Tag Archives: The Common Core

Sounding my barbaric yawp

27 Aug

Today, I get to present to my staff about the CCSS for reading. There will be grumbles as I sound my barbaric yawp about best teaching practices in reading. I know this. I am prepared. I am going to show them this and maybe other clips from Dead Poets’ Society. Really, it comes down to this question: Do you want to be Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, or do you want to be Mr. Keating?

Last week I started reading Falling in Love With Close Reading by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts.

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I will be facilitating a book group/action research group with any staff members who are interested. I am hopeful that we have a biggish group, and that there are some people who join who might be a little uncomfortable with the whole thing.

I am excited about all the changes happening for me this year, but had a little meltdown when I got home yesterday because I haven’t had a chance to unpack any of my stuff and we are full on for meetings all day today and tomorrow morning. It’s this way every year.  I know, once the real business of teaching begins, it will be good. I just have to make it through this week.

 

 

Summer is OBOB, bob, bobbing along

13 Jul

The first four weeks of summer vacation are over. There are still six weeks to go, and that fact makes me a little giddy. It hasn’t all been fun and games. Yes, it’s been mostly fun and games, but I have been doing some serious professional reading, too. I am a PD facilitator for my school and in 2014-15, we are focusing on the Common Core Reading standards. Woohoo! Last year we focused on Math and I had to fake knowing what I was talking about. This year I feel as though I am in my element. But, to give myself a head start, I’m reading The Pathways to the Common Core by Lucy Calkins, Mary Ehrenworth and Chris Lehman.

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I’m not plowing through it. I’m reading a section every morning as I drink my coffee. It is rather readable and explains things very well.

My other professional reading pile is made up of OBOB books. I have read half of the books so far:

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O’Connor

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin

The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

 

I have the other half to go.

Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes

Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Watts

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

Sasquatch by Roland Smith

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin

Swindle by Gordon Korman

Tales from the Odyssey, Part One by Mary Pope Osborne

The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng

2015 3-5 map Poster

I hope your summer reading plans are progressing as nicely as mine!

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/.

Randy Ribay

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