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The Common Core debate: Fans say it teaches critical thinking; critics say it ignores the basics

The Common Core debate: Fans say it teaches critical thinking; critics say it ignores the basics | common core | Scoop.it
MIDDLETOWN, Del. – Remembering the plot of a short story is no longer good enough in ...
Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

I liked this article because it made me think about common core in a different way. It disucssed the implementation of the common core curicculum in a classroom in Delaware and how teachers were adapting and teaching accordingly. This article discussed how the common core curicculum is focusing less on memorization and more on real world application like critical thinking to prepare students for life post high school. “We are asking kids to do more, and to dig deeper,” Grieshober said. “We are teaching them to be lifelong problem solvers.” Hearing about the common core in this light opened my mind to the idea of it more. It's not so much structure and "teach this concept in this way" as I thought it was. It simple sets benchmarks for where students need to be academically by a certain grade level and giving teachers the freedom to teach in a way that they seem fit to get their students to that level... So I think I like the common core now? I'm so torn!? 

Another thing this article addressed is the inital drop in test scores that they saw after initially implementing the common core. They said it was expected and it doesn't surprise me. When you've been teaching to a certain standard for so long and you decide to suddenly change it, there's going to be reprocussions initially. The article said scores were expected to increase, though. Maybe is selfish of me, but I read this and thought, "Wow, I'm glad I'll miss that part of it!" Right now it must be so difficult for the teachers adjusting to the common core standards, but by the time I graduate and if I work in a school system that already adopted the common core standards, I'll be teaching to those standards from the start, so there won't be any adjustment period. 


 

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Do Teachers Support the Common Core?

Do Teachers Support the Common Core? | common core | Scoop.it
Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

I was shocked to know that 75% of teachers acutally support the common core standards. I think initially I was so against it, but as I kept curating topics and assessing different perspectives, I'm understanding both sides more.

One thing that Jessica Moore spoke about int his video which I never really considered was the idea that the common core sets nation wide standards which can allow teachers to collaborate and work together even if they teach in classrooms across the country. Jessica, who works in Colorado, logged onto a wedsite and collaborated with a teacher from NY. Because they were both using common core standards, they had the same goals to achieve academcially for their students, so they could brainstorm and share lesson plans ideas. Imagine the number of teachers you could collaborate with- imagine the different types of perspecives you could get on just one lesson plan! I think this idea is so cool and something that is only possible with the same standards set like the common core implements.

I also thought about Moore saying how common core closes the achievement gap. By setting standards for all students of where they need to be by the end of the school year, you aim for all of your studnets to reach (or exceed) that standard. So in theory it would close that gap, though I'm not sure how realistic that is. Even with the common core, there are still ESOL students and students with special needs who won't may not meet that standard. Are there separate benchmarks set for these students? 

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Louisiana announces major changes to how students, schools held accountable under Common Core

Louisiana announces major changes to how students, schools held accountable under Common Core | common core | Scoop.it
Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White announced Thursday the state would be delaying how students, teachers and schools are held accountable under the Common Core State Standards and related testing for at least two years.
Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

I thought this was in interesting article about the common core impleentation in Louisiana because it addresses many different aspects that the common core curicculum will effect: the students, the teachers, and the school as a whole. Louisiana has tweaked their implementation of the common core, pushing off certain aspects of it for a few yearas because the schools are not fundamentally ready. Technology is not up to par with what the curicculum requires- which is part of the reason for the delay. This article also raises a question that I have- Are we using these schools/students as guinea pigs and hoping for the best? Louisiana keeps pushing back the iplementation of the common core because theyre not ready; they continue to make adjustments to it's guidelines... so this makes me wonder: will we ever be ready? This is such a drastic change to make that there is no doubt it will have an effect on the first few classes of students who encounter it. I fear it will be a detrimental effect because it's still all so new and experimental at that point...

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CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf

Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

This PDF outlines the extensive new Common Core Curriculum. I think this is definitely an important tool to have in my PLN as an aspiring teacher so that I may reference it in the future when lesson planning so that I make sure I'm achieving what is asked of me.

On the other hand, however, I worry that this is so extensive that it's going to inhibit my freedom as a teacher. The simple fact that this article is so long just shows how many facets there are to the common core curiculum and I worry that this will reduce my artistic freedom as a teacher.

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Artistic to the Core: Music and Common Core

Artistic to the Core: Music and Common Core | common core | Scoop.it
I'm not a gambling person, but if I had to place a bet on one sure-fire method for engaging students, increasing test scores, reaching students who fall below standards, challenging students who exce (Learn how to integrate arts into the Common Core:...

Via Darren Burris, Susan Volinski
Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

I love this article and how it brings creativity and abstractness and incorporates it with the common core curicculum. I took a music class this semester and going into it I didn't understand the purpose of it because not only am I not a msuical person, but I'm not planning on being a music teacher. I quickly understood through the class though that the point of it is to learn how to incorporate music in the classroom in valuable and meaningful ways. This is much like what this article discusses. This article gives sample lesson plans and incorporates music to it. Structured concepts like math can even be taught effectiviely alongside with music. "Connect math to how sound changes between a musical solo, duet, quintet, 100-piece orchestra, etc." This can not only appeal to a broad range of students who may need a different approach to learning to understand it, but you're still getting accross and teaching concepts required by the common core curicculum.

 "Teachers must think on their feet, modify plans on the spot, approach content from different angles, support uniqueness, and inspire and foster growth." I think this quote is so valuble because of the truth that it brings. This article was inspiring because it made me aware that yes, even with the rigid strucutre of the common core, there are ways to make it creative and fun, like incorporating music to teach it, for example. This fosters creativity while still sticking the the common core lesson plan. 

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Susan Volinski's curator insight, December 2, 2013 11:01 AM

     This offers a perspective of Dr. Nolan, a music professor at the University of Arizona, and a former K-12 music teacher, to bring in the perspective of music education and the common core. She gives an opinion of using art integration into the classroom because it will excel at “engaging students, increasing test scores… accessing students’ creativity and originality” and so much more. If there are so many great benefits for arts integration into the common core curriculum, why aren’t more teachers implementing this? Dr. Nolan suggests that many teachers feel there is not enough time to do such things, and I can see why many teachers would think that. Teachers already have a lot of curriculum to cover in a year, and finding time to engage students in the arts while teaching the basics is difficult. From my experience at my field placement, my cooperating instructor shared with me all the different curriculum that they have to include on a daily basis, not only do they have to incorporate the Common Core standards, but also the curriculum provided by the county. Dr. Nolan suggests that teachers should teach Common Core through the arts, not through independent music lessons. Personally, when I was in school I memorized the fifty states through a fun song, and I still remember it to this day. I feel that students memorize song lyrics much faster than they would memorizing a speech, so I believe teaching should go past just standing in the front of a classroom and handing out worksheets for students do work on. Teachers can integrate arts into the curriculum to make the learning more fun and worthwhile.

     Additionally, incorporating the arts into the curriculum allows for different kinds of learning to be taken place – such as kinesthetic, aural, and visual. Not all students learn well by listening to a teacher and then writing an assignment. Students will feel more engaged and involved if they are given a change every once in a while.  Overall, this article suggests that common core can be taught in many different ways, and even though right now I feel that common core curriculum does not have much room for a teacher to be creative, I believe that incorporating the arts into the curriculum will make learning more fun. 

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Common questions, with answers, on Common Core education standards

Common questions, with answers, on Common Core education standards | common core | Scoop.it
A comprehensive look at what Common Core is and isn't.
Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

This article points out that the common core curicculum is made for English and math and that there is a science standards pland in the works, too. Why is this not the case for all subjects- history, foreign language, etc. By having standards set for certain subjects, doesn't that almost insinuate that these subjects are held at a higher value than other subjects? 

This article is good for clearing up common questions/misconceptions of the new common core. It makes a point to say that it would "ensure students are ready for college and careers." Really? Even at the, say, 2nd grade level you want to ensure they're ready for their career goals? Wouldn't time be better spent at the lower levels ensuring they understand how to share, perhaps? I think that drilling 8 year olds to become prepared for life when they're 30 is a little ridiculous. 

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Legit: Tennessee high school senior decimates Common Core

Legit: Tennessee high school senior decimates Common Core | common core | Scoop.it
Wow...this kid is going places, and it's not because of Common Core. His name is Ethan Young and he is a senior. He presented his case at the Knox County School Board regular meeting on November 6,...
Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

I LOVE THIS VIDEO! The student, who holds himself like an adult, criticized everything wrong with common core. I think it's important to acknowledge him as a reliable source because he is a student and he is dealing with the reprocussions that come with the common core curicculum. It'd be easy for a student to simply get up there and say "I hate tests, the last thing we need is another standardized systems of tests" but Ethan Young takes it even futher. He says it is "damaging teacher's self-esteem". This shows that he's not only fighting for his education but on behalf of the teachers who have so clearly inspired him. This shows his dedication to education and that he truly wants a better system. 

One part that really stuck out to me was when he explained that most people react to the common core as "well, that's just the way things work." He goes on to challenge that and says, no, it's simply beauracratic convenience. What is this teaching our kids? Things are set in stone and put into place because they're easy that way. That it's comfortable keeping things the way they are. This isn't the message we want to send. Whether or not you agree with the common core curicculum, one thing you can take away from this video is Young's persistence to enact change. Things are NOT set in stone. We should, as educators, ecourage and inspire our students to act up and speak out when there is change they want to see.

 

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How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child

How Common Core is Slowly Changing My Child | common core | Scoop.it
A Letter to Commissioner King and the New York State Education Department:I have played your game for the past two years.  As an educator, I have created my teaching portfolio with enough evidence ...
Emilie Hoogewerff's insight:

I was initially indifferent in how I felt about the newly implemented common core system in schools, however, this article is persuading me to disagree with it. I agree with the mom/teacher that the primary focus of elementary school should be to motivate children to be enthusiastic about learning and want to continue to learn. By discouraging kids with grades that reflect standardized curicculum in a classroom with diverse kids and learning styles, you're giving them the idea that they're not good enough or even stupid. Teachers should rather focus on promoting "creativeness, leadership and self-directedness."

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