Making Sense of Common Core: One Standard at a Time

Over the past four months I have spent quite a bit of time scouring the Internet for what the major publishers are putting out for Common Core. I noticed that most products have”Common Core Aligned”printed on everything now. I even notice that well know authors like, Calkins, and Pinnell are now being promoted as aligned to Common Core. I went ahead and purchased a copy of a book that I already owned that had no been “aligned to the Common Core” just to see what was different. Do you know what was different? NADA. Not a single thing. the only change was that Common Core has been placed in various parts of the book to show a connection to the standards.

So what exactly is my problem? This does not reflect the fundamental changes that Common Core demands. When you examine the Reading standards there is a heavy shift away from looking for information and answering the 5Ws. Common Core is about analyzing perspectives, interrogating sources, and deciphering why author’s make the choices that they do.  This is a pedagogical shift!!! So, I decided to take a closer look at the standards and share some of the key tenets. Hopefully if more of us recognize the differences between the new focus on critical thinking and the old “spit and regurgitate” standards we won’t get duped into doing the wrong things and missing the boat altogether.

I want to take a look at each of the standards, one by one, and examine what they mean. How are they different? How do they progress across grade levels? If you haven’t had a chance to look at the progression of the standards, click here to take a look.

In response to that desire, I will do a series on the Reading for Informational Text standards. the purpose is to deconstruct what the standard meanings and to look at it from a critical perspective. So, look for the start of this series: Making Sense of Common Core: One Standard at a Time. I hope you will join me and converse about what these standards really mean and how we can best address them with our students in a meaningful way.

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Article written by Dr. Rozlyn Linder

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