Common Core

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 17, 2012

    My district is getting us ready for Common Core. We are going to be fully implementing it during the 2014-2015 school year. Lots of changes are coming, though. We're moving away from using our language arts adoption as the end-all be-all for teaching kids reading and writing (this makes me very happy, actually)! Many of the stories in our Anthology aren't very good; therefore, I'm constantly having to supplement the program with books that we used when we were teaching guided reading.

    We had training over the past two days for Common Core. Many teachers are excited, some are nervous, and others have said, "I'm retiring as soon as it's implemented!"

    I'm excited about having some really in-depth conversations here on AtoZ because we'll all be teaching the same standards (I think three states opted out of Common Core???)

    The technology part of Common Core is making me a little anxious, though. Each classroom in my district only has two computers (I'm some classrooms, both computers don't even work)! We'll see how this plays out, though.

    Okay, enough rambling! :D
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 17, 2012

    We "fully implemented" Common Core last year...though, to be honest, there were pieces not put in place of fully satisfied just as there was with our previous curriculum. The technology that you speak of, for example, was an issue.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Nov 17, 2012

    This is going to sound dumb...but what technology things do you have to do? We have only started working on implementing the reading standards so far, so I haven't heard anything about technology. In fact, my admin seems to dislike tech and is constantly reminding us that "21st century skills" are things like collaboration and working with people, not technology. I have 4 computers in my classroom that work very sporadically and a doc cam. There's one computer lab for a school of 600 and no other class sets of things that can be checked out or anything like that...

    We've also heard a lot about dropping our reading curriculum and really just pulling different resources to teach to the standards. I'm a little nervous about how vague they are. For example, our district curriculum guide had us doing a week on fact and opinion as a "focus skill." I know for sure this was a previous state standard, and I'm almost positive it was on the state test last year. I think it is an important skill for people to know. However, admin wouldn't let us teach it b/c it wasn't a standard listed in cc. The problem with that is to me cc just seems like a very small list of vague standards...there aren't very many specific skills listed. I'm also worried about the differentiation like we've been talking about on here..I'm not sure if that was the intention of cc, but people are taking it as if it means you can't differentiate below grade level.
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 18, 2012

    The English Language Arts Standards have quite a lot to say about the technology component:

    Key Design Considerations: Research and media skills blended into the Standards as a whole--
    To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new. The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum. In like fashion, research and media skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than treated in a separate section. (emphasis added)

    In the Language Arts ‘vision’ statement – “Students Who are College and Career Ready in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, & Language”:

    They use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
    Students employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use those best suited to their communication goals.

    In three of the four College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards:

    Reading:
    7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

    Writing:
    6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
    8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

    Speaking & Listening:
    2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
    5. Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
    And also – New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and audio.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Our sixth graders needed to type two or three pages, I forget which, in one sitting. It takes time to build up to that, and we just didn't have enough resources to provide that kind of time. Not enough computers.
     
  7. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Nov 18, 2012

    We are slowly getting ready for CC. We have new buildings-thanks to a bond-and we have new technology in these buildings. For example, we have a computer lab and a tech teacher(before we had a lab but we taught the class), a Promethean board in every classroom, and a microphone sound system in our rooms. We are currently looking into iPads for the classroom as well.
    CC testing will be online starting in 2014. We will need to have computers in rooms to take these tests.
    Even though I am slightly nervous to start the CC, I know I will be okay. I have been through when we started the current standards-and we were all nervous then. I have been doing a lot of reading with CC, and I have taken several classes on how to teach CC math, so I feel I have a foot in the door.
     
  8. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Texas is one of the states opting out of using the Common Core Standards. However the Texas standards are closely aligned to the Common Core standards. We also use the common core standards in conjunction with the state standards. There has been much time and effort given to training teachers on both. I like the more in depth standards. We are teaching children how to APPLY and not just regurgitate skills and strategies. We are teaching our students to think critically. What I do not like is the added stress of accountability being added, more paper work, and less planning time. We have to be proactive and figure out what is best for our students. We need time to teach and we need extra time to thoughtfully plan the tasks that will align to the standards. Planning includes: differentiation, planning thoughtful questions, building in time for explicitly teaching vocabulary and looking at future assessments to front load students with the test taking genre.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 18, 2012

    The typing standards and multimedia will need technology to be implemented. Plus both testing companies are making the testing on the computer (so students will need practice with computer testings, dragging and dropping, etc).

    My school is implementing in stages. K and 1, fully implemented last year with common assessments this year. 2-4 began implementing last year, with full implementation this year and common assessments either end of this year or next year. 5-8 will begin implementing this year, with full implementation next year and common assessments end of next year.
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2012

    We started implementing some of Common Core this year. We will fully implement next year. Personally, I like it. The new standards allow for going deeper into content. In the short run, it does require more planning, but it is worth it. The students have a deeper knowledge of what they are learning.
     
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Nov 18, 2012

    Pre-K through 1 are fully implementing in Louisiana this year, with no "transition" period. I believe 2-3 will implement next year, and so on. We have had some training, but not much. Louisiana has provided VERY LITTLE in the form of material or support on the state level. In addition to Common Core implementation, Louisiana is implementing a new teacher evaluation system this year - no pressure! In general, I like the CCSS. I was a transient student (18 schools before graduating high school), and I know there was MUCH I missed out on - and I was a good student. My siblings weren't as "into" school as I, and they suffered academically more than I every time we moved. I know that, say first grade classes, won't be on the same topic on the same day, but at least the same materials will be covered during the same year.

    Re: technology - yes, CCSS requires MUCH greater use of technology (which I love). My only problem with that is that the only working printers in my classroom are the two that I purchased, and I have received exactly 1 black and 1 color ink cartridge (and no toner) in the 5 years I have been teaching in this district. CCSS is very specific that first graders will create and print documents on the computer, but NO ONE IS SUPPLYING THE PRINTERS, INK/TONER, OR THE PAPER! I think that I am kind of blessed in that I have 3 working student computers in my classroom, plus I have provided an older laptop of my own, so that my reading groups (of 4 students) have enough computers for one child each. My husband is livid that I "have to" not only provide supplies for my kiddos who don't bring them, but that I have to supplement the infrastructure as well.

    Thus far, my students are not printing, because (1) they don't type well enough yet and (2) my printers are not network capable. I am a self-confessed computer nerd, but I refuse to spend any more money on equipment for my classroom!

    In addition to the cost of printers/ink/toner/paper, etc., I have spent a lot of money on things from places like teacherspayteachers, in order to supplement the CCSS standards (since my state has not). True, most of the things from tpt have been freebies, but they still cost me (1) card stock, (2) ink/toner, and sometimes (3) lamination (when our school laminator is out of order).

    My last complaint (if you want to call it that) about CCSS (and Louisiana) is that there are a number of skills not listed in the CCSS that are still required for my kiddos - fractions beyond fourths, for example.

    I have just decided that I will do the best I can with what I can create or find. I'm a professional development junkie, but very few are being offered. I'm doing LOTS Of viewing at teachingchannel.org and searching on pinterest.
     
  12. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Nov 18, 2012

    It has been rocky implementation here. We don't have the resources for this kind of learning. The Board ordered us CC alligned texts for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2. We got Quarter 1 books but have yet to see anything for Quarter 2 and that started Friday. They just sent an email saying schools were on their own for Q3 and Q4, only the supply budget needed to be in by last May. :rolleyes: Nobody said to budget for these items and now we have no money.

    I don't feel like anybody has a clue what they're supposed to be teaching. Our kids are still taking the state test so you can't ignore those skills....teachers are doing what they want at my school. Several curriculums, several outdated resources, little technology...I'm annoyed.

    They also did not adjust any of our Quarterly CC tasks/assessments for Special Ed. My kids are supposed to read a passage that is 4 years above their grade level, fill out a graphic organizer, and then compose an argumentative essay. :mad: It only serves to frustrate them and waste my instructional time.

    I am 100% pro-Common Core. But we gotta implement it right!
     
  13. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Nov 18, 2012

    AMEN!
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Nov 19, 2012

    We're implementing in steps. This year we're only responsible for text complexity... which is hard, since we do not have the resources (I only have one grade-level novel).

    Also, FL has decided not to adopt the CCSS ELA curriculum. They're writing their own. And they've chosen to not use the CCSS coding... they made up their own for that, as well.

    I'm really looking forward to using the CCSS... I'm just worried about how FL is going to muck it up. If the conferences this summer were any indication of how the DOE is going to handle everything, it's going to be a very bumpy road.
     
  15. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Nov 24, 2012

    I think the math strands will be a huge adjustment for most/many teachers. Adding the process skills to the standards includes a lot of thinking and evaluating of what the questions are actually asking students to do and then, having them apply their base knowledge to a variety of mathematical situations. I am talking fourth grade math here. It will throw some educators that feel like their good teaching practices will see them through the transition phase.
     
  16. lovetoteachtpt

    lovetoteachtpt Rookie

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    Nov 25, 2012

    Hi everyone! Are there more resources out there that can help me with the Common Core? I work at a private school, and I have had training on it, but I would love to "dig deeper" and found out more :) Thanks!
     
  17. Marylander

    Marylander Rookie

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    Nov 25, 2012

    I'm trying to remain positive about the move to Common Core, but my school system's transition has been less than seamless so far. The curriculum departments have produced volumes regarding reading/language arts, only to have it withdrawn for revisions (after we'd already begun long-range planning and actual teaching). Fortunately, our math was already heavily into investigations, so that transition has fared somewhat better. The only problem there is that I'm ready to start a new unit, and it hasn't yet arrived from the curriculum office. Social studies is nightmarish...won't even go there.

    I've been in the classroom for a very long time, so I'm just doing what works for my students until I'm told otherwise. Hopefully, my teaching life will be smoother soon. And, hopefully, Common Core will work for the children.
     
  18. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Nov 25, 2012

    It will work for the children. In a while. Like....years. For better or worse, Common Core requires a ton of critical thinking and we have NOT emphasized that in education in general. The past 20 years have been knowledge knowledge knowledge for testing testing testing.

    If I think about it too much I just want to throw up, so I just take it one week at a time. :lol:
     
  19. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Nov 26, 2012

    This could be a dumb question. I now teach Social Studies, so what do I do with Common Core because there isn't any Social Studies section yet? I know it is coming but do I just stick with the old standards?

    I do know about the non fiction part of reading.
     

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