Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Florida Education Department Proposing Changes to Common Core

Proposed Changes to Florida Common Core
Taken from "Proposed Changes to Mathematics Standards" on

The Florida Education Department is proposing some changes to the common core standards (and calling them the "Florida Standards". These changes come from an Educational Accountability Summit and are based on public input. You can see the changes here: Keep in mind (from the website):
"The rows in white represent the public comments, the rows in yellow represent the current standard, the rows in green represent the proposed standard, and the rows in blue represent a new proposed standard. Please note that the grouping of rows about the same standard are separated by solid black lines."
There are a number of changes including 13 in ELA and 24 in Math along with 8 additions to the current standards and 52 additional calculus standards.

Click to see a summary of the proposed changes and commentary about them...

Friday, June 7, 2013

3 Minute Video Explaining the Common Core Standards

I know that by now most teachers and administrators have a pretty good idea of what the Common Core Standards are all about. We may not have them implemented, but we're working on it. The folks over at created a video that explains it to everyone. If you have a colleague or parent who wants to know what the CCSS is all about, send them this video (or a link to this post). The English version is first with the Spanish version following. Share this with your friends! You never know who it might help:

Spanish Version:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Next Generation Science Standards Have Been Finalized!

The Next Generation Science Standards have finally been published! The 41 member writing team took thousands of responses from state review teams, school districts, discussion groups, and scientific societies to create two rough drafts which have become the finalized product. Click to go the the NGSS website and download the full standards Arranged by Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI) or Arranged by Topic.

Next Generation Science Standards
Supposedly interactive versions of the standards will be available soon which should be great for the more tech-savvy of us. Once you take a look at the standards, come back here and let us know what you think about them in the comments section below. Make sure to explore their site to learn more about the development and implementation of the standards.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Next Generation Science Standards Draft #2

UPDATE! January 10th, 2013...
The NGSS Second Draft is available. You can see it here:  
For more information, see my original post on the first draft of the NGSS here: NGSS First Draft


Wednesday November 28th, 2012...

The second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards should be out before the new year. I will post a link to them as soon as they are available to the public. For now, read the following article on the NGSS posted on the SmartBlog on Education and written by Doug Haller:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Inferences and the Common Core Standards

Inferences are central to the Common Core Standards. For instance, one standard for grades 5-12 specifically states that students must draw “inferences from the text.” Moreover, many of the subsequent standards require that students must continue to make inferences. These standards, for example, state that students must be able to
  • determine a theme;
  • compare and contrast two characters;
  • determine the meaning . . . of metaphors;
  • explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story;
  • describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described; and
  • compare and contrast stories in the same genre . . . on their approaches to similar themes.
Specifically, here are some of the standards that require inferential thinking for grade 5*:

RL.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. [This standard also applies to grades 6-12.]

RL.5.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

RL.5.3. Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

RL.5.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

RL.5.5. Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

RL.5.6. Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

RL.5.9. Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.

*NB: The corresponding standards for grades 6-12 are more sophisticated variations of these standards for grade 5 and require even higher levels of inferential thinking. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Common Core Standards Resource Highlight

The resource show below was published by Pieces of Learning and is available through their website:

A significant advantage in using Common Core State Standards is that they are general, with broader curriculum application. They can potentially lead to higher-level thinking and mastery of 21st century skills rather than focus on lower-level test-prep answers. Coil’s practical examples show educators how to use differentiated curriculum, differentiated instruction, and differentiated assessment with the Common Core State Standards.
Differentiated Activities and Assessments Using the Common Core
Differentiated Activities & Assessments Using the Common Core Standards
Differentiation is essential when educators work with diverse groups of students while using the same set of Common Core State Standards for each student. These activities and corresponding assessments are specifically designed examples of how the CCSS can be implemented in your classroom with diverse students.

Differentiated curriculum calls for differentiated assessment. Not only are the topic activities differentiated and provide for student choice, but the assessments are differentiated as well. Using differentiated activities and assessments leads to greater success and achievement on high-stakes standardized tests.... See more after the jump...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Next Generation Science Standards Draft Available

With the push for higher test scores and the implementation of the Common Core Standards in the majority of states across the country, came a push for new Science standards as well. The standards that most science teachers are following at this point are upwards of 15 years old and need at least a refresher if not a full overhaul. The National Research Council and its affiliates decided to take this under their wing and have really put some time into creating the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The Science standards are still in the draft/review phase and they are taking feedback from the public. The latest standards were developed by the National Research Council (NRC) with the help of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The NGSS are based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education which was developed by the NRC and released in July of 2011. The Framework is split up into three dimensions: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. The Disciplinary Core Ideas are grouped into four domains we are all familiar with: physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering/technology.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of the NGSS on here because you can go see and download the draft for yourself:
Next Generation Science Standards
I have looked through, and even printed a copy of the NGSS (which I don't recommend unless you have a hefty printer). They are very in depth and read like the standards we all know, but they seem very complicated for the everyday teacher. It will be difficult to be an elementary school teacher without a science background and be able to fully understand and teach the standards in their classroom. I realize this isn't the final draft, some science concepts can be difficult to spell out in an easy-to-read manner, there are so many science concepts to cover, etc. I'm not knocking the standards. I think that our standards should be raised for all students and I applaud the NRC for having done that. I am just saying that many teachers will have a little work ahead of them to implement these standards into the everyday classroom science lesson.

Has anyone else looked into the new science standards? I recommend that you do and give your feedback to the National Research Council. The more feedback they receive, the better the Next Generation Science Standards will be! Give me your thoughts in the comment section below:

The second public draft of the NGSS will be out before the new year. Read more here: