As the debate about Common Core State Standards heats up, we seem to hear a lot from policy makers, politicians, and even some TV talk show hosts about the new standards and whether or not they will help or harm education. Whether you agree with it or not, it is here now in at least 45 states, so learning as much about it as you can as a parent will help you help your children at home.
Supporting our teachers with the Common Core will help support your child's learning. Those teachers are educating our future.
From the NEA website here are 6 ways the Common Core is good for students (from teachers)
- Common Core Puts Creativity Back in the Classroom --
“I have problems and hands-on activities that I like my students to experience to help them understand a concept or relationship,” says Cambridge, Massachusetts, high school math teacher Peter Mili. One of his classic activities is taking a rectangular piece of cardboard and asking the students to cut from each corner to make a box. They learn that different sized boxes need different lengths in cuts, and then they fill the boxes with popcorn and measure how much each box can hold. “I haven't been able to do that in years because of the push to cover so many things. Time is tight, especially because of all the benchmarks and high-stakes testing,” Mili says. “So I’ve had to put the fun, creative activities aside to work on drill and skill. But the Common Core streamlines content, and with less to cover, I can enrich the experience, which gives my students a greater understanding.” Mili says a lot of teachers have fun, creative activities stuffed into their closets or desk drawers because they haven’t had the time to use them in the era of NCLB tests and curriculum. He thinks the Common Core will allow those activities to again see the light of day. That’s because the Common Core State Standards are just that — standards and not a prescribed curriculum. They may tell educators what students should be able to do by the end of a grade or course, but it’s up to the educators to figure out how to deliver the instruction.
- Common Core Gives Students a Deep Dive--
When students can explore a concept and really immerse themselves in that content, they emerge with a full understanding that lasts well beyond testing season, says Kisha Davis-Caldwell, a fourth-grade teacher at a Maryland Title 1 elementary school.“I’ve been faced with the challenge of having to teach roughly 100 math topics over the course of a single year,” says Davis-Caldwell. “The Common Core takes this smorgasbord of topics and removes things from the plate, allowing me to focus on key topics we know will form a clear and a consistent foundation for students.”Davis-Caldwell’s students used to skim the surface of most mathematical topics, working on them for just a day or two before moving on to the next, whether they’d mastered the first concept or not. Students would go to the next concept frustrated, losing confidence and losing ground in the long haul,” she says. “The Common Core allows students to stay on a topic and not only dive deeply into it, but also be able to understand and apply the knowledge to everyday life.”
- Common Core Ratchets up Rigor--
The CCSS requires students to take part in their learning and to think more critically about content, as opposed to simply regurgitating back what their teachers feed them, says Kathy Powers, who teaches fifth- and sixth-grade English Language Arts in Conway, Arkansas. One way Powers says the standards ratchet up the rigor is by requiring more nonfiction texts to be included in lessons on works of fiction, and vice versa. She uses Abraham Lincoln as an example. A lesson could start with “O Captain! My Captain!”, the extended metaphor poem written by Walt Whitman about the death of Lincoln, and incorporate the historical novel Assassin, which includes a fictional character in the plot. Then she'd follow that with the nonfiction work, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, and have students also look at newspaper clippings from the time. "Or if we're working on narrative writing, I can have them read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and ask them not to just absorb the story, but also to evaluate C.S. Lewis as a writer, and then to try to write a piece of narrative in the style of C.S. Lewis,” she says. “In the past we’d ask them to simply write a story. But this requires more critical thinking, and this kind of increased rigor will make students more competitive on a global level.”
View the rest of the Six Ways Common Core is good HEREDid You Know?
- 45, 750,000 students will take the Common Core State Standards tests starting in 2014 (In the 2007-08 school year, there were 49.3 million public school students)
- 2,972,000 public school teachers will teach to these standards (In the 2007-08 school year, there were approximately 3.2 million public school teachers)
- 89,890 public schools will participate (as of 2008, there were approximately 100,000 public schools in the US)
- The states that have not adopted the Common Core Standards are Texas, Nebraska, Hawaii, Minnesota, Virginia, (and Puerto Rico)
Frequently asked questions answered here at the CCSS website FAQ page, includes answers to questions that both parents and teachers may have.
The information provided is simply informational and educational, as The Mommies Network supports ALL moms.
Please feel free to comment below on your experiences with the Common Core State Standards.