Tag Archives: common core

Stephen Krashen on the Common Core

26 Jan

WOW! Stephen Krashen really doesn’t like the Common Core. His article in the ALA’s Knowledge Quest, and published in his Friday blogpost The Common Core: A Disaster for Libraries, A Disaster for Language Arts, a Disaster for American Education blasts the whole idea. Here are his main points:

1. There has never been a need for the common core, and there is no evidence it will do students any good.

2. The real problem in education is poverty (Food insecurity, Lack of health care, Lack of access to books)

3. We need to protect children from the effects of poverty.

4. We can improve school funding and address the effects of poverty by reducing  testing.

5. The nature of the language arts standards (especially Reading: Foundational Skills, Writing, and Language) make it hard for teachers to do anything but direct instruction.

Those of us working in education are adapting to the new demands of the Common Core, whether we like it or not. It seems to be a done deal. I’m glad to know there are people beyond the reach of a school district, asking questions and making demands. Just to let you know, Stephen Krashen and Alfie Kohn are two of my pedagogical heroes. That alone tells you a lot about me. Krashen  has a lot of other posts about the Common Core, among other things. You can read them at

http://skrashen.blogspot.com/.

Nikola Tesla

9 Jan

The fourth grade is starting a biography unit. I culled through the biographies I have to share in the classroom biography museums we are going to set up in each class. I have enough kid & adult biographies to put a few in each museum. But I got excited because I came a cross a couple of biographies I picked up at the OASL Conference I attended in October. One of them was about this man, Nikola Tesla.

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He was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. And local author, Elizabeth Rusch wrote a biography of him this year.

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There are many reasons why I like Elizabeth Rusch’s books. They are readable, but not dumbed down. She assumes that the people reading her books are smart and want to learn. She also thinks about teachers and creates materials to support teaching.These are often in the back of her books and/or included on her website. She has a  FOR TEACHERS page on her website where she has materials to support the common core using her books. She always provides lots of backmatter in her books: bibliographies, other info she didn’t have room for in the text, scientific explanations. Her books never disappoint.

Randy Ribay

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