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Common What?

Today I want to change the subject a bit – I want to discuss the Common Core Standards (CCS). I must start by saying that in no way, shape or form, am I an expert on the Common Core Standards. I do as much reading as I can and slowly I am piecing together what this means for the actual teacher in the physical classroom. I will not give my opinions on the CCS today, besides to state the obvious, which is that change can be difficult, and this is definitely a change.

To better understand the CCS, I read as much as possible about them, mostly on websites. The texts are usually dense, jargon-filled and seem almost theoretical in writing. There are some resources that are working to make the information more applicable to the classroom – meaning that they are in essence trying to answer the question, “How does this change what happens in the classroom?”

What I’d like to do today is compile a list of resources that I have found helpful in beginning to understand the shift that is happening in the American classroom. If you have other resources that you have found useful, please leave comments sharing the links. This should not be a one-sided conversation.

1. On February, 15th at 2PM, Scholastic is holding a free webinar regarding the CCS called “Assessing the Common Core.” If you are at all like me, sometimes reading just doesn’t do it. A webinar can be a different medium for understanding information. This particular webinar is great because all participants will get a one hour certificate of professional development. Furthermore, Scholastic has an entire section of their site dedicated to the Common Core.

2. Many state education websites have common core resources right on their websites. If you live in New York, be sure to check out EngageNY. EngageNY offers information about CCS including a video library and curricular examples of CCS use. I recommend using video as a medium to learn about CCS – the conversational nature of this medium can support our understanding. If you do not live in NY, google your state’s education department, common core and you should be able to find information. If you find helpful resources, leave the links in a comment so EdGeeks readers can have access. (Send me a message if you can’t find what you need and I’ll do what I can.)

3.Common Core State Standards Initiative has been a very helpful resource for me. It really is comprehensive, including (but not limited to) the actual standards, news articles regarding CCS, and an FAQ section which answers a lot!

4. ASCD is another website that I have found useful. As you read through these sites, you begin to see commonalities which helps develop understanding. ASCD is also pretty comprehensive. The site is not only dedicated to CCS so you need to click on the appropriate section.

To be honest, this stuff is dense and it isn’t my favorite to read. That does not mean it isn’t important. Whether you are a teacher or a family member, you should understand the major changes our country is making in education. This change is affecting our classrooms, and therefore our children. We need to stay informed, have opinions, and give support to our students so that they may be best prepared for what comes their way.

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