Getting to Know the Common Core for ELA and Mathematics Vincent Randazzo Principal Robert F. Kennedy Middle School, IS 250 & Jennifer Miller Principal, I.A. William H. Carr JHS, 194
Why the Common Core? • http://vimeo.com/30055181
Key Points for Reading • The standards establish a “staircase” of increasing complexity in what students must be able to read so that all students are ready for the demands of college- and career-level reading no later than the end of high school. The standards also require the progressive development of reading comprehension so that students advancing through the grades are able to gain more from whatever they read. • Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective. The standards intentionally do not offer a reading list; instead, they offer numerous sample texts to help teachers prepare for the school year and allow parents and students to know what to expect at the beginning of the year. • The standards mandate certain critical types of content for all students, including classic myths and stories from around the world, foundational U.S. documents, seminal works of American literature, and the writings of Shakespeare. The standards appropriately defer the many remaining decisions about what and how to teach to states, districts, and schools.
Key Points for Writing • The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the writing standards, with opinion writing—a basic form of argument—extending down into the earliest grades. • Research—both short, focused projects (such as those commonly required in the workplace) and longer term in depth research —is emphasized throughout the standards but most prominently in the writing strand since a written analysis and presentation of findings is so often critical. • Annotated samples of student writing accompany the standards and help establish adequate performance levels in writing arguments, informational/explanatory texts, and narratives in the various grades.
Key Points for Speaking and Listening • The standards require that students gain, evaluate, and present increasingly complex information, ideas, and evidence through listening and speaking as well as through media. • An important focus of the speaking and listening standards is academic discussion in one-on-one, small-group, and whole-class settings. Formal presentations are one important way such talk occurs, but so is the more informal discussion that takes place as students collaborate to answer questions, build understanding, and solve problems.
Key Points for Language • The standards expect that students will grow their vocabularies through a mix of conversations, direct instruction, and reading. The standards will help students determine word meanings, appreciate the nuances of words, and steadily expand their repertoire of words and phrases. • The standards help prepare students for real life experience at college and in 21st century careers. The standards recognize that students must be able to use formal English in their writing and speaking but that they must also be able to make informed, skillful choices among the many ways to express themselves through language. • Vocabulary and conventions are treated in their own strand not because skills in these areas should be handled in isolation but because their use extends across reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Key Points for Mathematics • The K-5 standards provide students with a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals—which help young students build the foundation to successfully apply more demanding math concepts and procedures, and move into applications. • In kindergarten, the standards follow successful international models and recommendations from the National Research Council’s Early Math Panel report, by focusing kindergarten work on the number core: learning how numbers correspond to quantities, and learning how to put numbers together and take them apart (the beginnings of addition and subtraction). • The K-5 standards build on the best state standards to provide detailed guidance to teachers on how to navigate their way through knotty topics such as fractions, negative numbers, and geometry, and do so by maintaining a continuous progression from grade to grade.
Key Points for Mathematics • The standards stress not only procedural skill but also conceptual understanding, to make sure students are learning and absorbing the critical information they need to succeed at higher levels - rather than the current practices by which many students learn enough to get by on the next test, but forget it shortly thereafter, only to review again the following year. • Having built a strong foundation K-5, students can do hands on learning in geometry, algebra and probability and statistics. Students who have completed 7th grade and mastered the content and skills through the 7th grade will be well-prepared for algebra in grade 8. • The middle school standards are robust and provide a coherent and rich preparation for high school mathematics. • The high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges; they prepare students to think and reason mathematically.
Instructional Shifts in ELA / Literacy Shift 1: • Increase Reading of Informational Text - Classrooms are places where students access the world – science, social studies, the arts and literature – through informational and literary text. In elementary, at least 50% of what students read is informational; in middle school, it is 55%; and by the end of high school, it is 70% • Increasing the amount of informational text students read K-12 will prepare them to read college and career-ready texts. Shift 2: • Text Complexity -In order to prepare students for the complexity of college and career-ready texts, each grade level requires growth in text complexity (Appendix A, pp. 5-17). Students read the central, grade-appropriate text around which instruction is centered • Teachers create more time in the curriculum for close and careful reading and provide appropriate and necessary supports to make the central text accessible to students reading below grade level. Shift 3: • Academic Vocabulary -Students constantly build the vocabulary they need to be able to access grade-level complex texts. • By focusing strategically on comprehension of pivotal and commonly found words (such as “discourse,” “generation,” “theory,” and “principled”) teachers constantly build students’ ability to access more complex texts across the content areas Shift 4: • Text-based Answers-Students have rich and rigorous conversations which are dependent on students reading a central text. • Teachers ensure classroom experiences stay deeply connected to the text and that students develop habits for making evidentiary arguments based on the text, both in conversation as well as in writing, to assess their comprehension of a text Shift 5: • Increase Writing from Sources -Writing instruction emphasizes use of evidence to inform or to make an argument; it includes short, focused research projects K-12. • Students K-12 develop college and career-ready skills through written arguments that respond to the ideas, events, facts, and arguments presented in the texts they listen to and readLiteracy Instruction in all Content Areas -Content-area teachers emphasize reading and writing in their planning and instruction for teaching the content. • Students learn through reading domain-specific texts in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects and by writing informative/explanatory and argumentative pieces
Instructional Shifts in Mathematics • Focus – Narrow the scope of teaching standards that are covered within the year, so that students have more time to develop a deeper understanding. • Coherence – Standards are extended year to year, so that standards are not an entirely new teaching/learning experience, but rather an extension from previous knowledge. • Rigor (Fluency, Application, and Deep Understanding) – Students will build speed and accuracy with number sense, will learn to apply knowledge rather than “just get an answer”, know the appropriate tools and application of skills previously learned.
Sample Question 2012NYS ELA Exam Grade 6 Extended Constructed Response Paired Passages Think about the difficulties faced by gold miners in “Gold Fever” and “A Gold Miner’s Tale.” Write an essay in which you discuss the hardships of life as a gold miner or gold “rusher.” Use details from both the article and the poem to support your answer. In your essay, be sure to: - discuss the hardships of life as a gold miner or gold “rusher” -include details from both the article and the poem
CCLS Sample Question 2013 NYS ELA Exam Grade 6 Extended Constructed Response Paired Passages In both the Demosthenes biography and the Icarus and Daedalus myth the main characters exhibit determination in pursuit of their goals. Did determination help both main characters reach their goals, or did it lead them to tragedy? Write an argument for whether you believe determination helped or hurt the two main characters. In your response, be sure to do the following: -describe how determination affected the outcome in Demosthenes -describe how determination affected the outcome in Icarus and Daedalus -explain the similarities or differences that exist in the ways determination played into the outcome of both texts -use details from both passages in your response
CCLS Sample Question 2013NYS Math Exam Grade 6 • Constructed Response – Ratios and Proportional Relationships • A clothing store offers a 30% discount on all items in the store. • Part A: If the original price of a sweater is $40, how much will it cost after the discount? Show your work. • Part B: A shopper bought three of the same shirt and paid $63 after the 30% discount. What was the original price of one of the shirts? Show your work. • Part C: Every store employee gets an additional 10% off the already discounted price. If an employee buys an item with an original price of $40, how much will the employee pay? Show your work.
Navigating the DOE Website for Common Core Resources How can I help at home? Key Resources for parents on the Dept. of Education website: www.schools.nyc.gov
Resources • www.mathshell.org (sample resources for teachers, but can be used at home) • http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/CommonCoreLibrary/default.htm (parents) • www.ixl.com (student practice) • www.pta.org (click the link on the top left that states “topics”; then click the link on the left hand side that says “student success”). • http://www.khanacademy.org/ (video lessons)