This is a list from scholastic of books recommended for common core. I am very passionate about children’s literature and feel that it can teach students a lot about themselves as well as the world around them. I have used children’s books in my newspapers because of this. I was expecting that there would be a majority of nonfiction books, and there are, but there are also a decent amount of children’s books. While this is not from common core directly, I believe scholastic to be a reputable source for teachers. On the list of Literature by Grade I see a lot of books I have read as a child and would want to teach in my classroom. This is refreshing to see because I have gotten the impression from other articles that these types of books would not be taught at all anymore. For example, Robert McKloskey’s Make Way for Duckling was one of my favorite books growing up and I am happy to see that it is still suggested reading material.
LONG BEACH >> Parent reaction has been varied to the new Common Core standards being rolled out by the Long Beach Unified School District.
Amanda Kronenberger's insight:
This article shows how some people are happy with the new common core standards. One parent worried about the new math standards because her daughter struggles with math and she thought it would be more difficult. However, when she went to a parent-teacher-conference, she saw that her daughter was actually improving in math with the new Common Core State Standards. Before, students had to choose just one right answer, but now they have to explain how they got that answer, why it is correct, and why the other answers are wrong. The mother said, “The homework shows one method one day, and another method the next day. Five different kids will have the same answer, but they all came up with it in a different way.” I think this is positive because every student learns differently and this allows more options for the student, rather than they have to do it just one way. Pamela Seki, director of LBUSD’s Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development, said this shows how Common Core teaches students to think scientifically to arrive at the correct answer. “The focus is on conceptual understanding rather than a student just coming up with the right answer,” Seki said. “They explain why that’s the correct answer and that there are other processes that are equally as effective.” Parents agree that while they support it, it take some time to get used to because it is different. “There seems to be an awful lot of critical thinking involved,” she said. “There is an awful lot more group work, which I think is more interesting for the kids.” She believes that this will benefit children. I realize that the other article I read were very critical, so this was good for me to read as well. While I think these things are useful, I see far too many things still wrong with common core.
Recorded at the Knox County School Board Regular Meeting November 6, 2013 Share this video and spread the message: we will not accept these issues with educa...
Amanda Kronenberger's insight:
This video is a high school student speaking out against Common Core Curriculum. He explains the information he has gathered by saying that in 2009 the National Government Association and Council of Chiefs State School Officers partnered with Achieve Inc, which is a non-for profit that received millions of dollars from the Bill and Milanda Gates foundation. Therefore, it was not created by the states but by a group of testing executives with only two academic content specialists, which neither approved the final standards. The specialist on English openly stated that the language arts standards left with empty skill set lacking literary knowledge. They are designed for an industrial version of schools. What I did not know is that congress, department of education, state or local government did not vote on this implementation. The President offered 4.35 million dollars to states, which accepted. The student speaking says that the standards show a “mistrust of teachers,” telling them what to do and exactly how to do it, then judging them based on the score their students get when the had no control over the curriculum they were forced to teach. How can you gage success with no control over student’s participation or interest? He said it is like “watch your teacher jump through flaming hoops to earn a score.” Standards based education ruining the way we teach and learn? I agree with what he is saying and I though this video was great. He made numerous great points, which cannot be ignored. Most importantly he said that the task of teaching is not quantifiable and not everything is a measurable thing. This can be greatly appreciated by teachers everywhere who are under such pressure it is almost too much to stand. Especially coming for a student himself, which shows how appreciate he is of the teachers he has had throughout the years. This furthers my opinion of common core in that I do not agree with it. When I become a teacher, I do not want to be so tightly controlled that I do not have a say because that is why I want to be a teacher.
Common Core—that’s that government takeover of education, right? The nationalization of standards! To the contrary, Common Core is a state-led program that pertains to local standards. Neither Congress nor the Department of Education is involved.
Amanda Kronenberger's insight:
I am really glad I came across this article because it taught me numerous things about common core I did not know. For example, in the article about Common Core standards in Arizona, I expressed how much I felt the importance of keeping fiction books that are fun and relatable for children. The article made it seems that all of these books would be diminished from every curriculum. However, a myth listen in this article is, “Given emphasis on nonfiction reading, Common Core’s Language Arts Standards spell the end of literature for our children.” This is followed my the fact, “Classic books will still very much be a part of curriculum taught in Language Arts classrooms.” I was very relieved in seeing this because I think fiction books are imperative to get youth into enjoying reading and can teach just as many valuable lessons as non-fiction books. For example, And Tango Makes Three teaches would be very valuable in teaching sex education to younger grades, as I spoke about in my curration on this book.
This article stated that a myth about common core is that it represents a curriculum, which tells teachers what to do. While I agree it does not explicitly tell teachers, it is so rigorous that teachers do not have much flexibility. In the third grade classroom which I observed this semester, the teacher expressed many concerns about common core. During the time I am there, I have only seen students being taught a science lesson twice. They are supposed to have one every time I am there. The teacher told me that because the math is so hard that the students are expected to know, she has no time to teach them science. Science is not part of common core, so does that mean it is not important. Are students supposed to wait until middle school to learn science? To me, this is not right. Students should not be deprived an entire subject because the expectations for third grade math are too hard.
This is the mission statement for the Common Core State Standards
The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.
What bothers me most about Common Core is that it is all about getting students college and career ready. It is all about preparing them to compete in a global economy. My question is why do we need to start preparing students for the global economy in first grade? Third grade? I do not know much about Common Core in high school, except the negative feedback I have read, so I cannot say much about it. However, after my research on it in elementary school, I think it is too “rigorous.” I have seen first hand a third grade classroom that was overwhelmed with the standards and it was taking away from other subjects in school because it was too difficult. Common Core is not plausible for every school, especially schools that are title one schools. This school class did not have enough time in the day for science lessons because they could not grasp the math that they were supposed to know based on common core. So, is science not important for getting students ready to compete in a global economy? I disagree.
Some of the biggest critics of the Common Core curriculum are the people who are forced to implement them.
Amanda Kronenberger's insight:
Some of the biggest critics of Common Core are the teachers who have to follow it. Many teachers are saying that they are being forced to “teach to test” and it is taking the individuality out of what they do. “Some teachers told FoxNews.com the new education approach is turning their lessons into little more than data-dispensing sessions, and they fear their jobs are being marginalized.” I find this to be really sad, considering I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I remember. A teacher form New Jersey said that teaching is not unique anymore; this means that anyone can do it. Basically, a machine could do it because there are such strict guidelines. The article says “But while Common Core is not itself a curriculum, but a set of standardized tests, private curriculum producers are marketing their materials as "Common Core-aligned." Critics of Common Core say establishment of a national standard is simply a backdoor way of nationalizing curriculum.” They might as well make the lesson plans for the teachers if they are going to make the standards so strict they have no room for creativity anyway. Teachers know that they have to teach for what the students are going to be tested on. In the classroom I have observed at this semester, the teacher was so overwhelmed because the math she had to teach was so difficult, it was about three grades ahead of what the students came in the school year with. The standards were created without any input from teachers. That is strange to me, considering teachers were taught to do exactly that, teach. The article said, “In fact, the only mathematician and the only ELA expert on the validation committee refused to sign off on the standards because they are inadequate,” she added, “Yet, the standards have been copyrighted and cannot be changed, and this is resulting in a loss of local and state control.” This leads me to ask the question, how were these actually created? It seems, based on this article and the Youtube video I posted, there is very little credibility behind the new State Standards. One teacher said "I was given a curriculum and told by my administration to teach it ‘word-for-word,’" the teacher wrote. "In a meeting with my administration, I was reprimanded with “Don’t forget, standards drive our instruction.” Other teachers said the just feel like robots. They are unable to even give projects anymore because they do not have any time. In response, “The Common Core is a framework,” Otha Thornton, president of the National Parent Teachers Association, told FoxNews.com. "We support local control and it’s up to the state school boards for implementation." Apparently this is not true if so many teachers are having issues with it.
News and Information in Coconino County including Williams and Grand Canyon, Arizona
Amanda Kronenberger's insight:
This article breaks down how school will be different for students with the new Common Core education standards for parents, based on a presentation by Jennifer Hernandez, a community mobilizer for the nonprofit Expect More Arizona. “The new Common Core standards, known in this state as Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, apply to English and math for grades kindergarten through 12.” 46 States, as well as the District of Colombia, have all adopter similar standards to these. This way, students across the country are all learning similar things in the same grades, so that they are all at the same level. “The new standards emphasize critical thinking, problem solving and effective communication skills.”
For English and Language Arts, students will be expected to be reading for nonfiction books, rather than fiction (newspapers, journals ect.) This is so that kids will be able to read like “investigators” and “write like reporters.” These types of texts are more complex for students and force them to think critically. For parents to help students, they can ask them questions about what they are reading. I disagree with decreasing the amount of fiction books children read. Through my Children’s Literature class this semester, I learned how valuable these types of books are to students, especially younger ones. In order for students to be expected to read those texts, they have to first grow a liking for reading. This is done through presenting texts that students will like and be anle to relate to. For example, an assortment of picture books for younger grades that presents many different cultures, family styles, and activities. For older grades, chapter books with similar themes keeps them engaged and active readers. Throwing such difficult texts can deter them to reading and this is the opposite of what we want.
“On the whole, the new standards also seek to link topics through different subject areas. For example, Hernandez said students may study the Dust Bowl in history class, read "The Grapes of Wrath" in English class, learn about the conditions that created the Dust Bowl in science class, and learn about the economy during that time in math class.” I think this, for older grades, is very useless. Connecting things like this will really help students relating math to the real world, which a lot of students have issues with.
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