Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
The challenge of the Common Core Learning Standards continues to involve “unfunded mandates,” and yet due to the outstanding instructional leadership demonstrated by our administrators and their ability to professionally develop their staff, we continue to keep making inroads on helping our students excel with the diminishing resources we have. Currently each building principal has worked closely with each library media specialist to make sure the non-fiction library is strong and correlated to the students’ abilities and topics across the content areas.
Principals worked collaboratively with classroom teachers and reading specialists to make sure that they have an adequate supply of non-fiction, flexible group materials in each classroom throughout the school. Recordings on tape of non-fiction stories help to increase a student’s ability to read along with difficult concepts and perform close readings.
Teachers are continually integrating language arts skills in content areas subjects such as social studies and science. Teachers have begun to create instructional units that are integrated around themes and that answer essential questions.
Under the Common Core Guidelines students are expected to site the evidence from a passage whether it is fiction or non-fiction to answer the questions. Site-based evidence is the new catch phrase for all educators as we enter a new era of accountability of K- 6 standardized testing.
In the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District, we want our students to do more than just site a sentence. Our standard is that students should understand the author’s purpose for writing and also craft their responses to writing for a specific purpose.
We want all of our students to be able to discriminate between a fiction/non-fiction reading or writing piece and then be able to write a comparative essay independently. We are working as a united team to implement the Common Core Learning Standards and raise the bar to address increased rigor in our students’ reading and writing skills in order to make them career or college ready.