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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Who is having a hard time with Common Core?

Posted by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 8:34 AM
Max
  • 95 Replies
2 moms liked this

My state is in the middle of a three year transition over to the Common Core standards. My school and district have been working on making gradual changes to the curriculum spread over these years so the transition is as easy for students as possible. In spite of that, there have still been some bumps in the road. 

For me, the changes have been relatively minor. I've always been a hands on teacher who pushed kids to challenge themselves and problem solve. Common Core aligns with my own personal teaching philosophy so the shift hasn't been a radical one for me. 

But school wide it is a more dramatic change. And some students are struggling with it. The ones who are struggling has been a surprise to many. 

The highest achievers are the ones who are having a difficult time with CC. This has come as a big surprise to most of the faculty. But I've been seeing this is my own class for years. 

What many teachers are seeing now is something I've known for a long time. Many high achieving students don't have the skills to cope with being challenged. 

The struggling and middle learned are used to being confused when new concepts are presented. They know that initial confusion is more than likely temporary and can work through it. Students who have been familiar with everything they've done in class before it was presented panic when they are first presented with things they can't do immediately. 

For some students and parents they interpret this to mean that Common Core is too hard. That's not really the case.  It's forcing teachers to challenge all students and teach problem solving skills. If students never have a problem to work though how can they possibly learn to work though issues and find solutions?

I hope that as this transition goes on more students and parents will realize that productive struggle is essential for learning. In fact, the most valuable learning takes place when students work through a struggle on their own. 


by on Dec. 1, 2013 at 8:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
madismommy03
by Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 8:38 AM
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My dd is in 4th grade and her grades are dropping and after talking to other moms in the same school, I'm hearing this a lot. Many of our girls were high achievers.
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Dec. 1, 2013 at 8:40 AM


Quoting madismommy03:

My dd is in 4th grade and her grades are dropping and after talking to other moms in the same school, I'm hearing this a lot. Many of our girls were high achievers.

Across the board I think many kids grades are dropping. But that doesn't mean they're learning less. The expectations are higher so A aren't going to be as easy to come by. 

My own son in K has struggled with some things. But he's learning much more than he would have. With the old curriculum most of the year would have been review for him. So I am happy to see that he's getting content that's challenging him. 

mom23heathens
by Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 8:51 AM
I have been reading the posts about cc trying to figure out what it is. I don't thin know we have it where I am. I keep telling myself to look it up in case but I either get busy or forget. Since you have posted about it could you be kind and tell me what it is and why so many are upset ? Thanks. Any changes in my daughter's school would obviously be a concern but I'm usually not worried since she has never had anything but A's. Now you mention the higher achievers are having problems.
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Dec. 1, 2013 at 9:03 AM


Quoting mom23heathens:

I have been reading the posts about cc trying to figure out what it is. I don't thin know we have it where I am. I keep telling myself to look it up in case but I either get busy or forget. Since you have posted about it could you be kind and tell me what it is and why so many are upset ? Thanks. Any changes in my daughter's school would obviously be a concern but I'm usually not worried since she has never had anything but A's. Now you mention the higher achievers are having problems.

It's standards for education that many states are using. 

The changes and implementing vary greatly from state to state. You need to look up your state and CC to see what's going on in your local area. 

lizfnf
by Bronze Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 9:31 AM

We got very lucky in that our daughter was in the early adoption Kindergarten for Common Core last year so when the entire building went to it this year she was already prepared.  It is hard work and there are days where it seems the homework in unending and she comes home visibily tired.  It works though.  She is excelling in her classes and luckily this is all she knows.  

kellysp6637
by Bronze Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 9:40 AM
2 moms liked this

 I'm in the same boat.  My dd is in fourth grade, on the National Honor Society and loves school.  However, she is struggling with some of the new material and I find it very vague and confusing.  I've had seven years of college and even I find it vague.  Thankfully she is a wonderful student and has solid support from us, but I feel bad for children who don't necessarily have the same support or tools.

Quoting madismommy03:

My dd is in 4th grade and her grades are dropping and after talking to other moms in the same school, I'm hearing this a lot. Many of our girls were high achievers.

 

coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM
I'm not sure when we switched to CC but I know we are using it this year (or at least we are in math). DD is in 3rd grade and struggles to learn. She has an IEP for speech (which has an effect on how she learns). This is the first year she receives actual letter grades. Her teacher has been amazing with helping her struggle less and learn more and build confidence. She just brought home her report card and earned straight Bs!

So I don't know if CC has been good for her or if it's the teacher or what but we are very happy. I have her parent/teacher conference tomorrow so I will be asking a lot of questions for my own knowledge.
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alk100207
by Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 9:43 AM

We are lucky that our school system had already adopted CC before DS started Kindergarten.  His is the first class that will have it as the standard the whole way though.  He loves it as he likes to be challenged instead of bored in school but I know that other kids are really struggling.

ccnstanczak
by Member on Dec. 1, 2013 at 9:49 AM
1 mom liked this

at parent teacher conferences, my dd's 2nd grade teacher talked about this.

my dd is doing very well especially when its easy, but when she gets challenged thats when the real work begins. learning isnt about intellegence, its a lot of hard work and dedication and it pays off. and when i see my dd get excited about acomplishing something that was more difficult for her, it encourges her to challenge herself again.(talk about self esteem!) and thats what her teacher wants to see. that effort of trying something new, working through it and understanding and being able to apply it.

school is only going to become more difficult as she gets older and so is life. i know my dd is smart and can figure it out, she needs to do the work and effort so that she knows that. i often pull out work from pre-k to 1st to show her. it reminds her that back then it was hard and new and she did it! she worked hard and figured it out, same thing for whats shes doing now.

and we have a saying in our family: "bite size elephants" basicly its a metaphor : how do you eat an elephant? you cut it up into bite size pieces. if something is challengeing and big, like an elephant, you cant eat the whole elephant, you need to cut it up. same thing with life. you take it one step at time. and pretty soon you have eaten that whole elephant.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Dec. 1, 2013 at 10:28 AM

What a great perspective. I love the bite sized elephants!

Quoting ccnstanczak:

at parent teacher conferences, my dd's 2nd grade teacher talked about this.

my dd is doing very well especially when its easy, but when she gets challenged thats when the real work begins. learning isnt about intellegence, its a lot of hard work and dedication and it pays off. and when i see my dd get excited about acomplishing something that was more difficult for her, it encourges her to challenge herself again.(talk about self esteem!) and thats what her teacher wants to see. that effort of trying something new, working through it and understanding and being able to apply it.

school is only going to become more difficult as she gets older and so is life. i know my dd is smart and can figure it out, she needs to do the work and effort so that she knows that. i often pull out work from pre-k to 1st to show her. it reminds her that back then it was hard and new and she did it! she worked hard and figured it out, same thing for whats shes doing now.

and we have a saying in our family: "bite size elephants" basicly its a metaphor : how do you eat an elephant? you cut it up into bite size pieces. if something is challengeing and big, like an elephant, you cant eat the whole elephant, you need to cut it up. same thing with life. you take it one step at time. and pretty soon you have eaten that whole elephant.


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