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How Three Teachers Are Dealing With Common Core in Class

Washington Post (03/16/14) Strauss, Valerie

Nonpartisan Young Education Professionals asked a few teachers working in Maryland and Washington, D.C., about the Common Core Standards in math and English/Language Arts being implemented nationwide. Meredith Rosenberg, a fourth-grade teacher, commented that one of the positives of Common Core is the way that it introduces concepts to students through different modes of comprehension, though she noted that implementation has been marked by challenges due to vague standards. She indicated consistent professional development, regular refinement of unit plans, daily lessons and assessments, and an intense focus on the Standards for Mathematical Practice has ensured her students think critically about numbers every day, attacking problems with multiple strategies and assessing the validity of those strategies. A second-grade teacher in a high-need, D.C. elementary school, Amara Pinnock, seconded the sentiment that working with the Common Core has some real challenges, including more precise lesson planning that is driven by objectives and standards. She says that administrators should consider the long-term implications of pushing such a strict curriculum on younger students, particularly its impact on the joy of learning. To deal with the new standards, Clare Berke, a ninth-grade and AP prep teacher, said that Common Core tactics she learned during a three-day professional development meeting have helped in the classroom.
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