Been doing a little reading (as I am sure are many who are returning to the classroom) on the Common Core State Standards. These have been adopted by the vast majority of States here in the U.S. and are going to be a curriculum reality for teachers from New York to California.
As Sara and I synch our lessons with these new criteria I'm starting to think they actually look pretty good to me - the Standards that is - I already know the lessons rock ;). I had heard some of the grumbling about the Language Arts standards moving away from literature in order to teach DVD player instructions instead - so I approached with a bit of trepidation. Doing away with creative writing would be a pretty major blow to a couple of consultants who use poetry and performance to teach reading and writing literacy. Well, I am happy to report that the demise of creative writing and reading has been exaggerated. There is plenty of room for poetry and the other literary genres . In fact several articles I have read cite poetry as a path to closer reading - close reading being one of the skills scaffolding through the Common Core.
What I like about the goals set forth in the CCSS is that the path isn't lock step laid out. There is room for some teaching to happen. Sure as with anything your gonna get your my way or the highway mentality. I've seen other good education approaches implemented so stridently that the stress in the teacher's break room feels like a door being left open in January - but this doesn't have to be the case.
Applied with a little common sense - I can see the Common Core doing some good.
Here's a link to a pretty good resource I was turned on to by the CCSS group over at LinkedIn.
Oh - all you iPad and iPod users - there is an app for it too.