Coffee, Books, Reflection
Start Slowly — that was the mantra for today’s common core experience. We as teachers, especially high school teachers, need to remind ourselves that common core implementation is going to be a lengthy process. We will not have common-core-aligned students right away; we will still be fixing last year’s problems. In fact, in my case, I won’t see kids who’ve adopted a common core mindset from their early stages of education for TEN years. I do believe, however, that we will be able to see positive changes as soon as we start making positive changes in our classrooms. This, to me, is where to begin.
Today we did a couple of activities that I will gladly share more in depth later, but we also learned a few scary statistics. Current textbooks are watered down, as the sentences in K-8 books have decreased in length from an average of 20 words to an average of 14 words. The Common Core looks to make a shift back into challenging texts.
Today we watched a video called “Shift Happens” on Youtube, and while I was trying to find that, I came across this video you might enjoy — go Iowa! I posted the video, but you may also find it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMsNct4X_GU
The most important thing I learned from this video is this: ”It’s the 21st century — we need to prepare our students for their future, not our past” — which is exactly what I feel the common core is striving to do.
I’ll keep you posted as I learn more!
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Kari teaches English I to 9th graders (!) and other electives in rural Iowa. Her husband is also an English teacher, and their friends have sworn to never help them move again because "even libraries don't have that many books."