Thursday, September 13, 2012

How do you explain The Common Core to students?

Friends~How do you explain The Common Core to students? 
It has been quite a few days in room 331!   We are still super busy learning the routine in class and also getting to know each other.  We also have hosted several visitors in class starting with my very sweet student teacher and my high school helper.  They are amazing!  We have had several parent volunteers helping with copies and other various clerical fun.  The most interesting to my students however have been the administration visitors.

We are really lucky that our principals have been very open about how we will be evaluated this year and how the procedures will work for the new Common Core.  Basically it is pretty simple, an administrator comes in and does a quick iPad check list and then asks a few students what they are learning.

I was a bit shocked at how quickly this happened.  In fact, I have had 2 walk throughs this week. That means that around 5 of my students have been questioned about their learning.  I know they did great because I took the bull by the horns years ago and made my Learning Objectives Board a job in my classroom.  Each time we start a new subject or skill a student heads up and reads our standards/objectives.  My kiddos know what they are learning but they were not getting why so many outside adults were asking them about it.

I decided that I needed to explain the expectations of The Common Core to my students in a way they could understand.   A way that would make sense and connect with their learning.

Check out our APPLE visual below!  Feel FREE to click the apple to download a copy for 2nd grade and also one to be used with all grades.  

How do you explain The Common Core to students?, photo

It is pretty simple.  I showed my students all of The Common Core Standards that I have cut, mounted, and laminated for our board.  I told them that they needed to learn all of these to move on to 3rd grade.  They were super freaked out about it:)  I told them not to worry because we were going to look at the standards like the apple above.  We were going to take small bites all year until we made it to the core.  When we made it to the core we would know that we had planted all of the seeds they needed to be successful in third grade.

I also reassured them that they were ready and that they started making this apple in first grade:)

I loved watching my students eyes as this all started making sense.  The skills learned in The Common Core build beautifully upon each other.  I really think that this visual allowed my students to see the bigger picture of why they are at school and why we do the things we do in class.  It gave meaning to our daily learning lessons.


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