Welcome Back to the Future: Meeting the Needs of Common Core

October 7, 2014 Margo Ensz

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Charlie Brown’s teacher in the Peanuts comic strip is always represented with the phrase “Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah.” Even when Charlie answers, her retort is still the same. For many years we had a “sit-and-get” environment, teacher speak/student listen, drill and kill, skills-based learning for the knowledge and comprehension of the learning.

Meeting the goal of 60% student engagement in the classroom for Common Core seems daunting, and many teachers are fearful of the Common Core approach. I am a teacher of the 70’s and 80’s. We taught the learning by embedding the skills and comprehension into the instruction through:

  • Concept development
  • Problem-based learning activities and simulations
  • Inquiry method using Junior Great Books
  • Requiring students to explain and demonstrate understanding of the critical details of what was learned
  • Puzzles that made students analyze the features of the project to formulate the correct responses
  • Show don’t tell method
  • Taxonomy levels of learning
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