Now, I have all the time in the world--until Baby Sneaker blesses me with her presence that is!
One article I came across in Instructor magazine was about Common Core State Standards. I've definitely heard about them, but until today I had never really tried to learn more about them. The article lists 4 links to check out, so I did.
I actually only checked out the first two and the second one is where I found pdf documents that actually list the new standards. It was really interesting to check them out.
Some of the goals behind the common standards are to increase the requirements for higher level thinking among students (which hopefully then puts less emphasis on standardized fill in the bubble tests) and to build more consistency in standards across states. I would be interested to see how current state standards compare across states because in some regards I feel like our current standards for Kindergarten here in Oregon are higher than the ones I just viewed. Yet, there are some differences that give me hope for some good changes in the future. It will be really interesting to see how these common core standards play out in terms of instruction, report cards etc.
One of the main things I noticed was that many of the Kindergarten standards begin with the words "with prompting and support..." I kind of like that it's acknowledged that kids in Kindergarten still require prompting and support. We seem to operate Kindergarten just like First Grade these days, so I wonder how the new standards will affect that. In some grade levels I think that maybe standards do need to be more vigorous, yet in Kindergarten I think we are already operating at maximum capacity in terms of what we are asking kids to do (especially in half day classes!).
I also like that the math standards place emphasis on two mathematical areas and encourage extended practice in just those areas. Our math program bounces around so much, that I think it would be refreshing to take a step back and really reorient ourselves to be working on what matters.
On the one hand I think that common core state standards are just another way to streamline education and push for everybody to be doing the same rather than crafting instruction that fits our kids. Yet, at the same time, I think consistency among states is a good thing and I think the process of creating common standards will create more clarity in what is expected of students at each grade level.
What do you think? Is your state adopting the common core state standards?