English Language Arts Common Core Standards – Where to Begin?
States and districts across the country are literally all over the map in terms of their readiness to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). For many teachers, there won’t be much of a change in their classrooms as their previous focus is aligned with the CCSS requirements. For other teachers, the new standards mean a lot of change. And change is difficult – particularly when you don’t know where to begin.
The Common Core standards are specific about cumulative expectations for K-12 achievement and skill mastery. The English Language Arts (ELA) standards are divided into broad categories: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language. Within each of those categories are requirements for progressively higher achievement as students move through the grades.
“The Internet has accelerated the speed at which connections between speaking, listening, reading, and writing can be made, requiring that students be ready to use these modalities nearly simultaneously. Technology itself is changing quickly, creating a new urgency for students to be adaptable in response to change.”
–Common Core State Standards
Let’s take a look at the cumulative K-12 skills for speaking and listening. The first standard under Comprehension and Collaboration requires that students learn how to initiate and participate in a range of collaborative discussions including one–on-one, group, or teacher-led on grade-appropriate topics. Kindergarten achievement goals are different from middle school goals, of course, but all goals build upon one another in complexity (aka “scaffolding”) as students get older.
The Idaho Digital Learning Academy in Boise, Idaho is a terrific example of utilizing technology to fulfill the first Speaking and Listening Standard. Using an online learning classroom tool called Idaho Live, which allows students to log into a live classroom and fully participate in the class activity and discussion, students use Califone headsets to initiate and participate in grade-appropriate discussions. To read more about Idaho Digital Learning Academy and how they use technology to provide instruction for students, who would not otherwise have access, read more here.
This is the first in a series of blogs exploring what the Common Core State Standards are and how AV equipment can be used to help meet each objective. Read the second article in the series, “Transitioning to the Common Core Classroom“.