I Knew I Wasn't Crazy

Discussion in 'General Education' started by iteachbx, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jan 20, 2014

    So let me start by saying I don't have any major issues with the CCSS themselves, just the way they're being implemented and the lack of useful resources/curriculum. It's gotten better in my school with math, I'm very pleased with our current program and I'm not worried about how my students with do taking the state math test.

    ELA is another story. I stumbled upon this blog from March 2013. It happens to go into detail about a book that I received for my 3rd grade class with our new curriculum that I technically am expected to read with my inner city 8 and 9-year-olds in my inclusion class sometime around April or May.

    http://tomakeaprairie.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/on-programs-broken-promises-and-why-we-arent-finland/

    I knew as soon as I got the book delivered to my classroom in October it was completely inappropriate for my students. "Behind Rebel Lines" They have very little IF ANY background knowledge on the Civil War. It is not covered in our social studied curriculum at all. Most are reading at a 2nd or 3rd grade reading level. Some are still on a 1st grade level and I have 1 on a 5th grade level. In addition to be inappropriate grade level wise the book just didn't look like it would be appealing to my class.

    We just finished reading a book about a 1 room schoolhouse in 1948 Alaska. It was a struggle to get through- it was boring, no clear conflict, no dialogue (which my students need practice with) and they had no connection to the content. But we got through it mostly because it was written maybe on a 4th grade reading level and most of my students could "get through" it even if they weren't fully comprehending every part they read independently. I refuse to subject them to a book they have no prior knowledge about that is written for students THREE years old than them. It's insane!
     
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  3. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Jan 20, 2014

    The New York State Listening and Learning Domains for second grade has a domain on the Civil War. This is the reason why third grade is having to read the book. It is building upon what was previously taught in the lower grades. I just finished teaching domains on Greek myths and Greek Gods. Both of these domains were also taught in first grade and I often had to refer to ideas covered in first. If your schools lower grades aren't teaching the domains your students could be at a disadvantage when they reach you.
     
  4. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jan 21, 2014

    So you're saying the read alouds you do in 2nd grade will allow your students as third graders reading on a 3rd grade reading level to read and comprehend a book about Greek Gods written for a 6th grader? That's like saying, well I read them a level J biography on Johnny Appleseed now they should read and understand the level S version of the biography.

    Honestly I never even heard of the "Listening and Learning Strands" and everything I researched leads back to EngageNY, which we are not using, and not to actual common core standards that state that these children are supposed to have knowledge of the Civil War. The point the blogger was trying to make is about the "one size fits all" curriculum. To expect all 3rd graders to be able to read and comprehend a 6th grade level text on the civil war is ridiculous. No matter how much they've learned about it in 2nd grade. Besides the fact that this is our first year using this curriculum so it's impossible that they would have learned it before.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Jan 21, 2014

    Well...you don't think that was actually CONSIDERED, do you? :lol:
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 22, 2014

    I like the idea behind common core, but reading these forums, I don't like how they're being implemented in some areas.

    Is there a way you could bring in some Civil War background while doing some pre-reading exercises? Maybe when you get to a certain part of the book, you can throw in some historical background that the students would benefit from knowing before continuing on with the story.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 22, 2014

    Are you being expected to have the kids read a book written at a 6th grade level, or are you expected to do a read-aloud? Both are unreasonable expectations for ANY third grade class, but at least the read-aloud is doable. Even teaching gifted kids, I'd never assign my entire class a 6th grade book.
     
  8. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2014

    So the author has a problem with questions being aligned to...the standards? Isn't that what we're supposed to be doing as teachers?

    "And then there’s the questions that come with the texts. They’re the kind of questions found on standardized tests, minus the multiple-choice answers. And they’ve been broken down into categories, which align to the bands of the Common Core Anchor Standards and, again, the tests. "
     
  9. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    Jan 23, 2014

    Ah yes, The Standards. The golden gospel of education truth.

    No, you have made a logical fallacy assuming that we're "supposed" to be aligning questions to standards.

    What if the standards were to roll around in a puddle of mud all day? Should we align our teaching to those standards?

    The standards aren't always relevant simply because "they're the standards." They should be questioned in circumstances where there is good reason for it.

    The author is making a solid case that the given "standards" do not fit the circumstances. It is a foolish, misguided tendency of this era of education policy to assume that regardless of context, we should always align to the standards... :rolleyes:
     
  10. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Jan 23, 2014

    I'll bite; go ahead and choose a CCS standard that you feel gives a "good reason to be questioned and/or ignored."

    What I hear is the following: "I want to teach what I want to teach regardless of what anyone else says." In this way, you can avoid being held accountable for...well, anything. Perhaps I'm wrong.
     
  11. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    Jan 23, 2014

    Should we teach students a book that is 2 grade levels above their actual level, and something that bores them to death?

    Just because it was mandated by a far-off board of education politicians?

    Some will say yes, some will say no. But I highly doubt it is the most effective thing to be doing for that specific classroom. Those students will not get what they need -- all for the sake of meeting "standards" and "accountability." That sounds quite backwards to me.
     
  12. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Jan 23, 2014

    I've yet to see a standard that mandates a specific text regardless of student ability or interest.

    It would appear that your angst is misplaced; your beef, my friend, is not with the standards. Your beef is with the humans who implement them: superintendents, administrators, and (if you were being completely unbiased) teachers.
     
  13. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    Feb 10, 2014


    My "beef" is with all of those things, including the standards. Their logical conclusion is uniformity in both process and product. In reality, though, everything depends on context. In reality, a good, QUALIFIED teacher should have the discretion on what and how to teach.
     
  14. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2014

    A good, qualified educational system should have the ability to specify which skills are most important for students to learn, as time is finite.

    We should have no standards at all according to you, which is absolutely ridiculous. "Teach whatever you want, and we'll never check to see if the students are actually learning anything meaningful!"
     
  15. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Feb 11, 2014

    Where are we being told how to teach. This is certainly not happening in my district.
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Feb 11, 2014

    Wow, it sounds like a lot of you are having problems caused by having the implementation of standards taken out of your hands.

    I'm working on the standard RL 9-10.9 - Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare.) This is one of the standards that's helping shape my design of Romeo and Juliet. I'm starting with Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, working my way to Romeo and Juliet, and comparing both to the Baz Luhrman adaptation to show how the original material grows over time and thought. In the meantime, I'm also hitting at least eight other standards AND doing my best to provide audio and video for differentiation.

    It's doable, and I'm doing my best to make the lessons teach the standards, the material, and the students.
     
  17. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    Feb 19, 2014

    You don't need a strict set of state and nationally mandated standards in order to check if students are learning meaningful things.

    Without national standards, it is true that teachers would be more in control of what happens in the classroom. You seem very opposed to this, as if teachers are some kind of inexperienced, unqualified drones who need to be told what to teach and what is important.

     
  18. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Feb 19, 2014

    CCSS is arrogant, amateurish nonsense created by non-educators motivated by control and profit; not by a sincere interest in intellectually nourishing experiences and pedagogically sound practices for students.

    Whatever tidbits there are within CCSS that happen to be good are called Things That Good Teachers In Stable Schools Already Do.

    As for unstable schools, more attention needs to be given to Maslow's pyramid before taking on Bloom's.
     
  19. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Feb 19, 2014

    This thought process refers to all standards, not national standards. How about you stop building strawmen to knock down as "pathetic" before you start calling something "pathetic."
     
  20. teacherbatman

    teacherbatman Companion

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    Feb 20, 2014

    I directly addressed your assertion (direct or indirect) that teachers must teach to a specific set of standards (that they didn't create themselves) in order for authentic assessment to take place. That is a fallacy. There is a huge difference between being "forced" to follow a national or state set of standards, and having your own "standards" for students in your own classroom. I (and probably everyone arguing against the standards movement) argue against the former. Few if any teachers would object to the latter...

    Here's your strawman: "Teach whatever you want, and we'll never check to see if the students are actually learning anything meaningful!"

    Nobody ever argued that. I think you made the strawman here.



    Agreed on all points. :)
    Ignoring Maslow's pyramid seems to be what most schools do best.
     

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