As a Language Arts teacher knowledge of “Common Core” has begun to make it’s way into our school, and the change in academic standards in 45 states will affect how teachers teach reading across the country.
Scholastic asks, “What do parents need to know about the new and rigorous curriculum? What can they do to keep kids up to the common core standards? How will it affect their kids?” Patrick Daley is the Publisher of our Classroom and Community Group and an expert in the Common Core. He has five changes he sees with the Common Core and great tips for how to support them at home.
1) Talk about books, especially the great ones! The Common Core says children need to read “books worth reading.” We all know that reading ANYTHING is great for kids, but they should be exposed to great writers and challenging content too. Lead by example!
2) Ask your children questions about what they’re reading. One of the key shifts with the Common Core is its requirement that students (both orally and in writing) cite evidence from the texts they are reading to make an argument. Try asking questions that require your kids to talk about the content of the books they’re reading – like having them give examples for why a favorite character was heroic or clever or forgiving.
3) Push your kids to read non-fiction. Reading fiction is still a critical and wonderful part of learning to read, but the Common Core elevates the importance of non-fiction, or “informational text,” as the authors of the standards call it. Does your son love gross bugs? Get him a book about cockroach infestations and let him dig deep into a topic that interest him. You might have a future scientist in your house!
4) Encourage your kids to write, write, write. The Common Core standards emphasize the important link between reading and writing – and writing to persuade by citing evidence is a key 21st Century skill. Encourage your children to keep a journal or blog, or write a letter or e-mail to a favorite author.
5) “Talk math” with your kids. The Common Core requires students to learn important math “reasoning” skills in addition to learning their multiplication tables and memorizing formulas. Great math teachers learn to talk through math problems with students. Parents: Try talking to your kids about mathematical practices they use everyday. Have them estimate time and distance, compare the value of products in a store, or calculate the tip when you’re out to dinner.
Learn more at Scholastic.com.