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Common Core Standards Are Here to Stay

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Common Core Standards - What are they? And what do you need to know about them?

First, you need to know that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are educational standards determining what skills students should be taught and know at every level of learning. All but five states have adopted CCSS.

Here are a few examples of grade one standards for reading.

1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
2. Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message of lesson.
3. Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
. . .  

You can read all the CCSS standards on the Common Core State Standards Initiative website .

Now, what do you need to do differently (or more of) because of the CCSS?

Patrick Daley, Senior Vice President of Scholastic Classroom Publishing, and an expert in the Common Core recommends parents do the following five things with their children:

1)      Talk about books, especially the great ones! The Common Core says children need to read “books worth reading.” We all know that reading ANYTHING is great for kids, but they should be exposed to great writers and challenging content too. Lead by example!    

2)      Ask your children questions about what they’re reading. One of the key shifts with the Common Core is its requirement that students (both orally and in writing) cite evidence from the texts they are reading to make an argument. Try asking questions that require your kids to talk about the content of the books they’re reading – like having them give examples for why a favorite character was heroic or clever or forgiving. 

3)      Push your kids to read non-fiction. Reading fiction is still a critical and wonderful part of learning to read, but the Common Core elevates the importance of non-fiction, or “informational text,” as the authors of the standards call it. Does your son love gross bugs? Get him a book about cockroach infestations and let him dig deep into a topic that interest him. You might have a future scientist in your house!

4)      Encourage your kids to write, write, write. The Common Core standards emphasize the important link between reading and writing – and writing to persuade by citing evidence is a key 21st Century skill. Encourage your children to keep a journal or blog, or write a letter or e-mail to a favorite author.

5)      “Talk math” with your kids. The Common Core requires students to learn important math “reasoning” skills in addition to learning their multiplication tables and memorizing formulas. Great math teachers learn to talk through math problems with students. Parents: Try talking to your kids about mathematical practices they use every day. Have them estimate time and distance, compare the value of products in a store, or calculate the tip when you’re out to dinner.

Edutopia provides an extensive list of links for more CCSS information as does Larry Ferlazzo .

Have you been hearing about Common Core?

What do you think about these new national standards? Comment here .

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