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A Parent's Guide to the Common Core Standards (page 2)

A Parent

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Updated on Aug 22, 2011

Focus on Informational Text

  • To prepare students for college-level work, there will be more of a focus on informational and expository text. In middle school especially, students will be reading informational text, including original documents, from the Declaration of Independence to presidential speeches.
  • Parent Tip: Encourage your child to research a topic he’s interested in using informational texts and original documents.

Assessments Will Change

  • Compared to current achievement tests, common core assessments will likely be more difficult. Ideally, instead of multiple choice tests, students will be analyzing and synthesizing information, writing essay responses, and answering in-depth questions to show how much they understand.
  • Parent Tip: Ask your child to explain or show how they’re solving problems. Then, have them think of multiple ways to solve a math problem, or answer a reading discussion question.

Focus on Practical Skills

  • The common core standards were designed with the workplace in mind. So, students will be working on taking the role of scientists, historians, researchers, and more. For example, says Bill McCallum, co-author of the standards and professor at the University of Arizona, the standards “describe what a mathematical practitioner does, make sense of problems, preserver and solve them, and critique the reasoning of others.”
  • Parent Tip: As your child works through his homework, ask him how someone might use what he’s working on in “real life.” Help connect thinking in school to thinking at work by explaining how you solve problems, or use math every day.

As the common core state standards start to be implemented in schools, there will be some changes, but many things will stay the same. The most important aspect, as always, is to stay in contact with your child’s teacher to find out how you can support this latest educational advancement at home.

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