The Common Core- What are They?

By now, you have heard people talking about “The Common Core” (often referred to as the “Core”) so I thought it was time for Math at Home to explore The Core and get to the center of it (It’s not often that I can rhyme and use a pun all in one sentence).

According to the Core Standards website:

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.

The standards are designed for children in K-12 and as of today’s date, 45 of the United States (Illinois included), 4 territories and the District of Columba have adopted the Core as  the newest means of delineating what children should be learning, what they need to know, and ways of assessing whether or not this learning is happening.

What does this mean for Home Child Care Providers, Preschool Teachers, and Infant and Toddler Specialists? For starters, the early childhood years are still defined as 0-8, so the Core includes the K-3 grades, which are clearly still in our wheelhouse.  Since Early Childhood Educators have studied education and development through age 8, we have a vested interest in closely examining the Core for developmental appropriateness since it is us who will be preparing the youngest children to eventually live out the Core in their school years.

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to unpack the Mathematics Standards for kindergarten in the Core.  This will provide us with the much-needed background to think about the mathematics education we are providing to our children in order to ready them for kindergarten.

In the meantime, NAEYC has prepared a statement about the Core entitled, “The Common Core State Standards: Caution and Opportunity for Early Childhood Education”.  Take a look at what it means to us through the eyes of NAEYC.

Reference for the Core:

Authors: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers

Title: Common Core State Standards (insert specific content area if you are using only one)

Publisher: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington D.C.

Copyright Date: 2010

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