Curriculum & Instruction


COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS

What is it?                                                                
The Common Core Learning Standards are a more demanding set of knowledge and skills necessary for 21st Century College and Careers. (EngageNY.org)

The design of the Common Core Learning Standards in Literacy is organized into four overlapping strands: Reading, Writing, Language and Speaking/Listening.  The Standards mutually inform one another.  A successful integration of the Standards will provide students with necessary fluency, comprehension, analytic and communication skills necessary to be on track for college and career readiness.  The main design principles in the New York State Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for Mathematics standards are focus, coherence and rigor.  These principles require that, at each grade level, students and teachers focus their time and energy on fewer topics, in order to form deeper understandings, gain greater skill and fluency, and are able to apply what is learned.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Students need to develop the ability to engage in rich, evidence-based dialogue about a text that they have read.  Having students have conversations about text and teachers’ facilitation of these conversations requires a higher level of sophistication for both teachers and students.  Rather than the quicker connections between text and self, teachers must now train students to stay in the text, to draw conclusions and make arguments about the text and do so through the text itself.  Teachers will often be asking, “Where do you see that in the text? What paragraph? What sentence? What word?” students must begin to think and argue through and with texts by constantly being asked to find evidence in what they have read.

With mathematics, fluency is the quick mathematical content; what you should quickly know.  It should be recalled very quickly.  It allows students to get to application much faster and get to deeper understanding. The basic facts must be memorized by the students so that they can concentrate on the problem solving aspect.  Deeper understanding is a result of fluency.  Students are able to articulate their mathematical reasoning, they are able to access their answers through a couple of different vantage points; it’s not just getting to the answer but knowing why.  Students and teachers need to have a very deep understanding of the priority math concepts in order to manipulate them, articulate them, and come at them from different directions.
 
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
The work that we need to be doing to prepare for student learning now is making sure that our content area expertise is growing.  With the Common Core, ELA is more focused on students reading text closely at and above grade level and then writing about it.  This requires more depth in reading and more rigor in writing.  Students, teachers and parents need to work together to create opportunities for our students to read and write more often. We need to take the time to get together, interact with each other and create a culture of collaboration focused on raising student achievement.            

For ELA, students need to read to learn from text, read material at their own level to build joy of reading and be persistent despite challenges when reading; good readers tolerate frustration. They must learn to go back to the text to find evidence to support their argument, create their own judgments and become scholars.  They need to create and write their own informational texts.  Students need to spend more time learning words across”webs” and associating words with others.

In mathematics, a student must spend more time thinking and understanding concepts as well as the processes.  They need to build on the knowledge from year to year and see the progression.  They need to have fluency with their basic skills so that they can concentrate on developing their problem solving skills.    
                                                                                    
HOW IS IT MEASURED?
The Common Core Learning Standards are being measured through our state assessments in ELA and mathematics. In 2012 2013, the 3 – 8 ELA and math assessments created a new baseline from which we can measure student progress.  These results should not be compared directly with prior years. 

By providing our teachers with professional development, raising the bar on our student expectations, and providing our students with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve success; we will surpass the goals set by the state but more importantly prepare our students for 21st Century College and Careers.
(The above information was taken from www.engageny.org)
                                                                                                                                                         
Wednesday, March 29, 2017