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Education Consultant

Great to hear

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Brittney,
It is refreshing to hear how your district’s adoption of the CCSS has improved teaching and learning at your school. For years we have discussed teaching across the curriculum but many times teachers don’t naturally see how that is done. I agree with you that CCSS helps teachers to understand that although one may be a science teacher or history teacher, everyone must teach writing and reading in their content areas. I am also excited about how CCSS will promote student-centered learning. This helps to get us away from rote memorization of isolated facts and work more towards a deeper understanding of curriculum material for students.

English teacher from Gallatin, Tennessee

Here in Tennessee, there were

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Here in Tennessee, there were already so many changes in the wake of Race to the Top two years ago, that I think a lot of teachers are burying their heads in the sand with Common Core.
I think the attitude is "not again!"

This change is for the better and for the long term. I support it.

Education Consultant and Literacy Specialist

Hello Miss Z, I'm glad that

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Hello Miss Z,
I'm glad that the teachers in your area are learning what they can about CCSS, but I'm disappointed to hear about your lack of support. It's no wonder teachers are worried. I'd highly recommend Lucy Calkins's book, "Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement" to you and your colleagues. While I certainly cannot answer all of your questions, I have to believe that reasonable leaders know that there will be a period of adjustment from current standards to CCSS. Additionally, the needs of special education students, as well as English Language Learners, will have to be addressed. We all look forward to gaining some clarity in these areas.

Education Consultant and Literacy Specialist

Hello Brittany, Thank you for

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Hello Brittany,

Thank you for sharing your story. It's an encouraging report.

Education Consultant and Literacy Specialist

Hi Stephanie, Good question.

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Hi Stephanie,
Good question. The CC State Standards serve as benchmarks for students across the states. They do not include any materials, so it makes sense that your state is developing its own curriculum from county to county. Every state and school district will have to decide how to best support students in these areas and that means different curriculum from place to place. Still, I suspect that we will see some similar curricular trends across the country, but that's just a hunch.

On a related note, each state can add up to 15% of its own standards to CCSS, so even though the bulk of the standards will be common from state to state, they will not be exactly the same.

The district where I teach

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The district where I teach has adopted the CCSS in the areas of English language arts and Math. While adopted the new standards, many commitees were formed within the county to write curriculum. I find this some what confusing as a first year teacher. The state of Georgia adopts the CCSS and we call it CCGPS. Then our county changes around the order of the curriculum and writes new curriculum in the other content areas to fit with the CCGPS. From what I have seen this year the CCSS has a lot to over and definately provokes a more indepth thought process.

My main question is:

If each county is taking the adopted materials and creating their own supplimentary materials, will the curriculum be the same from state to state when they are done adjusting it?

third grade teacher from Pennsylvania

In the dark

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Thanks Erin.

We have not been provided with any information on the new common core standards at this time. However, we are supposed to begin to implement them in the coming school year. Many teachers in my district are very worried and nervous about this coming change because of the lack of information.
Being a special education teacher, I have to wonder how these new standards with a higher demand will affect those students with special needs. We are striving for goals that are sometimes already too high for the students we are serving, and now the bar is being raised again. How will those students in third grade that are still reading on a first grade level be affected?
While we were not provided with any materials or information to look at, many teachers found the standards online. There are many big changes in the required material. For example, Pennsylvania currently has third graders being exposed to multiplication facts, but the common core standards are proposing knowledge of multiplication and division facts. While these concepts are related and of course feasible, will there be any sort of roll over period for those who did not start at the beginning of the continuous line of standards? Or will those in the older grades already be expected to know all of that information?

High School English/Language Arts

Thanks!

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Laura,
Thanks for the info. As we begin to make these changes in our building I may be in touch!
-Sabrina

Special Education Teacher from New Jersey

Creates Rigorous Expectations for Students

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In 2010, my school district adapted the implementation of the Core Content standards, and we began planning around these new standards. Since their implementation, our district has been provided with numerous professional development opportunities, and also "coaching" visits upon request. We have adapted a new Language Arts curriculum based on the Core Content, choosing a textbook that focuses on the standards and teaches around them (Holt McDougal Literature series). Most contents have re-written their curriculums with these standards as the backbone.

From my experience with the standards, it forces teachers to teach across the curriculum, and reinforces what is learned in each class. It allows for student centered learning, and it also creates rigorous (but realistic) expectations for students. I see a definite increase in text complexity, which is the direction NJ is headed. Pretty soon PARCC will replace NJASK for our state assessment, and the PARCC assessment is a college readiness preparation which correlates with Core Content standards.

As of right now, students in NJ will still be participants of the NKJASK, (which includes multiple choice questions) but we have already begun to see the shift in the test. Where there used to be a focus on fiction texts and persuasive writing, we are now seeing more complex informational texts along with much more explanatory writing. This year argument writing will begin replace the persuasive piece, encouraging students to use research provided in the prompt. The push for the use of textual evidence has been tremendous in our district, and it has proved to be useful for our students. No longer are students making up information they read, or writing long essays for open ended responses. Instead students are now applying skills learned through the Core Content by incorporating textual evidence into their reading tasks and writing tasks as well. Students are explaining the meaning of texts and have a better understanding of "big ideas" and theme within both fiction and non-fiction.

So far, as a special education teacher, I feel the CCSS are reasonable and achievable. I like our new curriculums and I feel comfortable teaching it, as well.

Special Education Teacher, Germany

Common Core

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Our district will begin adopting CCSS next year. I have really enjoyed reading about the challenges and victories of using the standards. Thank you for your insights.

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