common core standard

yes hello allow me to introduce you to elemetary school teacher derek malik nurse (aka my shameless excuse to yell about nursey with kids)

  • ik a lot of people see him as a high school english teacher for the Literature Aesthetic but? come on? he’s so good with kids they all love him
  • he’s 24 and teaches 3rd grade and he loves his kids!! so much!!
  • he’s “mr. n” and they all love him bc hes the most laidback teacher theyve ever had in their short little lives and he plays cool music on his phone during arts & crafts

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PARCC Usage in the United States.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium featuring eight states, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education, that work to create and deploy a standard set of K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English,[1] based on the Common Core State Standards.

The PARCC consortium was awarded Race to the Top assessment funds in September 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education to help in the development of the K–12 assessments. PARCC has included educators in the development of its assessments and will consult with more than 200 postsecondary educators and administrators in the development of the assessments.
How ‘twisted’ early childhood education has become — from a child development expert
Early childhood development expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige: 'Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we would have to defend children’s right to play."

Never in my wildest dreams could I have foreseen the situation we find ourselves in today.

Where education policies that do not reflect what we know about how young children learn could be mandated and followed. We have decades of research in child development and neuroscience that tell us that young children learn actively — they have to move, use their senses, get their hands on things, interact with other kids and teachers, create, invent. But in this twisted time, young children starting public pre-K at the age of 4 are expected to learn through “rigorous instruction.”

And never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we would have to defend children’s right to play.

Play is the primary engine of human growth; it’s universal – as much as walking and talking. Play is the way children build ideas and how they make sense of their experience and feel safe. Just look at all the math concepts at work in the intricate buildings of kindergartners. Or watch a 4-year-old put on a cape and pretend to be a superhero after witnessing some scary event.

But play is disappearing from classrooms. Even though we know play is learning for young kids, we are seeing it shoved aside to make room for academic instruction and “rigor.”

I could not have foreseen in my wildest dreams that we would have to fight for classrooms for young kids that are developmentally appropriate. Instead of active, hands-on learning, children now sit in chairs for far too much time getting drilled on letters and numbers. Stress levels are up among young kids. Parents and teachers tell me: children worry that they don’t know the right answers; they have nightmares, they pull out their eyelashes, they cry because they don’t want to go to school. Some people call this child abuse and I can’t disagree.

I could not have foreseen in my wildest dreams that we would be up against pressure to test and assess young kids throughout the year often in great excess — often administering multiple tests to children in kindergarten and even pre-K. Now, when young children start school, they often spend their first days not getting to know their classroom and making friends. They spend their first days getting tested.

The most important competencies in young children can’t be tested—we all know this. Naming letters and numbers is superficial and almost irrelevant in relation to the capacities we want to help children develop: self-regulation, problem solving ability, social and emotional competence, imagination, initiative, curiosity, original thinking — these capacities make or break success in school and life and they can’t be reduced to numbers.

Yet these days, all the money and resources, the time dedicated to professional development, they go to tooling teachers up to use the required assessments.

It’s in low-income, under-resourced communities like this one where children are most subjected to heavy doses of teacher-led drills and tests. Not like in wealthier suburbs where kids have the opportunity to go to early childhood programs that have play, the arts, and project-based learning. It’s poverty — the elephant in the room — that is the root cause of this disparity.

This blog is dedicated to the professional development of a Secondary School English Language Arts and History Teacher. It serves as a catalogue, both of the process of becoming an educator as well as the musings of someone working in the field.

🦄 Here’s what to expect:

  • Teaching Methodology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Insights into The United States Educational System
  • Posts Relating to My Specific Disciplines
  • Common Core State Standards:
    • English Language Arts
    • History and Social Studies 
  • Inspirational Posts
  • Personal Stories (Work, Life, School)
  • Artwork, Lesson Plans, Etc.
  • Occasional Unicorn Blogging #unicornblogging
  • Jokes About All of the Above

🦄 Things to be aware of:

  • This blog is SFW
  • This blog is a Safe Space
  • I welcome questions, but reserve the right to not reply or reply privately
  • I wish to remain anonymous for the safety of myself and my students
  • Unicorns 🦄

(2/3) “Even in special education, our curriculum is based on Common Core standards. I’ll have to teach about seasons to a child who doesn’t know his own name. I’m expected to teach To Kill A Mockingbird to a classroom full of nonverbal students, some of whom may be wearing diapers and haven’t learned their ABCs. I think it’s insulting to tell students what they’re going to learn, regardless of their abilities and needs. But I try to work some magic and design a lesson plan where everyone in the class can take something away from the story. For the least advanced students, we just use To Kill A Mockingbird to practice the alphabet. Then I’m also expected to teach Algebra. I try my best using lots of velcro and lamination, but I can’t say that many of my students have ever learned how to solve for x. We spend so much energy on learning how to sit still. I think special populations should be focused more on vocational training like filling out forms and budgeting money—things that will give them confidence and prepare them for independence. But I keep my mouth shut and do my best to work within the system. When I first began teaching, my mentor told me: ‘If there’s anything about the system that you want to fight, just make sure it’s the hill you want to die on.’”

This can’t be another rant about “new math” or “common core!” Yes, it can.

The attached picture is from a friend of mine, brought home from school by her seven-year-old daughter. As anyone can clearly see, all of her work is correct. And yet, it is all marked up with red and points taken off. Now, it may be that there is some new method being taught here that wasn’t followed by this very bright and independent child, but a correct answer is a correct answer. The kid knows his numbers and digit places. Her answers are RIGHT!

Further, if they want to teach the method and force kids to learn it, marking correct answers in red is not the right approach, unless your goal is to have them lose faith in education itself. Nowhere on this page does it let the child know that she was correct, even if she didn’t use the desired method. This young girl, who is off-the-charts brilliant, now hates math. Not because of this one assignment, but because of the cumulative effect of others like it. She’s smart. She “gets” what is being asked intuitively, but because she didn’t follow some new method, she’s being given the message that she actually DOESN’T know what she’s doing, her instincts are wrong, and she’s not good at math.

Please know that I am not quarreling with whatever method was supposed to be applied here. After all, I can’t for the life of me figure out what that method is and it is unwise to quarrel with something one doesn’t understand. What I do take serious issue with is the implementation of these new math teaching methods that, whatever their merit, are doing great harm.

This…. THIS is why confidence in our education system is so low. THIS is why basically zero parents support common core and high-stakes standardized testing. Because no one bothered to explain what the hell this new math is to the parents that are supposed to be involved in their kids’ education. Because no one thought that active, engaged parents will be helping kids with their homework and then be perplexed, frustrated, and tell the kids that it’s just wrong or the teacher is bad, or worse.

My friend is a super involved mother. She doesn’t have to help her very smart child, but she does check her work and talk about it with her. Well, she used to. She has no idea what to even tell her child about this page, and the school sent no resources home about whatever method this is.

Can anyone out there help? If you are also confused, please SIGNAL BOOST THIS and let’s see if some K-8 teachers or administrators can enlighten us as to what is going on here, if for no other reason than to help my friend try to rescue her daughter’s waning love of math.

mzk1000  asked:

Hello. My students and I love your prompts. Are you still updating and adding new ones them as you used to?

I’ve been asked this question or some variation of it more than a few times in the last few weeks.

I’ll make you a deal and tell you a quick story.

Here’s the quick story …

I’d love to keep updating this site, but I’m really, really busy. Some of that busyness can be attributed to being so-close-I-can-taste-it to the end of a doctorate. I have a draft of the dissertation finished and one last class to take. The other night I estimated that I’ve written close to 2000 pages over the last three years, so you can probably imagine this tingly sense of elation I’m feeling at being so close to finishing. Maybe I’ll get back to this once I’m totally done with that endeavor. Maybe.

Some of it can also be attributed to starting a new job. For the first time in over a decade, I didn’t get a summer break, since I now work for my school district in an educational technology role. The job is a blast, but it also means that I have a massive To Do list that just won’t quit.

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping track of prompts I’d like to make. I have a text file with over a thousand ideas in it. So, it’s not that I’ve run out of ideas. I’ve just run out of time to make them, at least for the time being.

So, here’s the deal. Even though I’m not in the classroom, I’d like to do my part to support students learning to love reading (this is actually what my dissertation is about). With that in mind, I’ve officially adopted three classrooms in my school district, and put a wish list of books together for them. This is the deal: for every book that gets donated to one of these classrooms, I’ll put a new prompt on the site. And if you have a specific request for a prompt that isn’t too crazy, let me know and I’ll make it happen (luke [dot] neff at gmail or @lukeneff on twitter).

As long as I’m here and writing things, I’ll add a few more thoughts.

I recently hired a company to go back through all the prompts and type them up in plain text. If you’d like to check out that spreadsheet, you can see it here. It’s probably not as fun as the site itself, since there are no pictures, but it might be worth your time. My next big project is to go through that list and tag each prompt as elementary, middle, or high, and with the Common Core standards it covers. Anyone want to help?

I’ve been getting some questions about how to get around the whole issue of Tumblr being blocked at different schools. I don’t have a great solution (and I understand why Tumblr is blocked… let’s be honest, there’s quite the range of available content on Tumblr). Maybe that spreadsheet will help. I also have a set of 300 of my favorite prompts in a PDF for sale, if that helps.

I’d also like to point out that John Spencer has really taken up the gauntlet on the fun writing prompts front. His Visual Writing Ideas are pretty great.

Also, apparently this link isn’t prominent anymore, so I should mention that is a quick way to look at what’s on this site.

Jeb Bush: Common Core is great and no one can convince me otherwise

If you thought Jeb Bush might try a flip flop on the awful Federal educational standards known as Common Core, think again.  Not only is he not backing away from his support, he’s cementing it. 

from NY Times:

Jeb Bush, making his first visit to New Hampshire as a likely presidential candidate, implicitly criticized his Republican rivals for the nomination for changing their positions on difficult issues.

Discussing his support for the Common Core education standards, which are viewed unfavorably by many Republicans, Mr. Bush said, “you don’t abandon your core beliefs” just because a position appears unpopular.
“The way I’ve sorted it out is: I think you need to be genuine, I think you need to have a backbone. I think you need to able to persuade people this is a national crisis, this is a national priority,” Mr. Bush told a group of New Hampshire business and education executives.

Asked after his remarks who exactly lacked backbone, he said: “I have it — that’s all I said.”

read the rest

So, control over the education system by unelected bureaucrats is a “core belief” of Jeb Bush’s.  Taking flexibility and personalization away from parents and teachers is a “core belief” of Jeb Bush’s.  

The GOP can’t seriously be considering nominating another big-government loving Bush, can they?


Who goes to college? A case for linguistics

W&M professor of linguistics Anne Charity Hudley discusses her new book “We Do Language.”

We Do Language builds on the authors’ highly acclaimed first collaboration, Understanding English Language Variation in U.S. Schools, and examines the need to integrate linguistically informed teaching into the secondary English classroom. The book meets three critical goals for preparing English educators to ensure the academic success of their students. First, the book helps educators acquire a greater knowledge of language variation so they may teach their students to analyze the social, cultural, and linguistic dimensions of the texts they read in class. Second, the chapters provide specific information about language varieties that students bring with them to school so that educators can better assist students in developing the literacy skills necessary for the Common Core State Standards. Third, the text empowers educators to build their linguistic awareness so they may more fully understand, respect, and meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Although this book is directed at educators, I recommend Professor Hudley’s video to anyone interested in education, linguistics, and student motivation. Including students needing motivation!

I really dislike this new trend of being exceptionally obnoxious to school teachers and everyone thinking they’re such a rebel for it. 

News Flash, you’re not a rebel, you’re an asshole. 

Some teachers are pieces of shit (I had a teacher call me a Faggot my freshman year of high school–I get it, sometimes they suck) and you should call those teachers out on their shit by reporting them or getting the district involved.

But just because you’re angry you have to get up at 7am to go to school until 2:30-3 does not give you licence to be a douchebag to your instructor. Teachers routinely get up at 5am, and stay until about 4 or 5pm, then they go home and review lesson plans, while trying to fit dinner and a shower between grading 150-200 papers or quizzes. If they are a First Year teacher, they’re just trying to hold on to their jobs and create a lesson plan out of thin air while trying to figure out where everyone is by the time Finals come out. 

Every year a classroom with have a new dynamic and will require a faster paced or slower paced in some sections of the course, more check ins, more hands on activities, or more homework help, ect. They bend their lessons so that they can help students of varying learning styles, trying not to let some of you fall through the cracks. They have to get you ready for those Standardized Tests, which are a reflection on their performance too. 

But it’s a two-way street, and nothing kills a teacher on the inside more than watching a student give up when they know if they just tried….They could do amazing things.

If a teacher is pushing you it’s because they want you to be able to compete in the real world and at the college level. 

  • “But it’s stressful!” You’re right, and the teacher often doesn’t have any power to change what you’re learning or how fast, thanks to most Common Core standards.  
  • “But I don’t have a choice! I’m only here because I have to be!” Then sit down and shut up or do something quietly, so the students who actually value their free education can learn. I’m sorry you don’t want to be here, but you don’t have to hinder the learning process. Also, you do have a choice, you can get your GED or you can apply to a charter school or other free alternative.
  • “But the teacher won’t even let us eat in here!” In some, if not most, schools it is an issue of sanitation and something that most teachers have no control over. If the janitor finds food they have to sanitize the ENTIRE room, which is a pain for them and their whole staff. 
  • “I can’t chew gum/wear my hat and it’s irritating” These are older rules and sometimes they’re rules the school had that the teacher can’t change. 
  • “I can’t use my cell/iPod” Really? It’s like a 45-60 minute class period. You’ll be fine without your cellphone. 
  • “I’ll never use any of this in the real world!” News flash, High schools in the US are set up for college prep. You’re suppose to be learning life skills at home. Which is unfortunate, but that’s the current design.If you’re not learning life skills at home then you need to be actively seeking out programs to help you, or you know, talk to your parents (or guardians) . 

Some of the more serious problems akin to things like learning disabilities or stress/anxiety related problems, you need to advocate for. Teachers can’t help if they don’t know. 

Teachers didn’t get into the profession for the ‘Long (unpaid) break’, most teachers genuinely love their subject and love students. 

TL; DR: If you want public education to change, you’re not going to change it by being a dick to your teacher, you need to advocate as a student for change at the District and State levels, because Teachers are just doing what they’ve been told they have to. 


The Common Core math standards say students need more than a textbook understanding of certain concepts. So two Colorado teachers have teamed up for a lesson in real-world math.

The students are building a giant, octagonal hay bale feeder, and they’re using the Pythagorean Theorem to do it. 

Real-World Math: A Bit Of Trig And Hay For The Horses

Photo Credit: Jenny Brundin/Colorado Public Radio

On Friday, in an unobtrusive office park northeast of downtown here, about 100 temporary employees of the testing giant Pearson worked in diligent silence scoring thousands of short essays written by third- and fifth-grade students from across the country.
     There was a onetime wedding planner, a retired medical technologist and a former Pearson saleswoman with a master’s degree in marital counseling. To get the job, like other scorers nationwide, they needed a four-year college degree with relevant coursework, but no teaching experience. They earned $12 to $14 an hour, with the possibility of small bonuses if they hit daily quality and volume targets.

Standing ovation for this NY teacher speaking out on Common Core Testing to the school board.  Both brave and passionate, I’m glad she is a teacher.

Louis C.K. Against the Common Core

Earlier this week, Louis C.K. took to social media to express his frustration at the Common Core, the federally approved standards that most states, including New York, have adopted. Rebecca Mead looks at the problem with these tests:

“After last month’s state tests for English language arts, teachers citywide protested, calling the problems tricky and developmentally inappropriate—as well as questioning the need for three long, consecutive days of testing, no matter the quality of the test materials.”

Photograph by Steve Sands/Getty.


BUILDING THE MACHINE (2014) - Official Trailer [HQ] (by HSLDA)

A(n anti) Common Core documentary.

Watch and discuss.