Monday, September 10, 2012

Math, Science, and History Standards in the Common Core

Join us on Tuesday, September 11, at 2:00 p.m. EDT for a special webinar Q&A session with Yvonne Copprue-McLeod, a 5th grade teacher at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Newark, NJ. During this session, Copprue-McLeod will answer your questions about the Common Core Standards as she details her experience with the Common Core ELA Standards Writing and Speaking & Listening.

Unbelievably poor reporting abounds vis-à-vis the Common Core Standards. But you’re a highly intelligent individual, and you can spot the differences, I’m sure.

Something that has not been reported about the Common Core is the standards clearly spelled out for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Have you heard about these yet? It’s nothing new at all—this image is from the eighth page of the PDF I downloaded will all of the Common Core Standards inside:

math, science, and history standards in the Common Core

Probably never heard of those, have you? It makes you start to wonder what else is in these standards that you haven't heard of--like how they could help you and your students.

Of course these are standards that relate to English language arts, but we’re kidding ourselves if we think that clear communication is not essential in absolutely everything that we do. Take it from someone who gets paid for his knowledge of the English language—everyone, from teachers to executives, has to have a better understanding of the most basic principles of grammar. There is no field, no career, and (if I may wax poetic) no life that does not stand to be enriched by stronger skills in the English language arts.

When I was in high school (or really at any grade), I had a very difficult time understanding directions in my math class. I’m not unintelligent—I just don’t mix the numbers the right way. Reading a math problem is much different than reading East of Eden, but we still call it “reading.” Though highly skilled at discerning plot, character development, and literary themes and criticism, I was woefully behind in working through those accursed word problems.

The Common Core Standards help us—I repeat, they help us—to guide students toward building their skills and defining their lives by what they can achieve rather than what they can’t seem to hack. Common Core 360 is full of teacher and classroom videos that show how educators have been able to build capacity and confidence in their students through these standards. Education is no longer about being weeded out, sorted, and graded—it’s about learning.

Have you been able to read through the Common Core Standards? Have you put any to the test here at the beginning of the school year? What was your experience? Let’s sound off in the comments.

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