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PreK teachers and the Common Core: Preparing Young Children for Success in Kindergarten and Beyond. Dr. Lisa S. Goldstein Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA [email protected] Common Core State Standards?. Big questions about the CCSS. What are they, actually? Why do we need them?

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prek teachers and the common core preparing young children for success in kindergarten and beyond

PreK teachers and the Common Core:Preparing Young Children for Success in Kindergarten and Beyond

Dr. Lisa S. Goldstein

Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA

[email protected]

big questions about the ccss
Big questions about the CCSS
  • What are they, actually?
  • Why do we need them?
  • How are they different from the HCPSIII?
  • Are they developmentally appropriate for young learners?
  • How can we prepare our kids to be successful in CCSS kindergartens?
getting to know the ccss
Getting to know the CCSS
  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts(& Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects)
    • Mathematics
  • Common Core State Standards
    • Adopted by 45.5 states
  • Common Core State Standards
    • Meant to comprise 85% of the curriculum
ccss adopters
CCSS Adopters

PLUS: District of Columbia, Guam,

Puerto Rico, American Samoa,

Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin

Islands, Dept of Defense schools

why did we need the ccss
Why did we need the CCSS?
  • Establish and maintaingreater consistency and continuity across states
  • Clear goal: all students will graduate from HS college and career ready
  • Benchmarked against the curricula of countries that have highest rates of literacy and numeracy
  • Increased rigor
are the ccss good for young learners
Are the CCSS good for young learners?
  • Yes! And no…
  • It depends on
    • How the CCSS are framed and interpreted in grades K-2
    • How K-2 teachers are required to implement the CCSS
good for young learners
Good for young learners!
  • Implementation of the CCSS should not create a rush for “academic shovedown”
    • No long lists of content and skills to teach
    • No emphasis on testing testing testing
  • The CCSS are compatible with DAP
    • The implementation of the CCSS in K-12 education might protect DAP in preK classrooms
no way really
No way! Really?
  • Yes, really!
  • The CCSS reflect respect for the developmental realities and needs of young learners
ccss dap alignment areas
CCSS-DAP Alignment Areas
  • Explicit attention to role of development in learning
  • Holistic perspective
  • Support children’s language development
  • Focus on children’s thinking
  • See children as capable, active learners
  • Teaching as guidance, not telling
  • Instructional decisions belong to teachers- use DAP to enhance learning
1 explicit attention to the role development plays in learning
1. Explicit attention to the role development plays in learning
  • CCSS- Mathematics
  • Young kids need more
    • Repeated exposure to new concepts
    • Focus on the most powerful knowledge
1 explicit attention to the role development plays in learning1
1. Explicit attention to the role development plays in learning
  • CCSS-English Language Arts
  • Certain anchor standards aren’t on the kindergarten list because they’re not age appropriate for kinders
2 holistic integrated perspective
2. Holistic, integrated perspective
  • Integration across academic disciplines is expected
    • CCSS- English Language Arts (and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects)
  • Give children flexibility and choices in showing what they know and can do
  • Similar habits of mind are presented in the CCSS-ELA and the CCSS- Math
      • Leads to more coherent learning experiences
3 emphasis on english language development
3. Emphasis on English language development
  • Support English language development for all children in all content areas
    • Expressing ideas and opinions
    • Presenting evidence to support ideas
    • Communicating clearly
    • Using rich and precise language
    • Developing academic vocabulary
  • Deliberate English language development is not reserved for ELLs
4 focus on student thinking and metacognition
4. Focus on student thinking and metacognition
  • Students are guided toward deep understanding of concepts
      • Not just mastery of procedures or memorization of information
  • Emphasis on critical thinking
  • Explicit efforts to develop students’ awareness of themselves as learners, thinkers, and problem solvers
5 see young children as capable active sense making learners
5. See young children as capable, active, sense-making learners
  • Student-directed investigations and presentation of findings begin in kindergarten
    • Provide evidence to support statements
    • Discuss rationale and reasoning
  • Standards requirehigher order thinking
    • Students pose questions, solve problems
6 understanding of teaching
6. Understanding of teaching
  • Teaching should involve
    • More asking, listening, observing, reflecting
      • Less telling and talking
    • Giving students opportunities to develop confidence in their own capabilities
    • Fostering independence, perseverance
    • Guiding students as needed
  • Use lots of engaging, age-appropriate strategies to build students’ connections with the content
7 acknowledge teachers specialized expertise
7. Acknowledge teachers’ specialized expertise
  • Teachers are the only professionals who have the knowledge and skills to make principled, informed, intentional instructional decisions
    • CCSS specify what students should learn, but not how it should be taught
    • CCSS was designed to be 85% of the curriculum in a given grade- room for additions and customization
    • Teacher discretion is expected
an example from the ccss ela
An example from the CCSS-ELA
  • “The use of play with young children is not specified by the standards, but it is welcome as a valuable activity it its own right and as a way to help students meet the expectations in this document.” (p.9)
elbow partner discussion
“Elbow partner” discussion
  • How much did you know about the CCSS before today?
  • What did you think about the CCSS before today?
  • How have your knowledge and/or your feelings changed?
small group discussion debrief
Small group discussion debrief
  • Thoughts? Comments? Questions?
how to teach the ccss content to young learners
How to teach the CCSS content to young learners?
  • Youdon’t need to teach the CCSS
    • You need to build a foundation that will prepare young kids for success in kindergarten and beyond
    • A strong foundation will make it easier for students to be highly successful in grades K-12
  • But you do need to know what will be expected of kids who enter kindergarten
best preparation for kindergarten
Best preparation for kindergarten?
  • Spending every day in a
    • stable,
    • developmentally appropriate,
    • play-based,
    • language-rich,
    • interesting,
    • nurturing learning environment
  • Resist pressure to turn preK into K
prek and the whole child
PreK and the whole child
  • Strong social-emotional skills and productive approaches to learning are more important than academic skills for success in kindergarten
  • This has become even more true as kindergarten has become more academic and structured
protect the prek learning space
Protect the PreK learning space
  • Academic activities become top priority as early as kindergarten
  • PreK is truly the last child-centered learning environment in the U.S.
  • Getting ready for K-12 academic success is critically important
preparing kids for kindergarten
Preparing kids for kindergarten
  • Kindergarten CCSS-Math standards
  • What do five-year-olds need to know and be able to do before they can learn this academic content?
  • What kinds of educational activities can you do with your kids next week that will prepare them to learn this mathematics successfully when they start kindergarten?
activity 1 ccss math
Activity #1: CCSS-Math
  • Develop answers to the two questions on the previous slide
    • What do kids need to know and be able to do BEFORE they can learn kindergarten math content?
    • What NEW experiences can you provide next week that will help prepare your kids for successful math learning in kindergarten?
  • Work in small groups of your choice
  • We will reconvene and debrief at____.
activity 1 debrief
Activity #1 Debrief
  • What do kids need to know and be able to do BEFORE they can learn kindergarten math content?
  • What NEW experiences can you provide next week that will help prepare your kids for successful math learning in kindergarten?
activity 2 ccss ela
Activity #2: CCSS-ELA
  • What do kids need to know and be able to do BEFORE they can learn kinder speaking, listening, & language skills?
  • What NEW experiences can you provide next week that will help prepare your kids for successful English Language Arts learning in kindergarten?
  • Work in small groups of your choice
  • We will reconvene and debrief at____.
activity 2 debrief
Activity #2 Debrief
  • What do kids need to know and be able to do BEFORE they can learn kindergarten listening, speaking, and language skills?
  • What NEW experiences can you provide next week that will help prepare your kids for successful LA learning in kindergarten?
concluding q a
Concluding Q&A

Q: Are the Common Core State Standards great? Are they “meh?” Are they awful?

A: It doesn’t matter. The CCSS are already here (in 45.5 states).

our most pressing task
Our most pressing task?
  • Preparing PreK students for success in CCSS kindergartens by helping them develop strong social-emotional skills and productive approaches to learning in a developmentally appropriate classroom environment.
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