Classroom curriculums changing under Common Core

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Math and English teachers weigh in on the changes in their curriculum due to the new Common Core standards.

Teachers said Common Core puts professionalism in the classroom. They said students are learning things they might do for the rest of their lives.

When it comes to Common Core, math is one of the most challenging parts, especially for parents. It’s no longer simple addition and subtraction. The subject includes problems that are strategically worded to address a new type of learning.

Common Core uses a variety of strategies and one of those for math is pictorially.

Tony Linter is a math and science specialist.

“We try to do read, draw, write,” he said. “So what Common Core does is they really break it down and give you a deeper understanding of what we’re doing.”

English is getting more technical under Common Core standards. Seventh graders now use inferences to answer questions.

“I think out of the turmoil, something good will be born,” seventh grade English teacher Sean Crall said.

Crall said Common Core has transformed his curriculum. Now, ELA classes focus less on creative writing and more on technical writing. He said it helps students to learn how things work in the real world.

But this new way of thinking is something teachers aren’t used to and students are now applying skills from one class to another. Essentially, Common Core is scaffolding.

“It’s not just subject related, but it’s a whole school approach to educating a child,” Goff Middle School Principal Matthew Sloane said. “For a lot of teachers, they were never taught how to teach students in that type of philosophy.”

But it’s a philosophy Crall said sophisticates his students. However, many teachers said the emphasis on testing is premature.

“There is good in the Core,” Crall said. “Move away the testing and allow that goodness to come forth. Leave it in the hands of the educators. We’re professionals. We know what we’re doing.”

Common Core testing begins in April. Online sources have been provided to help parents learn about the standards and teach them how to solve a problem the Common Core way.

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