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Common Core State Standards


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Common Core State Standards

  1. 1. + Common Core State Standards Candice McQueen, Ph.D. Lipscomb University Senior Vice President & Dean, College of Education
  2. 2. + Thoughts to consider . . . Today’s kindergarten students will graduate high school in 2026 and college in 2030.  What do you think will be different about the workplace?  What skills do you think will be more important for student success?
  3. 3. + What are the Common Core State Standards?  A set of clear standards for Math and English Language Arts  Expectations for what students should know and be able to do  Adopted by Tennessee and 43 other states, four territories, and the District of Columbia
  4. 4. + What is the goal of the CCSS?  “The CCSS will strengthen teaching and learning with standards that are focused, coherent, clear, and rigorous.” (  “To ensure all students are ready for success after high school, the Common Core State Standards establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English Language Arts from Kindergarten through 12th grade.” (
  5. 5. + What are the goals of the CCSS in Math?  “The CCSS provides the foundation for the development of more focused and coherent instructional materials and assessments that measure students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and acquisition of fundamental reasoning habits, in addition to their fluency with skills. Most importantly, the CCSS will enable teachers and education leaders to focus on improving teaching and learning, which is critical to ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality mathematics program and the support that they need to be successful.” --A joint public statement of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics, and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators
  6. 6. + What does the Math CCSS emphasize? Mathematical thinking Skills-based learning Concept-driven tasks Real-world problem- solving Organization across grades
  7. 7. +What are the goals of the CCSS in English Language Arts?  “The Common Core asks students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas such as science and social studies. Students will be challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to what they’ve read. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.” (  “Teachers who immerse their students in rich textual environments, require increasing amounts of reading, and help students choose ever more challenging texts will address rigor as it is defined by the CCSS. This means keeping students at the center, motivating them to continually develop as writers and readers, and engaging them in literacy projects that are relevant to their lives. When students feel personal connections, they are much more willing to wrestle with complex topics/texts/questions.” --Sarah Brown Wessling, high school English teacher and 2010 National Teacher of the Year (excerpt from Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards, NCTE)
  8. 8. + What does the CCSS ELA emphasize?  Reading, writing, language, speaking/listening, and research skills  Text-based questioning and evidence  Reading to learn  Literature and content-rich nonfiction  Problem-solving and analytical practice  Organization across grades
  9. 9. + How do the CCSS differ from current TN Standards?  Math  FOCUS: narrowing scope of content at each grade level  COHERENCE: making math make sense  RIGOR: conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and applications  English/Language Arts  KNOWLEDGE: Content-rich non- fiction  EVIDENCE: Literacy grounded in evidence from text  COMPLEXITY: Regular practice with complex texts and academic vocabulary Instructional Shifts for Math and ELA
  10. 10. + Math Shift 1: Focus strongly where the standards focus  Cover topics in mile-wide, inch-deep fashion  Skills repeated in standards from grade to grade  Progression through standards, often neglecting foundational skills  Math skills in isolation  Narrow and deepen instructional practice  Major work outlined for each grade with deepening of prior knowledge  Strong foundation, solid conceptual understanding, high degree of fluency and application of math skills inside and outside the math classroom Shift from: Shift to:
  11. 11. + Math Shift 2: Coherence  Standards not coherently linked from grade to grade  Cycle of review of basic skills/presentation of new skill/practice new skill  Each standard a new event  Coherent progression from grade to grade  Carefully connected learning across grades so that students can build understanding onto previous foundations  New skill is an extension of previous learning Shift from: Shift to:
  12. 12. + Math Shift 3: Rigor  Math as a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures  Drill and kill practices  Math problems out of context  Math is only taught in Math class  Apply math in context  Use class time so that students have access to more complex concepts and procedures  Teachers in other content areas ensure that students are using math to make meaning of and access content Shift from: Shift to:
  13. 13. + ELA Shift 1: Building knowledge through content-rich non-fiction  Imbalance with focus on literary texts  Analysis of conventions such as plot, character, conflict, setting, theme  Literacy skills and writing in isolation  Balance of literary and informational text  Content rich non-fiction to build coherent general knowledge  Embedded literacy to build knowledge through reading and writing Shift from: Shift to:
  14. 14. + ELA Shift 2: Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in text evidence  Questions that could be answered without close reading or that do not require inference  No requirement to defend answer with text-based evidence  Formulaic writing, summaries, paragraph responses, 5-paragraph essay format  Questions that require inferential thinking supported by text evidence  Students articulate evidence- based answers verbally and in writing  Intentional cultivation of narrative writing then scaffolding sequencing and details to build capacity for argumentative writing Shift from: Shift to:
  15. 15. + ELA Shift 3: Regular practice with complex text and academic vocabulary  Focus on basic skills of reading, writing and vocabulary in isolation  Assessment readiness  Vocabulary memorization  Reading, writing, and vocabulary in context  College and career readiness  Use of vocabulary in writing and speaking Shift from: Shift to:
  16. 16. + What are the implications for classroom instruction? Traditional vs. Common Core Instruction
  17. 17. + What are the implications for classroom instruction? Focus on student learning  Phillip Eller, 5th Grade Math
  18. 18. + What are the implications for classroom instruction? Accountable talk  Katie Preston, 3rd Grade Social Studies
  19. 19. + What are the implications for classroom instruction? Text selection  Bridget Baron, 10th Grade English
  20. 20. + What are the implications for classroom instruction? Authentic tasks  Cicely Woodard, Algebra 1
  21. 21. + What are the implications for classroom instruction? Close reading/ text- dependent questioning  Megan Pitts, Chemistry 1
  22. 22. + What is the CCSS connection to teacher evaluation?  The focus of the CCSS and Tennessee teacher evaluation:  What are the student expectations for learning?  What is the evidence of student learning?  How can students take ownership of learning?
  23. 23. + Consider this quote:  “…when I walk into a classroom, of course I care about what the teacher is doing, but in some ways I care even more about what the students are doing. What’s the nature of the task? Are students being invited, or even required, to think? Naturally, that has implications for what the teacher is doing and what the teacher has already done. That is, has the teacher designed learning experiences for kids that engage them in thinking or formulating and testing hypothesizes or challenging one another respectfully or developing an understanding of a concept? You really only know what a teacher is doing when you look at what the students are doing. I also listen carefully to how teachers question students—if they ask kids to explain their thinking, for instance. That’s very different from just saying that’s the right or wrong answer. It’s a very different mindset about wanting to understand the students’ thinking and their degree and level of understanding.” --Charlotte Danielson, author of the frameworks that became the TEAM rubric
  24. 24. +  Encourage perseverance through independent problem-solving  Support students as they write to learn  Emphasize the importance of demonstrating the thinking process through writing and speaking  Encourage students to use appropriate vocabulary  Provide plenty of opportunities for independent reading  Remember that “the one doing the most talking is doing the most learning.” What are practical ways YOU can assist children in reaching CCSS goals?
  25. 25. +  Foster independence in student learning  When helping students with work, avoid leading with, “let me show you…”  Instead, allow students to discover.  Ask questions and prompt for understanding:  “How do you know?”  “What makes you think that?”  “What in your reading supports your ideas?”  “Tell me more about your thinking.” What are practical ways YOU can assist children in reaching CCSS goals?
  26. 26. + Video Resources