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Get Ready For Common Core Learning Standards From Home

Updated on November 9, 2014

Common Core Learning Standards (Three-Minute Video)

CCLS vs. New York State Standards

The Common Core Learning Standards initially was introduced in 2009. Prior to that, we were using our New York State Standards. But what are the differences and why was there a need to switch to CCLS? In 2000, each state has adopted its own standards to help students achieve their goals, however, that created a lack of standardized requirement across the nation. The CCLS helps solved this problem. It also aims for college-and-career readiness for all students. The expectations from elementary schools to high schools and from high schools to college and careers are clear with these standards. What is expected in 12th grade in New York is the same as in California. That's the alignment we are looking for.

Don't get me wrong, the intention is awesome, however, it always takes time to make changes. That is what's happening in schools right now. Everyone, including the administration, teachers, parents, and students are all trying to adapt to the CCLS. As an educator and a new mom, I ask myself, "When is a good time to get my son ready for this? How can I prepare him from home?" In this article, I am going to share my plan for my son to get him ready for this CCLS before he goes to school. [He is almost one year old, and YES, that still can be done.]

As an Educator ...

Many of my colleagues who knew the old New York States Standards have expressed that it would be a little confusing with the CCLS approach. Many of them have been using the old New York State Standards for their entire career. They think those new teachers who have studied the CCLS from the start would benefit from not having the old standards at the back of their minds to confuse them. I, on the contrary, take it as an advantage. I used to align my teaching with the old standards, then as the CCLS get adopted, I had to change to align with the CCLS in my teaching. After learning the purposes of the CCLS, I found it to be beneficial to have the old standards in my mind and raise the bar accordingly when I plan my lessons.

For example, second graders are expected to know the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and how about a story in the old standard. However, the CCLS expects these second graders to not only know the 5Ws and how, but to reason where they found such info. It adds a deeper thinking into it. If I were planning for a lesson to teach my second graders about the basic understanding of the story, the 5Ws and how is the foundation. The reasoning part would be additional to boost their comprehension. That helps them when they get to third grade to quote the actual evidence. I personally like the CCLS more, but knowing the old standard would help my planning as well.

As a Parent ...

The CCLS starts from Kindergarten until twelve grade to get students ready for college and finding a job. However, what about before Kindergarten? Is there anything parents can do at home from Day 1? I believe there is.

My son is almost one year old. Over the past eleven months, I have been training him on keeping a routine. I strongly believe this is the first thing babies should learn. Teachers still keep this as the first thing to do in school when school starts. Routine and repetition are important for all kids.

My son knows that when it's time to get fed, he would be sitting in his stroller, wait a little bit while playing with a toy. When his bottle is ready, he will get changed first, then he will enjoy his milk. After that, he will get burped and go to sleep. I show my son the same nursery rhymes collection over and over again, so he recognizes them bit by bit.

As he gets older (after one year old's birthday), I am planning to slowly teach him more academics, such as the alphabets, phonics, number counting, shapes and colors. Keep in mind: routine and repetition. After that, short stories would be introduced. Hopefully, by 18 months, he is ready for hearing common words and respond to them. For math, he should be able to recognize some shapes and colors, along with numbers. By two years old, my goal is for him to master the alphabets and numbers 0-10. This sounds hard, but that's my aim. He is expected to know his shapes, colors, and some basic sounds in phonics as well. By three years old, he should be able to match the pictures with the words. He probably can't match the written words with the pictures or the actual thing, but matching by saying the words is expected. For math, he is expected to match the numbers with the amount of items. Keep in mind that this plan can be modified as it goes. Be flexible! The bottom line is to make sure he learns as much as he can before Kindergarten, so he is ready for CCLS.

If you don't know how to do this, don't worry. I am planning to record some videos to help parents and caregivers who need help on teaching babies and toddlers academic. I am planning to include already-made videos from youtube and/or other sites as reference as well. Stay tune!

© 2014 Janet Lui

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