Here is what I understand:
Is this too simplified? Help me understand what Common Core standards are demanding of you as teachers. Does it change your teaching strategies significantly? Are you getting sufficient professional development to implement the new Common Core standards?
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I came across a blog post written by Laura Thomas entitled, ‘The ‘Monster’ at the End of Common Core’, that appeared in Education Week Teacher May 1, 2013. Laura Thomas is the Director of Antioch University's Center for School Renewal. Laura Thomas writes, “If we're doing the work, then they're not doing the learning. The Common Core can be an opportunity to shift the work of learning from our own backs onto the shoulders of our students, where it belongs—and that’s the heart of progressive education.”
In the 1990’s, cooperative learning made a comeback and a phrase used at the time was, “Be a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage.” Facilitating learning, choosing meaningful text that supports the goal of the lesson and providing structured activities for students to interact and work collaboratively are all a part of the Common Core. I wonder if project based learning would work well in the classroom during this Common Core Era.
I think there definitely is a need for more project based learning and getting students to think and process and not just repeat skill learning and facts. Also when I think of the quote from Thomas that you mention that gets to the idea of students taking ownership of the learning is so important. In my work, we try to focus on student goal setting and more individual learning plans to meet these goals. I think the schools where that is happening have seen a lot of success. I am already seeing the effects of the CC as my 4th grader prepares for the state assessment for the first time on the CC. The test is reflecting the standards, yet I'm still skeptical of how much of her learning this year has really addressed them.
Great question Jane! I can relate since I teach graduate level courses and need to make sure my students (who are teachers) understand the Common Core standards and I incorporate some of the concepts into my classroom.
Jeanne, thanks for the quote from Laura Thomas who wrote, “If we're doing the work, then they're not doing the learning. The Common Core can be an opportunity to shift the work of learning from our own backs onto the shoulders of our students, where it belongs—and that’s the heart of progressive education.” I think this statement sums up how the Common Core standards have made my job as a professor easier. One way in which my class is easier since the Common Core is when my students work in their groups and have to put together lesson plans they can all use the Common Core standards. Before, I would have assignments with 5 different state standards and it was confusing for the students working in groups. Another way is now I can better hold my students accountable for their learning by using the Common Core standard that relates to “Informational Text”. I just have to quote the 11-12 grade standards to motivate them to which include: cite strong and thorough textual evidence, provide an objective summary of the text, Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, and read and comprehend literary nonfiction. These Common Core standards help me to help my students be better readers and writers. I think it gives language to what I hope they strive to achieve while reading the course material. I want them to read all the informational text in my class before they ask me a question. I can point them to the right direction where they can find the answer themselves. Before, I thought I was being unhelpful if I told them to search for the answer themselves, but now I realize I am actually helping them more if I facilitate their learning and not give them the answers right away.
I think the Common Core standards have had a positive impact on my teaching.
I think I'll use more examples of great art and encourage more indepth analysis of each piece to develop in my students a greater appreciation for the Masters. I'd like to have my students compare and contrast different elements of two pieces of art to see better how they interpret art pieces.
We have a bunch of art appreciation lessons. You could start with the Teachers section from Picturing America,
-B Mission Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and the Spanish Mission in the New World
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I address creativity and innovation each year by having my students identify a need, design a product, create a prototype of their product, and present their product to the class in Show and Tell.
One student in a previous year didn't like the yucky cleaning up after feeding her dog canned dog food. So, she fashioned and baked a spoon out of a recipe for teething biscuits that her mom made for her little brother. She could then use one to scoop the dog feed and then feed the dog the spoon. No mess.