I?m sure you have heard of the new ?Common Core Standards? that will be fully implemented in the upcoming school year of 2014-2015. Maybe you are wondering how these new standards will affect my child. What are some of the main changes that will occur?
First, instruction as well as assessment will focus more on problem solving and not only problem solving, but also requiring students to provide explanations and evidence for their reasoning in the areas of English and Math. In addition, problem solving will more closely reflect real life situations and problems. One of the biggest areas in which students will need to prepare for includes the heavy emphasis on writing and higher level thinking skills (evaluation, analysis, synthesis, etc).
Another big change involved in Common Core is assessment. The Common Core assessments are designed to prepare our students better for college by the end of high school, track student progress beginning in 3rd grade, and provide teachers, parents, and students with more timely feedback. The single biggest shift from many traditional state standardized assessments will be the writing required in both the English Language Arts and Mathematics portions of the assessments. The assessments will be computer based but also include a portion that is human scored. Test items will include innovative constructed response, extended performance tasks, and selected response (all of which will be computer based). For samples of these questions, please visit:
Students will often be expected to defend their work through a constructed essay response. Common Core assessments will require students to be able to write narratives, persuasive and explanatory essays.
Tutoring in the area of English and math will be very helpful, specifically with regards to writing. ?Although, this may seem overwhelming to students, teachers and parents at first, hopefully the shift in curriculum and instruction will better prepare students to compete in the global economy and workplace.