Common Core

 
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Talk with Your Kids about Common Core
Myths vs. Facts
What do the Common Core State Standards mean for my student?
Understanding the Common Core Curriculum: A Guide for Parents
Which Oregon districts are furthest along, least on board with Common Core?

Results
Curry County

What can you do?
Parent’s Backpack Guide
Miscellaneous
Merchandise - Single card - $1.00 includes shipping, Positive Parenting Pack (all 36 cards) - $13.00 plus shipping

Oregon enacted Common Core a couple of months after California and almost a year before Washington state. As I understand it, both of those states have implemented it for the 2013/14 school year while Oregon is scheduled for implementation as required federally for the 2014/15 school year. At least one school district that I know of in Oregon is in their 2nd year of their Common Core pilot program.

We're told, anecdotally, that our teachers are overwhelmed and our students are stressed around Common Core. We're told that our teachers have too much on their plate. I believe, however, that most of our teachers are as qualified and capable as most of the teachers in California and Washington and other Oregon school districts. Why is it assumed that they aren't. What's wrong with this picture?

Rather than taking the position that our teachers have too much on their plates and can't handle as much as California and Washington teachers, maybe our teachers should be given bigger plates coupled with the recognition that they are as good or better than these others teachers and we are confident in their ability to successfully handle implementation of this new system with no more stress than any other district. - Editor

Talk with Your Kids about Common Core


The Common Core State Standards (CC) Initiative is one of the biggest educational reforms in decades, not only aimed to prepare students for college, they’re designed to turn them into big thinkers who can compete in the global job market and raise the quality of public education for all American kids.

Are teachers stressed? Yes. Is implementation messy? Double yes. Yet 73 percent of 20,000 teachers report that they’re excited about the new standards. The educators say that CC has made their classrooms more interesting and dynamic. Students are more engaged in the material and are learning to think more deeply about what they’re learning.

Common standards mean that students in Oregon are learning the same thing as students across the country and are aligned to international standards from the highest achieving countries. This means our students will be better prepared to compete both nationally and internationally.

The CC places a strong emphasis on reading informational and technical texts to prepare students for the demands of college and the rapidly changing world of work. Look for your kids to have more reading assignments based on real-life events, such as biographies, articles and historical stories. Read nonfiction books with your children.

Traditional lessons consisted of storybooks and novels and questions about who, what, or where. CC emphasizes nonfiction — informational texts, narratives, articles, and more. Today it’s about the hows, whys, and what-ifs.

Math curriculums put heavy emphasis on rote memorization, and concepts were often presented as isolated entities. While some drilling is still considered critical (especially in the early grades), the primary focus now is turning out empowered thinkers who can forge their own path through a problem based on evidence from original texts and other sources. They learn multiple ways to find a solution and are encouraged to use whatever strategies will fit their style.

How to help at home

Read, read, read: front-load the nonfiction. Ask questions as you go, but don’t drill too much. At home, reading should be enjoyable first.

Break out a deck: Card games like Blackjack and 31 are a super-sneaky way to practice math facts.

Ask why their math answers make sense. Kids need to be able to explain why their solutions are correct. If they can walk you through how they solved that tricky word problem, you’ll know their on track.

Help develop their “academic vocabulary”: These are the words that kids need to know to understand texts across subject areas but that don’t tend to come up in everyday conversation. (Think: peninsula, coast, paleontologist, and legend.) Nonfiction books are good vocab sources, but so are things like maps. You might even learn something new in the process.

Myths vs. Facts


Successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards requires parents, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to have the facts about what the standards are and what they are not. The following myths and facts aim to address common misconceptions about the development, intent, content, and implementation of the standards.

Myths About Content and Quality: General

Myth: Adopting common standards means bringing all states’ standards down to the lowest common denominator. This means that states with high standards are actually taking a step backwards by adopting the Common Core.

Fact: The standards are designed to build upon the most advanced current thinking about preparing all students for success in college, career, and life. This will result in moving even the best state standards to the next level. In fact, since this work began, there has been an explicit agreement that no state would lower its standards. The standards were informed by the best in the country, the highest international standards, and evidence and expertise about educational outcomes. We need college- and career-ready standards because even in high-performing states, students are graduating and passing all the required tests but still need remediation in their postsecondary work.

Myth: The Common Core State Standards are not internationally benchmarked.

Fact: Standards from top-performing countries played a significant role in the development of the math and English language arts/literacy standards. In fact, the college- and career-ready standards provide an appendix listing the evidence that was consulted in drafting the standards, including the international standards that were consulted in the development process.

Myth: The standards only include skills and do not address the importance of content knowledge.

Fact: The standards recognize that both content and skills are important.

The English language arts standards require certain critical content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s founding documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. Appropriately, the remaining crucial decisions about what content should be taught are made at the state and local levels. In addition to content coverage, the standards require that students systematically acquire knowledge in literature and other disciplines through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

The mathematics standards lay a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Taken together, these elements support a student’s ability to learn and apply more demanding math concepts and procedures. The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real-world issues and challenges. They prepare students to think and reason mathematically. The standards set a rigorous definition of college and career readiness not by piling topic upon topic, but by demanding that students develop a depth of understanding and ability to apply mathematics to novel situations, as college students and employees regularly do.

Myths About Content and Quality: Math

Myth: The standards do not prepare or require students to learn algebra in the 8th grade, as many states’ current standards do.

Fact: The standards do accommodate and prepare students for Algebra 1 in 8th grade by including the prerequisites for this course in grades K-7. Students who master the K-7 material will be able to take Algebra 1 in 8th grade. At the same time, grade 8 standards also include rigorous algebra and will transition students effectively into a full Algebra 1 course.

Myth: Key math topics are missing or appear in the wrong grade.

Fact: The mathematical progressions presented in the Common Core State Standards are coherent and based on evidence.

Part of the problem with having different sets of state standards in mathematics is that different states cover different topics at different grade levels. Coming to a consensus guarantees that, from the viewpoint of any given state, topics will move up or down in the grade level sequence. What is important to keep in mind is that the progression in the Common Core State Standards is mathematically coherent and leads to college and career readiness at an internationally competitive level.

Myths About Content and Quality
English Language Arts/Literacy

Myth: The standards are just vague descriptions of skills and do not include a reading list or any other reference to content.

Fact: The standards do include sample texts that demonstrate the level of text complexity appropriate for the grade level and compatible with the learning demands set out in the standards. The exemplars of high-quality texts at each grade level provide a rich set of possibilities and have been very well received. This provides a reference point for teachers when selecting their texts, along with the flexibility to make their own decisions about what texts to use.

Myth: English teachers will be asked to teach science and social studies reading materials.

Fact: With the ELA standards, English teachers will still teach their students literature as well as literary nonfiction. However, because college and career readiness overwhelmingly focuses on complex texts outside of literature, these standards also ensure students are being prepared to read, write, and research across the curriculum, including in history and science. These goals can be achieved by ensuring that teachers in other disciplines are also focusing on reading and writing to build knowledge within their subject areas.

Myth: The standards do not have enough emphasis on fiction/literature.

Fact: The Common Core requires certain critical content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s founding documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. Appropriately, the remaining crucial decisions about what content should be taught are made at the state and local levels. The standards require that a portion of what is read in high school should be informational text, yet the bulk of this portion will be accounted for in non-ELA disciplines that do not frequently use fictional texts. This means that stories, drama, poetry, and other literature account for the majority of reading that students will do in their ELA classes. In addition to content coverage, the standards require that students systematically acquire knowledge in literature and other disciplines through reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Myths About Process

Myth: No teachers were involved in writing the standards.

Fact: The Common Core drafting process relied on teachers and standards experts from across the country. In addition, many state experts came together to create the most thoughtful and transparent process of standard setting. This was only made possible by many states working together.

Myth: The standards are not based on research or evidence.

Fact: The standards have made careful use of a large and growing body of evidence. The evidence base includes scholarly research, surveys on what skills are required of students entering college and workforce training programs, assessment data identifying college- and career-ready performance, and comparisons to standards from high-performing states and nations.

In English language arts, the standards build on the firm foundation of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) frameworks in reading and writing, which draw on extensive scholarly research and evidence.

In mathematics, the standards draw on conclusions from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and other studies of high-performing countries that found the traditional U.S. mathematics curriculum needed to become substantially more coherent and focused in order to improve student achievement, addressing the problem of a curriculum that is “a mile wide and an inch deep.”

Myths About Implementation

Myth: The standards tell teachers what to teach.

Fact: Teachers know best about what works in the classroom. That is why these standards establish what students need to learn but do not dictate how teachers should teach. Instead, schools and teachers will decide how best to help students reach the standards.

Myth: Teachers will be left to implement the standards without any support or guidance.

Fact: Decisions on how to implement the standards are made at the state and local levels. As such, states and localities are taking different approaches to implementing the standards and providing their teachers with the supports they need to help students successfully reach the standards. To learn how states are supporting teachers and implementing their new standards, visit the Standards in Your State section for a map linking to the state-specific implementation page.

Myth: The standards will be implemented through No Child Left Behind (NCLB), signifying that the federal government will be leading them.

Fact: The Common Core is a state-led effort that is not part of No Child Left Behind or any other federal initiative. The federal government played no role in the development of the Common Core. State adoption of the standards is in no way mandatory. States began the work to create clear, consistent standards before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided funding for the Race to the Top grant program. It also began before the Elementary and Secondary Education Act blueprint was released, because this work is being driven by the needs of the states, not the federal government.

Myth: The Common Core State Standards were adopted by states as part of the Race to the Top grant program.

Fact: Recognizing the strength of having high standards for all students, the federal government gave competitive advantage to Race to the Top applicants that demonstrated that they had or planned to adopt college- and career-ready standards for all students. The program did not specify the Common Core or prevent states from creating their own, separate college- and career-ready standards. States and territories voluntarily chose to adopt the Common Core to prepare their students for college, career, and life. Many states that were not chosen for Race to the Top grants continue to implement the Common Core.

Myth: These standards amount to a national curriculum for our schools.

Fact: The Common Core is not a curriculum. It is a clear set of shared goals and expectations for what knowledge and skills will help our students succeed. Local teachers, principals, superintendents, and others will decide how the standards are to be met. Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms.

Myth: The federal government will take over ownership of the Common Core State Standards initiative.

Fact: The federal government will not govern the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core was and will remain a state-led effort. The NGA Center and CCSSO are committed to developing a long-term governance structure with leadership from governors, chief state school officers, and other state policymakers to ensure the quality of the Common Core and that teachers and principals have a strong voice in the future of the standards. States and local school districts will drive implementation of the Common Core.

Myth: The Common Core State Standards will result in a national database of private student information.

Fact: There are no data collection requirements for states adopting the standards. Standards define expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Implementing the Common Core State Standards does not require data collection. The means of assessing students and the use of the data that result from those assessments are up to the discretion of each state and are separate and unique from the Common Core.
Source: www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/myths-vs-facts/

What do the Common Core State Standards mean for my student?


Something exciting is happening in education in Oregon, something that all parents will want to know about - the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These newly adopted standards in English Language Arts and Math are important for your student’s future success!

In 2010 Oregon adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to make sure that all children succeed once they graduate from high school. This guide is designed to help you understand how the standards will affect your child, what changes you will see and what you can do at home to help your children in the classroom.

The CCSS are important because they will help all children – no matter who they are – learn the same skills. They create clear expectations for what your child should know and be able to do in key areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. If you know what these expectations are, then you can work with the teacher and help your child prepare.

Common standards mean that students in Oregon are learning the same thing as students across the country. Students moving into or out of Oregon will have a smoother educational transition. The CCSS are aligned to international standards from the highest achieving countries. This means our students will be better prepared to compete both nationally and internationally.

Your child will now read more non-fiction in each grade level. Look for your kids to have more reading assignments based on real-life events, such as biographies, articles and historical stories. Read non-fiction books with your children. Find ways to make reading fun and exciting. Reading more non-fiction texts will help your child learn about the world through reading. Look for your kids to bring home more fact-based books about the world.

These standards are designed to prepare students for success in whatever they choose to do after graduation. Real life is really important. What students learn in school should be directly related to what they’ll be required to do once they leave. The Common Core places a strong emphasis on reading informational and technical texts to prepare students for the demands of college and the workplace. College should not begin with remediation. Too many students entering Oregon universities and community colleges require remedial classes in English and Math. The CCSS are designed to make that a problem of the past by fully preparing students for college-level coursework. Increased access to learning resources. These standards will better prepare our students for career success in the rapidly changing world of work.

When it comes to writing or retelling a story, your child will use "evidence" gathered from the text to support what they say. Look for written assignments that ask your child to draw on concrete examples from the text that serve as evidence. Evidence means examples from the book that your child will use to support a response or conclusion. This is different from the opinion questions that have been used in the past. Ask your child to provide evidence in everyday discussions and disagreements. Your child will learn how to write from what they read. Look for writing assignments that ask your child to make arguments in writing using evidence.

Here’s why: The standards are the same wherever you go. Common standards mean that students in Oregon are learning the same thing as students across the country. Students moving into or out of Oregon will have a smoother educational transition because learning goals will now be the same across states. They’re modeled on success. The Common Core State Standards are aligned to international standards from the highest achieving countries. This means our students will be well prepared to compete both nationally and internationally. College and career ready is the name of the game. All students graduating college and career-ready is the goal of the CCSS. These standards are designed to prepare students for success in whatever they choose to do after graduation. Real life is really important. What students learn in school should be directly related to what they’ll be required to do once they leave. The Common Core places a strong emphasis on reading informational and technical texts to prepare students for the demands of college and the workplace. College should not begin with remediation. Too many students entering Oregon universities and community colleges require remedial classes in English and Math. The CCSS are designed to make that a problem of the past by fully preparing students for college-level coursework. Increased access to learning resources. Common standards mean that learning resources and teaching and learning materials can be shared across states. 21st century skills for 21st century jobs. These standards will prepare our students for career success in the rapidly changing world of work.

In 2010 Oregon adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to make sure that all children succeed once they graduate from high school. This guide is designed to help you understand how the standards will affect your child, what changes you will see and what you can do at home to help your children the classroom.

Why Are the Common Core State Standards Important?

The Common Core State Standards are important because they will help all children – no matter who they are – learn the same skills. They create clear expectations for what your child should know and be able to do in key areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening, language and mathematics. If you know what these expectations are, then you can work with the teacher and help your child prepare.

The new Common Core State Standards make several important changes to current standards. These changes are called shifts. The chart below shows what these shifts change, what you might see in your child’s backpack and what you can do to help your child. If your child’s assignments do not reflect the shifts, then talk to your child’s teacher.

What’s Shifting? What to Look for in the Backpack? What Can You Do? Your child will now read more non-fiction in each grade level. Look for your kids to have more reading assignments based on real-life events, such as biographies, articles and historical stories. Read non-fiction books with your children. Find ways to make reading fun and exciting. Reading more non-fiction texts will help your child learn about the world through reading. Look for your kids to bring home more fact-based books about the world. For instance, your 1st Grader or Kindergartener might read Clyde Robert Bulla’s A Tree is a Plant. This book lets students read and learn about science. Know what non-fiction books are grade-level appropriate and make sure your children have access to such books. Your child will read challenging texts very closely, so they can make sense of what they read and draw their own conclusions. Your kids will have reading and writing assignments that might ask them to retell or write about key parts of a story or book. For example, your 2nd or 3rd Grader might be asked to read aloud Faith D’Aluisio’s non-fiction book titled What the World Eats and retell facts from the story. Provide more challenging texts for your kids to read. Show them how to dig deeper into difficult pieces. When it comes to writing or retelling a story, your child will use "evidence" gathered from the text to support what they say. Look for written assignments that ask your child to draw on concrete examples from the text that serve as evidence. Evidence means examples from the book that your child will use to support a response or conclusion. This is different from the opinion questions that have been used in the past. Ask your child to provide evidence in everyday discussions and disagreements. Your child will learn how to write from what they read. Look for writing assignments that ask your child to make arguments in writing using evidence. For 4th and 5th graders, this might mean reading and writing about The Kids Guide to Money, a non-fictional book by Steve Otfinoski. Encourage writing at home. Write together using evidence and details. Your child will have an increased academic vocabulary. Look for assignments that stretch your child’s vocabulary and teach them that “language is power.” Read often to babies, toddlers, preschoolers and children.

To improve student learning, the new Common Core State Standards are different from the old ones. These changes are called shifts. The chart below shows what is shifting, what you might see in your child’s backpack and what you can do to help your child. Again, if your child’s assignments do not reflect the shifts, then talk to your child’s teacher.

What’s Shifting? What to Look for in the Backpack? What Can You Do? Your child will work more deeply in fewer topics, which will ensure full understanding. (less is more!) Look for assignments that require students to show their work and explain how they arrived at an answer. Know what concepts are important for your child based on their grade level and spend time working on those concepts. Your child will keep building on learning year after year, starting with a strong foundation. Look for assignments that build on one another. For example, students will focus on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Once these areas are mastered, they will focus on fractions. Building on that, they will then focus on Algebra. You should be able to see the progression in the topics they learn Know what concepts are important for your child based on their grade level and spend time working on those concepts. Your child will spend time practicing and memorizing math facts. Look for assignments that build on one another. For example, students will focus on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Once these areas are mastered, they will focus on fractions. You should be able to see the progression in the topics they learn. Be aware of what concepts your child struggled with last year and support your child in those challenge areas moving forward. Your child will understand why the math works and be asked to talk about and prove their understanding. Your child might have assignments that focus on memorizing and mastering basic math facts, which are important for success in more advanced math problems. Help your child know and memorize basic math facts. Ask your child to “do the math” that pops up in daily life. Your child will now be asked to use math in real-world situations. Look for math assignments that are based on the real world. For instance, homework for 5th graders might include adding fractions as part of a dessert recipe or determining how much pizza friends ate based on fractions. Provide time every day for your child to work on math at home.

When talking to your child’s teacher, try to keep the conversation focused on the most important topics that relate to your child. This means asking the teacher how your child is performing based on grade-level standards and expectations. Also, ask to see a sample of your child’s work.

This information will enable you make important adjustments at home that can help your child achieve success in the classroom.

For more information, please visit: www.ode.state.or.us/go/commoncore or contact your local principal or superintendent.

Miscellaneous


The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a set of learning goals designed to benefit and enrich students by setting fewer, clearer, and deeper standards and expectations, working grade-by-grade, step-by-step to put students on the path to graduate prepared for both college and a career. The standards require a greater use of analysis, critical thinking and real-world skills.

Transitioning to success as Common Core is implemented

Local districts are in their first year of full implementation of the Common Core State Standards; however, teachers and districts have been working since 2010 to prepare to successfully engage students in deeper learning and higher expectations set by the new standards and are prepared to help ensure the success of students under Common Core. 

Common Core Resources

Find out more about Common Core in California by reading our resources:

•Get the facts about Common Core by reading our fact sheet

•See how California was graded on implementation of Common Core in the California Children’s Report Card, or the one-page report on Common Core

Source: www.childrennow.org/index.php/learn/common_core/

Understanding the Common Core Curriculum: A Guide for Parents


The Common Core State Standards Initiative is one of the biggest educational reforms in decades, and its goals are lofty.

The sweeping new set of educational benchmarks for kindergarten through high school not only aim to prepare students for college — they’re designed to turn them into big thinkers who can compete in the global job market. Another driving force behind the state-led initiative: a belief that having a common set of standards — and a more streamlined testing process — will help raise the quality of public education for all American kids.

Although few would argue against the Common Core’s overall objective — to raise achievement — that hasn’t stopped controversy and criticism from bubbling up, particularly over the way the standards are being implemented.

Many teachers say that they have not been given the time, resources, and training that they need to adequately prepare their students for the changes. Already, Indiana, one of the more than 40 states that initially adopted the standards, has decided to drop them and write its own. Meanwhile, many parents feel left out of a conversation that will have a significant impact on their children’s lives.

We wanted to take a deep breath and find out exactly how teachers feel about these standards and what they mean for your kids, so we talked to instructors. We went into classrooms. We pored over the standards themselves.

The result? We’re happy to report that the overall news is surprisingly good. Are teachers stressed? Yes. Is implementation messy? Double yes. Yet despite these challenges, 73 percent of teachers report that they’re excited about the new standards, according to Primary Sources, a survey of 20,000 public school teachers conducted by Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The educators that P&C spoke with say that the Common Core (CC for short) has made their classrooms more interesting and dynamic. Moreover, the early adopters (some states started using the standards in 2010) are seeing positive changes: Students are more engaged in the material and are learning to think more deeply about what they’re learning.

Anyone can review the standards (for information visit Corestandards.org or Scholastic.com/commoncore), but in the meantime, we’re here to provide you with a clear sense of how they’re transforming what your little student is learning in class today. Read on!

The Key Changes in Reading

Before CC Fiction was the centerpiece of teaching literacy. Traditional lessons consisted of kids reading from a storybook, novel, or basal reader, then answering a few questions on a worksheet. “Everything was a who, what, or where question,” says Ali Berman, a fifth-grade teacher in Atlanta. “Who was the main character? What were they doing? Pretty much just recapping the story.” And nonfiction was but a blip on the reading radar screen (about 3.6 minutes per school day for the average first-grader, according to a study by researchers from the University of Michigan).

After CC The biggest change is the emphasis on nonfiction of all kinds — informational texts, narratives, articles, and more. In fact, the new standards require that 50 percent of reading material in elementary school be nonfiction. But whatever kids are reading, they must also analyze text in a more complex way. “Today it’s all about the hows, whys, and what-ifs,” says Berman. Students don’t simply read a chapter or article once. A practice called “close reading” teaches kids to return to the text again and again. This might sound tedious, but it trains them to learn to interpret the author’s tone and word choice, as well as to see how one book connects to another. In other words, they become what teachers refer to as “text detectives.” In Melinda Butler’s Marietta, GA, first-grade class, we watched as she donned a Sherlock Holmes cap while students read about Lewis and Clark. They’re being reading sleuths, she explains later, as they hone in on details and provide evidence for their answers.

“What do you think Lewis and Clark ate during their expedition?” she asks the class.

“I know!” says a tiny girl with blonde pigtails. “They ate fish.”

“And . . .” says Butler.

“And I think this is true because they were traveling on the Missouri River, so it would have been easy for them to go fishing!”

Teachers aren’t the only ones asking the questions, either. Kids are encouraged to come up with their own juicy book-related questions for one another, too, which helps give the entire Common Core reading experience an exciting, book-clubby feel that teachers and students love.

And though there’s been some backlash against the emphasis on nonfiction, many teachers find it’s actually freeing for kids.

“Our students’ eyes are open to the whole library now,” says Beth Fuller, a teacher in Louisville, KY. “They understand reading isn’t just for entertainment; it can be purposeful and intentional.”

Since Fuller’s school is in a lower income area, many students don’t get to do things like visit museums or travel over breaks. The nonfiction they read becomes a window onto the world for them, she says.

The Key Changes in Writing

Before CC While kids honed their writing skills across subject areas with book reports, science projects, and homework assignments (write a paragraph using your spelling words), when it came to Language Arts, the focus was on descriptive writing — think personal narratives (“What I Did Over Summer Vacation”) and creative tales (“The Day It Snowed Ice Cream”).

After CC Today, writing lessons focus on teaching kids how to communicate their ideas effectively through persuasive arguments based on evidence from original texts and other sources.

A tall order? Yep. But it’s a communication skill that experts believe will serve kids in every area of their life — from the playground right on up to the boardroom. One mom told us her 10-year-old used the writing techniques she was learning in class to make a presentation about why she should get an iPhone 5s. (One of her key points: “S is for safety”!)

“In the past, it was enough to write ‘I like the butterfly,’ ” says Steven Hinkle, a kindergarten teacher in Chattanooga, TN. “Now students must back up their opinions with fact-based reasons, like ‘I like the butterfly because it’s colorful and lives in the flowers.’ ”

Many teachers are especially thrilled about the way the new writing standards are woven throughout the curriculum. Kids use these same skills over and over again to present strong arguments in reading (perhaps explaining why Ramona isn’t really a pest), math (showing why 15 + 13 = 28), and throughout the school day. “In my class, three fact-based supporting points make for a strong argument, written or otherwise,” says Butler. “That holds true for every subject.”

The Key Changes in Math

Before CC Previously, curriculums put heavy emphasis on rote memorization, and concepts were often presented as isolated entities (This week we’re learning place value; next week, decimals). While the scope of concepts covered was broad, it wasn’t particularly deep. Word problems were straightforward and usually involved one type of calculation.

After CC While some drilling is still considered critical (especially in the early grades), the primary focus of the new standards is turning out empowered thinkers who can forge their own path through a problem.

“Common Core wants kids to get more creative in their problem solving,” says Berman. “They learn multiple ways to find a solution and are encouraged to use whatever strategies will fit their style.” Some children draw pictures; others make charts; still others act out questions with wooden blocks. And some even use the “old” algorithms that we learned as kids. Which is just what we saw Berman’s fifth-graders do with this little doozy:

There were 9 girls on the bus. Each girl had 5 cats. Each cat had 2 kittens. How many legs were on the bus, including the bus driver’s? Write the steps you took to get your answer.

“Oh, it’s hard for them all right,” says Berman. “But not calculus-hard. It’s more exhilaratingly hard — and they’re 100-percent capable of doing it.” Indeed, an excited buzz fills the room as the students discuss possible strategies. (The answer? 560.)

Ultimately, this multipronged approach to problem solving fosters a much richer understanding of what numbers mean and how they work together. Kids feel confident taking them apart and putting them together in infinite combinations. Eventually, this kind of flexible thinking will serve them in all parts of their lives — in school and beyond.

How to help at home

Read, read, read

And front-load the nonfiction. Ask questions as you go, but don’t drill too much. At home, reading should be enjoyable first.

Break out a deck

Card games like Blackjack and 31 are a super-sneaky way to practice math facts.

Ask why their math answers make sense

Kids need to be able to explain why their solutions are correct. If your child can walk you through how she solved that tricky word problem, you’ll know she’s on track.

Help develop their “academic vocabulary”

These are the words that kids need to know to understand texts across subject areas but that don’t tend to come up in everyday conversation. (Think: peninsula, coast, paleontologist, and legend.) Nonfiction books are good vocab sources, but so are things like maps.

Source: www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/parent-child/understanding-common-core-curriculum-guide-parents

The Michigan Department of Education’s website said, “In June 2010, the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as the new standards for K-12 mathematics and English language arts. These standards improved upon Michigan’s current standards (the Grade Level Content Expectations and the High School Content Expectations) by establishing clear and consistent goals for learning, and allow Michigan to work collaboratively with other states to provide curricular support to schools and educators.”
Source: www.easternecho.com/article/2013/10/state-standards-to-take-effect

What Can You Do?


Your child will now read more non-fiction in each grade level. Look for your kids to have more reading assignments based on real-life events, such as biographies, articles and historical stories. Read non-fiction books with your children. Find ways to make reading fun and exciting. Reading more non-fiction texts will help your child learn about the world through reading. Look for your kids to bring home more fact-based books about the world. For instance, your 1st Grader or Kindergartener might read Clyde Robert Bulla’s A Tree is a Plant. This book lets students read and learn about science. Know what non-fiction books are grade-level appropriate and make sure your children have access to such books. Your child will read challenging texts very closely, so they can make sense of what they read and draw their own conclusions. Your kids will have reading and writing assignments that might ask them to retell or write about key parts of a story or book. For example, your 2nd or 3rd Grader might be asked to read aloud Faith D’Aluisio’s non-fiction book titled What the World Eats and retell facts from the story. Provide more challenging texts for your kids to read. Show them how to dig deeper into difficult pieces. When it comes to writing or retelling a story, your child will use "evidence" gathered from the text to support what they say. Look for written assignments that ask your child to draw on concrete examples from the text that serve as evidence. Evidence means examples from the book that your child will use to support a response or conclusion. This is different from the opinion questions that have been used in the past. Ask your child to provide evidence in everyday discussions and disagreements. Your child will learn how to write from what they read. Look for writing assignments that ask your child to make arguments in writing using evidence. For 4th and 5th graders, this might mean reading and writing about The Kids Guide to Money, a non-fictional book by Steve Otfinoski. Encourage writing at home. Write together using evidence and details. Your child will have an increased academic vocabulary. Look for assignments that stretch your child’s vocabulary and teach them that “language is power.” Read often to babies, toddlers, preschoolers and children.

To improve student learning, the new Common Core State Standards are different from the old ones. These changes are called shifts. The chart below shows what is shifting, what you might see in your child’s backpack and what you can do to help your child. Again, if your child’s assignments do not reflect the shifts, then talk to your child’s teacher.

What’s Shifting? What to Look for in the Backpack? What Can You Do? Your child will work more deeply in fewer topics, which will ensure full understanding. (less is more!) Look for assignments that require students to show their work and explain how they arrived at an answer. Know what concepts are important for your child based on their grade level and spend time working on those concepts. Your child will keep building on learning year after year, starting with a strong foundation. Look for assignments that build on one another. For example, students will focus on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Once these areas are mastered, they will focus on fractions. Building on that, they will then focus on Algebra. You should be able to see the progression in the topics they learn Know what concepts are important for your child based on their grade level and spend time working on those concepts. Your child will spend time practicing and memorizing math facts. Look for assignments that build on one another. For example, students will focus on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Once these areas are mastered, they will focus on fractions. You should be able to see the progression in the topics they learn. Be aware of what concepts your child struggled with last year and support your child in those challenge areas moving forward. Your child will understand why the math works and be asked to talk about and prove their understanding. Your child might have assignments that focus on memorizing and mastering basic math facts, which are important for success in more advanced math problems. Help your child know and memorize basic math facts. Ask your child to “do the math” that pops up in daily life. Your child will now be asked to use math in real-world situations. Look for math assignments that are based on the real world. For instance, homework for 5th graders might include adding fractions as part of a dessert recipe or determining how much pizza friends ate based on fractions. Provide time every day for your child to work on math at home.

Reports for TELL Oregon 2016

Educators
Responses
Percentage

Brookings-Harbor School District

78
45
57.60

High School

27
22
81.48

Azalea

17
6
35.29

K-school

34
17
50.00

Gold Beach School DIstrict

36
25
69.44

High School

13
10
76.92

Riley Creek

23
15
65.22

Port Orford-Langlois School District

24
10
41.67

High School

11
3
27.27

Driftwood

13
7
53.85

Oregon

33,612
18,266
54.34

Source: www.telloregon.org/results

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