Whether you like it or not, the integration of Common Core Standards is here. Designed to bring the whole country into curriculum alignment, the new set of standards for math and English language arts presents its own challenges in the integration process. To date 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards. It’s an ambitious undertaking, and now’s the time to start thinking about how it will affect your student in school. Implementation started around the country this fall, and most states should have the standards in place by the 2014-15 school year, when the testing process for these new standards are administered. And how can parents and schools prepare for these changes?
Changes in Math
What parents need to know is that mathematics will require the most significant shift in learning through vastly different teaching methods. The Common Core Standards for math leave no room for a “big Picture” understanding. Rather, the standards require a student’s deeper understanding of math to prepare them for its real world application. Therefore, teachers will need a more focused strategy when teaching math concepts. Previously teachers were expected to tackle as much content as possible week to week. With the new standards and the expectation of math comprehension, teachers will be more likely to tackle 3-4 large concepts for each grade level. With a new emphasis on giving teachers the resources to help students make sense of problems so that they are able to apply math concepts into everyday life.
Under the new English language arts standards, teachers in all reading-based school subjects will share in the responsibility for literacy development among their students. With a shift in the emphasis towards immersing and engaging their students in literature content, the student’s ability to succeed in the classroom by relying on their short term memory will be lessened. Students should acquire a deeper understanding of both literary and informational text. Ultimately, this should positively affect our nation’s SAT scores that have fallen in recent years under No Child Left Behind policies and a fragmented national education system.
Under the new Common Core Standards, informational text should comprise 70% of high school reading materials. Informational text should include primary and secondary sources, scientific materials, quantitative resources, maps, charts, and digital content. Students should engage in multi-sensory learning and integrated lesson plans providing a deeper comprehension of the concepts and their real world application. Research projects will become increasingly important as students are encouraged to analyze, synthesize, and reflect upon complex text.
Changes for Teachers
What does the integration of the Common Core Standards mean for administrators and teachers? Adapting to Common Core will mean “change” for teachers and as a general rule, people do not like change. Although the common goal of the Common Core Standards is embraced by teachers, adapting to change is difficult, especially when the change is being integrated in phases across multiple school years. Along with the integration of new curriculum and instructional development, administrators will likely need to improve their technical resources. Updated internet accessibility, hardware, software, and broadband capacity are all key to the implementation process, including administering assessments to determine its effectiveness. Ultimately teachers will have more freedom and an increased ability to use their creativity while teaching. Concepts have to be covered in greater depth, providing teachers with the opportunity to incorporate more fun and real-world applications into their classroom. As parents are in need of patience during this transition, so are educators. Teachers need to keep in mind that the new standards aren’t about creating more work for teachers, rather they are about eliminating unproductive instruction.
Omega Learning Center Can Help
With all of this change in the classroom and in our homes as our children change the way they study and prepare for school testing, parents will need to rely on the many resources available to them, including those offered by private tutoring businesses. Omega Learning Center is the only national tutoring franchise system with remediation curriculum aligned with the Common Core Curriculum standards. Omega Learning Center tutors are certified teachers and communicate every day with not only the parents, but also teachers at school. Omega’s comprehensive tutoring programs include the following five key objectives to help your child achieve long and short term results: remediation, homework help, study skills, test preparation, and enrichment. With SACS accredited tutoring centers in five states throughout the southeast, Omega Learning Centers can help your child succeed in school this year!
Written by Kimberly Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Omega Learning Center Franchisor. To find the nearest Omega Learning Center and/or request franchise opportunity information, call Omega’s national support center at 770-422-3510. OmegaLearning.com
You may also be interested in receiving information about Omega Private Academy, where students benefit from an 8:1 student : teacher ratio, call 770-422-3510.
State Standards Initiative corestandards.org This site, from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers, has the latest news on implementation as well as comprehensive details about the standards and their development.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offers PowerPoint presentations on what the changes mean for teachers in specific grades (nctm.org).
For more math help, check out the National Council of Supervisors of Math’s site, with links to updates, presentations, and research on the new standards (mathedleadership.org/ccss/materials.html).
The National Council of Teachers of English offers information, videos, and materials available for order on effective teaching under the new standards (ncte.org/standards/commoncore).