the new standards pose is how they should be organized for instruction. The Common Core State Standards are designed to prepare students for success in college or the workforce, Berkowitz said, and school-level leaders will play a central role in implementing the new standards and in cultivating a shift in mindset from high school completion to college and career readiness for all students.

(Next page: The six stages of the Big6 model—and how they can help with the Common Core)

Laura Ascione

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