Common Core Standards: Not your parents way of learning

Karen Waggoner
Karen Waggoner
Students in Heather Barnes classroom.
Students in Heather Barnes classroom.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Once called the three 'R's' of education, 'Reading, Writing and Arithmetic' is probably referred to as old fashioned in today's academic world.

Heather Barnes, a math teacher at Hazelwood Elementary, gets tickled when she thinks of how different today's classroom is compared to classroom of the past.

"This isn't how we learned-same as many of the parents," she laughed.

Common Core Standards are not how today's moms and dads learned the foundation for their basic skills.

Karen Waggoner, Staff Developer at Hazelwood Elementary also chuckled and explained, "When all of us were in school, we were taught a process for solving problems.  You were taught long division algorithm and the steps to get your answers."

A + B = C was the standard formula of days gone by. Now, with common core standards, it's literally a whole new way of thinking and teaching.

Barnes confirmed, "Common Core ask your student to think more deeply."

The new standards are designed with the real world in mind. Common Core is designed to give students the education and the abilities they will need for college and career success.

Barnes pointed out the difference in Common Core, "They want them to understand why they are doing the things they are doing. They want them to be able to explain why they're doing what they're doing and not just explain it but justify why they are doing it."

It is an eye opening lesson for student and parent alike. Curious parent's who have had a chance to learn their old school lessons using new tricks from Jefferson County Public Schools and Common Core are pretty astonished.

Waggoner also laughed at parents thrilled by the new learning process, "Their eyes are wide open with shock and awe, oh my gosh that's why that works. The grandparents were in awe at the fact that they never understood why the process they were taught worked.  They just knew that's what you did."

What you do in class now, you must understand the why and the how before moving on. Another lesson JCPS hopes the families of their students will embrace is INVOLVEMENT.  The school system is proud to announce it is capable of preparing kids for the future, for college or for their dream career.

Hensley explained, "We're better able to do that if parents are our partners."

Your child's education must be a shared pursuit.

It is not difficult to do. Barnes listed a few simple but important examples, "Things that parents can do at home are just incorporating those types of critical thinking skills at home. Even when your reading a book or reading an article or watching something on TV, asking them those critical skills about characters.  Well, why are they doing it like that?  Are they comparing, contrasting? How is it the same?"

It sounds like having a conversation but with the weighty goal of getting your child to use the critical thinking skills Common Core is based on.   As a parent and an Elementary Principal, Tom Peterson of Hazelwood Elementary reminds everyone a little common sense goes great with those Common Core Standards.

"I'm gonna get with my teachers and talk to them and see how my son and daughter is doing. That's the most important thing," Peterson underscored.

That is one old fashioned idea that will always work when it comes to your child and your child's education.

If you compare Common Core to the once practiced Core Content, you will find repetition of content from one grade to the next no longer exist. There are specific standards at each grade level that build upon one another.

For the first time there are specific standards for all grade levels, k-12 in literacy and mathematics.

There are mathematical practice standards that are now outlined and implemented k-12.

If you would like more information on the Common Core Standards, click the following links;

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