Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

February 7, 2013

Common core curriculum being implemented in schools

CROSSVILLE — Tennessee is continuing to adapt and change its academic requirements to better prepare students for the challenges of post-secondary education and to take a place in the workforce following high school graduation.

Common core standards are currently being implemented in schools across Tennessee, and Cumberland County teachers and administrators are preparing for new teaching strategies and testing methods in the coming years.

"It is extremely important that our kids not just know the steps to get an answer," said Rebecca Wood, curriculum facilitator. "It's important for them to know why they got that answer, what does it really mean? And we want them to completely master those skills before they go to the next level."

The shift to common care standards came about due to several statistics on Tennessee's educational competitiveness, including ranking 46th in fourth-grade math and 41st in fourth-grade reading in the nation; only 21 percent of Tennessee adults having a college degree and only 15 percent of high school seniors in the state being college ready as measured by the ACT test. Also, most new jobs, 54 percent, will require the workforce to have some type of post-secondary education. Common core standards were developed by educators, parents and community and business leaders to determine what should be expected of students at every grade level.

Common core math and English/language arts standards were introduced to kindergarten teachers last year. This year, common core math is being taught in grades 3 through 8, though the state has not aligned the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program tests to these new standards. Woods said the state would pull out questions that did not align with the new standards. Grades kindergarten through second are teaching common core math and English.

Next year, common core math and English will be taught in all grades, but the TCAP tests will remain with online writing assessments. In 2014, schools will fully implement common core in math and English and will have a new assessment that will be taken online with portions completed in a student workbook that will also be scored.

The change to common core standards brings with it six instructional shifts. In math, teachers will focus strongly where the standards focus; think across grade and link to major topics at each grade level; and require conceptional understanding, procedural skill and fluency and application with intensity. In English and language arts, the instructional focus will be on building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction and informational texts; reading and writing that are grounded in evidence from text; and include regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary. The goal is for students to develop a higher intensity of understanding in fewer, deeper standards. Students will be expected to master the skills and build analytical thinking.

"Teachers will focus strongly where the standards focus," Wood said. "They will take fewer skills and teach them to mastery, following it across the grades as it builds on each other. Rigor will be required for that understanding. Students need the procedures and they do need that fluency, but it has to start with the understanding."

One of the major changes associated with the common core shift is the change in testing methods. Multiple choice tests will be replaced with questions requiring students to draw a diagram and explain their answers. In writing assessments, students will be asked to read a passage and respond to it, using information from the passage, rather than creative writing alone.

"When they go to the next grade, there will be the expectation that they have the skills so that teacher can move on," Wood said.

Josh Stone, 4th District representative, said, "In the sample problems, we're certainly expecting more from our students. I think they will achieve more. I've found with my own kids that when you push them a little bit, they usually respond by impressing you. Maybe we've been letting students off a little easy with picking C [on the tests]."

Wood said the state was providing training on the new standards, and common core coaches were available to share their knowledge in the school district and beyond. There will be three days of summer inservice available in Cumberland County and pacing guides for math and English/language arts have been developed. The school system has already started working with students on constructed response assessments and preparing students for the online testing process.



 

1
Text Only
Area News
  • TMSAA rules get one-year try out

    Changes are coming for the elementary sports programs next year, with a 6-3 vote of the Cumberland County Board of Education. That vote of support of recommendations from the athletic committee was met with concerns from board members that the move towards county-wide rules and regulations was an attempt to move toward middle school teams.

    July 28, 2014 1 Video

  • ffg fire 1.jpg Fire damages home in Fairfield Glade

    Not only did Fairfield Glade volunteer fire fighters battle a blaze Saturday afternoon at 107 Runnymede Rd., hot weather conditions were a challenge as well.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Banned ex-boyfriend arrested in break-in

    Last Tuesday turned out to not be burglary and assault suspect Larry D. Durbin's day. It wasn't such a great day for his victim, either. Both were arrested.

    July 28, 2014

  • Changes to county wage scale cause debate

    County commissioners approved revisions to the Cumberland County employee wage scale, giving county employees a pay increase, but the changes to the scale created a brief debate among commissioners Monday evening.

    July 28, 2014

  • Suspects identified in arson fire

    Two Cumberland County men were detained and questioned in connection with an early Friday morning fire that destroyed or damaged two tractor-trailer rigs and a pickup parked at a closed business north of the city.

    July 28, 2014

  • Summer winding down in Tennessee

    July 25, 2014

  • Celebrating a year of writing our area's history

    Now that this column has passed its first birthday, I’d like to send thanks to those of you from our county and around the country who have sent messages and questions about things you’ve read in the Uncle Gib section. It is hard to cover many of these events in 500 words, and I try not go cover the same event more than three weeks. Research must be cut way down, and the most interesting information on each subject included.

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_1806.jpg Celebrate Farmers Market Week Aug. 3-9

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week.” Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ayers2.jpg County OKs resolution for CMC/Covenant refinance deal

    Cumberland County commissioners passed a resolution Monday evening giving its approval for Covenant Health to refund its bonds to refinance $40 million for Cumberland Medical Center.
    The request was made by Covenant Health, a Tennessee nonprofit corporation which now operates Cumberland Medical Center.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea includes ban from all Wal-Mart stores

    A Crossville man who was facing two counts of theft of more than $500, relating to shoplifting incidents at the Crossville Wal-mart, has entered a guilty plea, and part of his sentence is being banned from all Wal-Mart stores.

    July 24, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014