Common Core, Common Sense (by Randee-Jo Barcinas-Manglona)

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4 thoughts on “Common Core, Common Sense (by Randee-Jo Barcinas-Manglona)

  1. Hi Randee-Jo,

    I wanted to comment on one of your cons, that the Common Core “forces students to have exactly the same learning style and pace, despite each student’s individuality”. As a teacher currently teaching math to the Common Core standards, I have to say that I mostly disagree. Yes, there are some strategies being taught which can be tricky for students with different learning styles to learn. However, students are given such a wide range of strategies that they are able to find what really works for them, which in my mind allows them to embrace their individuality. For example, I’m teaching 2nd grade subtraction. We have learned how to use addition to subtract, use an open number line, draw a model, deconstruct the numbers, use mental math, use the standard algorithm, use a hundreds chart, and a few other strategies.

    It can be hard to teach when students who work more quickly just want to learn the standard algorithm, but in the end I truly believe that it leads to a deeper conceptual understanding of mathematics! Every strategy might not work for every student, but I believe that every student will find a strategy that works for them. I have seen this completely change students’ attitudes when they are struggling with a concept, and all of a sudden a new strategy will click with them and they can quickly calculate their answer and apply problem solving skills to new problems. I love having class discussions where we look at the different strategies the class used and make connections between them.

    While I completely agree that testing should not determine the amount of funds a school receives, I think that the Common Core has been helpful in raising the achievement at my school.

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    Kelsey

    • It was lovely reading about your teaching experience, and I understand where you are coming from! I think what I mostly mean is that the Common Core forces students to learn about certain things, whether they are ready or not. Some students learn faster than others, and when we have certain standards to reach, those who are not fast enough end up missing out. While the Common Core is definitely helpful in raising achievement, I do not think it does a very good job in catering to every student’s needs. Sometimes a student needs more time on a subject, and sometimes a student may not find his/her strategy.

      I love hearing about student and school success, and I wish your school even more achievement in the future.

  2. Hi Randee-Jo,

    I think that having a set up standards for teacher to access and use in their classroom is very important because it gives them a benchmark to set for their students and it makes sure that they are on the right track. However, much like you, I don’t think it is right for the government to take away resources from the schools that struggle the most because they already couldn’t meet those standards. I feel like all that does is put those schools in a cycle of failure. If the schools don’t have money, how are they to pay for good motivated teachers, supplies, and resources for students who probably come from a low income populace. Money is a good motivator, but there has to be a better way to get these schools back up to meeting standards..

    • Thanks for replying, Marina. You are right! While money is a good motivator, it is not the solution to all problems. We have to approach our students with more care. Schools need to be encouraged, but we can’t do that by threatening their funds.

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