Ruminations about the Common Core

I walk into my classroom and flip on the lights. Room 31, my first “school home”.  Winter Haiku poems with shadow art hang from the windows. Photos of our favorite books and characters fill one bulletin board, sorted, after careful deliberation, by character trait and theme. The students’ “square letter names” line the walls with carefully calculated area and perimeter.

As I greet my students at the door, they meet me with smiles and stories of last night’s dance class, baseball practice, or new news they hope to share at our morning meeting. Creativity, innovation, questions, and new convictions are tossed around the room throughout the day. As I turn out the lights at the end of the day I scan the room one more time.There is evidence that I have worked hard, my students have worked harder, and my classroom is a great place to be. I bet you’d never guess… my lessons are aligned with the…COMMON CORE!

But after my own children are tucked into bed for the night, I sit down and turn on my computer. My “Facebook Newsfeed” is filled with disgruntled comments and posts about the Common Core. As I open the webpage for the local news, I see an article about those rallying against the standards. I hear and read arguments that new standards leave no room for creativity, leave no room for innovation, are ruining our students. I can’t help but be filled with an overwhelming sense of frustration.

Are these people reading the same standards I am? What is this “Common Core Curriculum“?I try, in vain, to find it, but one does not exist. My best speculation is that teachers, administrators, and therefore parents are uncomfortable with change. They mistake a new district purchased “program” for the “new standards”. They mistake the new testing for the “new standards” and they mistake the stresses of a new evaluation system with the “new standards”.

This blog is my response. This blog is a place where I will share lessons, activities and ideas that will hopefully help us, as educators, to become inspired to refine our skills as teachers and embrace the change and the opportunity for new possibilities and adventures… Adventures with the Common Core.

 

(If you haven’t read them yet, take a peek!  http://corestandards.org )