The State of the Common Core
Millions of teachers and thousands of districts in 45 states are currently undergoing a sea change in the way that they teach and assess students. The new Common Core Standards for learning have been phased into states and districts since 2010, and the digitized Common Core Assessments are scheduled to deploy in states that have adopted them as early as the 2014-2015 school year.
Read the entire article by Vanessa Vega on edutopia at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/state-of-the-common-core-vanessa-vega
How Will Common Core Change What We Do?
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) represent the most significant, widespread education reform that has ever occurred in American public schools. Currently, 45 states and three territories have adopted the standards and plan to assess students’ progress on them during the 2014-2015 school year. With these standards, all learning is linked to 10 Career and College Readiness Standards, what students need to know and be able to do in order to thrive at the college level and in the career world. It’s the first time that the country has ever had such a clear picture of the kinds of skills students should have when they leave high school. It’s a big deal.
The CC standards are organized in an intoxicatingly simple, linear fashion that acknowledges that the work of a first grade teacher contributes to the growth of a tenth grade student. This connectedness between grade levels is a welcome departure from some previous state standards that jumped from topic to topic, addressing a particular skill one year, dropping it the next, and returning to it later on or not at all.
The standards’ organization will help teachers focus on the big picture and see how their work with students is connected to a child’s academic past and future. No CCSS strand can be mastered in one year.
Read the entire article by Erin Powers on edutopia at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-change-teaching-erin-powers
Student Responses to Common Core Instruction and Assessment
This series of blogs is to support you and your students during the transition period that will come with the CCSS. As the new testing and teaching styles promote more student independence, student-constructed learning and project-based learning, students will benefit from a powerful boost to their growing neural networks of executive functions.
However, for students and educators accustomed to more structured plans and teacher- or curriculum-directed learning, the decision-making and uncertainty can increase the amygdala’s stress level and inhibit flow to the prefrontal cortex where those networks of executive function are developing. This blog series will offer suggestions to ease the stress of transition, helping students persevere to reach the intrinsic pleasure that awaits them through meaningful choice and challenges in the classroom.
Read the entire article by Judy Willis on edutopia at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-responses-ccss-instruction-assessment-judy-willisImage Credit: Gates Foundation on Flickr