As many parents of elementary school students are aware, the Common Core State Standards have been widely adopted across the country. This is the latest in a series of changes in the American educational system that stress individualized, intellectual thinking. While the Common Core Standards follow trends that have been gathering for many decades in American education, these new changes do mean that students, teachers and parents need to adjust what and how they learn and teach.
One set of Common Core Standards calls for students to think and defend their own point of view. This can be particularly challenging for some students who may succeed with more straightforward, knowledge-based questions but struggle when asked to elaborate on their own thinking.
As an example, Common Core Standard SL 5.1a for fifth grade asks that students “Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.” This is not an easy standard for all students to meet. Students must read novels carefully and prepare appropriately for classroom discussions. In these discussions, students are often asked to defend their own point of view about author motive, character actions and book themes. With practice, students can begin to learn the skills that are necessary to meet standard SL 5.1a and feel comfortable in speaking extemporaneously about their own thoughts.
Another elementary school Common Core Standard states that students should be able to “Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.” Students must learn to develop story narratives, create characters, and imagine story worlds before they ever put pencil to paper. Students must be able to sequence story events in a logical and dramatic manner. They must also be able to effectively describe a scene using adjectives and descriptive language.
American education increasingly is asking students to prepare themselves for real-life skills and challenges that they will experience in the workplace. As standards shift, Chyten continues to develop programs to help students meet and exceed these benchmarks in reading, writing and public speaking.
For more information about Chyten’s programs that address Common Core State Standards, please explore our website at www.chyten.com or call our main number connecting all locations: 800-428-TEST (8378)