Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

View From the 5th Grade Trenches: Common Core Standards #1 - What and Why?

It's time for me to hop into the national conversation (or should I say "freak out") on the Common Core Standards.

*Dons 5th Grade Teacher Hat*

This will be first in a series of bite-sized posts that will hopefully demystify the Common Core Standards. 

There are a lot of statements and opinions flying around out there. Let me be clear that I believe the Common Core Standards are a gift to our students.

What are the Common Core Standards?

Simply stated, they are a set of learning objectives/goals that have been agreed upon by a consortium of 46 states so far to create an equity of educational focus across the country. 

A small portion of the Common Core Standards will remain state specific. Each state will decide on that piece for themselves.

Why do we need the Common Core Standards?

We need to refocus education for 21st Century learners. We not only need to teach kids what to think in order to pass an annual standardized test, but HOW to arrive at information, and judge its relevance.

Simply put: Instead of list or name something - prove with evidence your knowledge of...

Research -  Question - Judge With Criteria - Extend - Apply

(News Flash: Effective teachers have been doing this since education began.)

Higher education and the workplace have become environments of think tanks, collective problem solving, and technological savvy.

We owe it to our children to prepare them for the rigors of this reality.

Standardized testing HAS NOT been an effective measurement of the capabilities necessary for future success on the world stage.

Here's a funny commentary on why implementing the Common Core Standards is the way to go for our kids. 

I'd love to hear from you. If you have any questions about The Common Core Standards, pop them in the comments and I will do my best to address them during this series.
Common Core Link of the Week: Common Core State Standards Initiative


  1. We've had provincial common curriculums in place for ages and while there are many, many commonalities between the provinces, we haven't linked them all yet (education is a provincial government responsibility here). Our curriculum focuses on thinking, clear communication, inquiry and applying knowledge too - love that the old style of regurgitation is disappearing everywhere!

  2. I honestly don't know enough to have an opinion. I guess I'll know more as it really kicks in. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Interesting. I know standardized testing is going by the wayside, but there are those who still think it's a credible measurement of knowledge. I don't know about that, but I do know it works as a good measuring stick for a school's report card. How much does it benefit the kids? Hard to say.

  4. Change is never well accepted. I've had a look at some of the common core curriculum, and I don't mind it, but it's not the curriculum I'd use for my kids. *shrugs* We're a little more free thinking than most.

  5. I'm for anything that teaches our children how to read, write, do basic math and think for themselves. When I taught at the university I was faced with some students who could barely do any of these things. My question was always, "How did they get to the university?"

  6. I don't really understand Common Core. So many people seem to thing it's evil incarnate. But the way it sounds to me is the way my son is learning in the IB program. Not memorizing facts but learning how to learn. There are learner traits they focus on and they apply those to learning. I can't tell if Common Core is going to hurt or help students across the country. I wish they'd throw out Standardized Tests. Is that happening with Common Core?

  7. Oh, and another question, do you have to throw out everything you've been teaching and start all over again from scratch, lessons etc. Or can you use your lessons and adapt them? Are you required to use a certain format, did you have to take classes, are you compensated (ha) for the extra time? Just wondering how this has affected the teachers, not only the students.

  8. I love it when you put your teacher's hat!
    Like Laura up there, I don't know much about this, but I'm happy to learn! :D

  9. I'm definitely going to look forward to these posts. I see the kids coming into my college classrooms after years of "fill in the blank" teaching and it makes me cringe. I really, really hope common core helps with this. Honestly, it frightens me a bit that students can honestly only do multiple choice at this point--they are absolutely stumped when I ask them reasoning questions. Eep!

  10. Oh my gosh Leslie that vid is a hoot. It really says it all.

  11. I'm so glad you're my teacher friend! Thanks, Leslie

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