With its recent implementation in 45 states, the Common Core has garnered praise and criticism alike. This article offers a few resources to help dispel some of those worries for both parents and teachers.
Resources for Parents
In our experience, worries from parents about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are often due to misinformation from the media. For example, when my own students’ parents would come to me with CCSS concerns, they were consistently shocked when I told them that the CCSS currently only covers math and English Language Arts. This is because many articles had led them to believe that the CCSS were requiring sex education (for Kindergarten, no less!) or sweeping Social Studies alterations. If you, too, have concerned parents at your school, here are some resources to which you can direct them to help clear things up! (Update: Be sure to also check out our newest article, “My Common Core Story, & Why You Should Share Yours, Too“).
→ “CONVERSATION: A THREE-MINUTE VIDEO ON COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS“
→ MYTHS & FACT SHEET ABOUT THE CCSS
→ ARTICLE: “TALKING TO PARENTS ABOUT THE COMMON CORE”
→ FACT VS. FICTION BY STATE:
Of the states that are using the Common Core Standards, about half adopted them verbatim; most of the rest adopted them with modifications. Click on the infographic below for a clickable map of state fact sheets.
Resources for Teachers
The concerns for teachers tend to be more related to implementation. Experienced teachers are familiar with the constant ebb and flow of new programs and curricula, and the expectation to repeatedly scratch old material and start over. While it can certainly be frustrating to tackle yet another new curriculum, there’s great news when it comes to the CCSS: for the first time, teachers across the country are in the same boat! As such, we can now share resources with one another in heretofore unheard-of quantity and quality. We believe that this is one of many ways in which the CCSS will increase the quality of national teaching practices. Check out some of these resources below that are designed for this purpose!
Teacher Boaz Munro described his experiences as a new teacher in this article, sharing his realization that “All of the lessons I planned started with…a modeling of the skill I was trying to teach—and yet I was not watching enough people model the skills I was trying to learn.” LearnZillion is a resource that allows you to watch how experienced teachers model and explain CCSS-aligned concepts. Some features include marking your favorite videos to help you keep track, and a sharing code so that you can easily assign students to watch the videos!
Khan Academy is similar to LearnZillion in that you can set up a class account to invite students, as well as lesson videos in both English Language Arts & Math! However, it also includes a setup that allows students to practice the skills after watching the videos within the lesson set, complete with hints that model the skills again! This in turn allows you to monitor student progress! This resource is filled with visual data!
BetterLesson is unique in that you actually choose lessons from real master teachers. These are lessons designed more for you as the teacher than for students, and can be very informative as you work to develop lesson plans in math and language arts.
Photo Credit: InThePotter’sHands (featured image)