Saturday, April 19, 2014

Common Core Social Studies?

I had to laugh when I was surfing the internet and came across this article Common Core Scrubs ‘Liberty’ as a Founding Principle complaining about Common Core Social Studies. First of all, I'm a science teacher, not a social studies teacher.  As far as I knew there wasn't an organization/group pursuing new national social studies curriculum.  Here in Michigan we're still waiting to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards and that's already political enough.  I chat with the social studies department chair often enough and he hasn't mentioned any national curriculum in the works.

After a quick view of the article's site I went to check out these New York Common Core Social Studies curriculum framework. What I was happy to see was that the state of New York included references to the Common Core State Standards for Reading and Writing in Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (pg59-66).  These standards are quite familiar to me.  I've been doing some presentations/conferences on these in regards to science literacy.  I'm no expert on social studies but I do applaud the creators for recognizing that students need to be able to read, think, analyze, critique, write and speak about the content, not just regurgitate.

I guess the authors of the article above don't want students to be able to do any of the following:

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
·         Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
·         Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge
·         Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
·         Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

 Comprehension and Collaboration
·         Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
·         Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

The authors probably realize if the students of New York can do these things (along with the other CCSS Reading and Writing Standards) they won’t be visiting their website!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Welcome to My Blog

Well it's been a few weeks....  A few weeks since I created this blog site to be exact.  I recently returned from the MACUL 2014 conference in Grand Rapids, MI ready to join the "Twitterverse", create a blog, and share my thoughts, feelings, and maybe even emotions on all things education.

Starting to use Twitter as part of my PLN goals was quick and easy.  I didn't realize that people I've never even met could make an impact on my professional thinking. 

During a Twitter chat at #mschat a side conversation took place about blogging.  Another teacher was having the same dilemma as me.  She too created a blog recently but hadn't posted anything to it.  She feared, as did I, that nobody would read it.  We encouraged each other and promised to read each others  blogs.  Another teacher following our conversation commented on how she recently started blogging and that it was the best decision ever.

A few brief statements from strangers, passionate about education, was all it took to give me the encouragement to start.  If nobody reads it.  That's ok.  If you do please feel free to share your thoughts.

The encouragement I felt was very powerful. It gave me the confidence to feel as though I could do it. I will try to be conscious of this when working with my students to give them that same feeling.

A special shout out to @CherylTeaches, @GloffMona, and @dubiouseducator for getting me to start....  Now shutting me up?   That's another story...