How I Use It
Once I found a device that had the newest version of Microsoft Word, I was able to download and utilize the free app from Metria that runs inside a Microsoft Word document. Writing and customizing a lesson plan around the Common Core was as easy as the company advertised. The steps to get to the easy portion were frustrating.
There are times when my Social Studies lessons are intentionally cross curricular. This will help me use consistent language that the students would have heard with ELA or Math. In the past, the content overlaps were almost accidentally, and I only knew they occurred because my students clued me in. This year I want to teach with more intentional integration of ELA and Math. My teaching team discussed increasing collaboration across classes at the end of last year, and a tool like Metria Learning could facilitate this.
There is no part of Metria Learning that would be exciting or engaging to students. The tool is teacher driven. It could reduce the stress levels of teachers overwhelmed by the new standards. When I wrote lessons using the App in Word, I was inspired by some of their sample ideas, but I was able to easily modify them for my own classroom.
The goal of the website sounds impressive: create year long CCSS unit plans in minutes, customize free resources, etc. However, there are some hurdles to accessing the resource. Currently you have to have the newest version of Microsoft Office to access the free resource. Metria says ‘Coming Soon’ is a version that would work through their website. They also have paid membership with greater features in the future. I have no concrete idea what these will entail.
The free resource gives you access to a blank master of a lesson plan; the teacher can customize it for their own class. Once the document is open, you insert ‘My Apps’ and select ‘Metria Learning.’ The app feature is why the newest version of Word was necessary. The app walks a teacher through the lesson by providing a menu of options, starting with a Common Core standard. Each item can be added to the lesson plan document. Once added, the text can be edited, so the lessons are not pre-scripted lessons, but a framework of lessons that make writing lesson plans less daunting to teachers new to the Common Core. The app also prompts with tangible examples of learning activities and objectives for each of the standards.