Five ways parents can support Common Core learning at home
By Tyler on September 19th, 2012
This is one in a series of posts examining the Common Core State Standards and the conversation surrounding their impact on teaching and learning.
The Common Core State Standards are top-of-mind for most educators these days — with many of them getting additional training and immersing themselves in some of the key shifts they call for.
But for parents at home who aren’t as steeped in standards and curriculum and pedagogy, what can you do to support Common Core learning at home?
One of our in-house experts, Patrick Daley, who develops programs like XBOOKS and On the Record to help schools fill Common Core gaps, recently offered some tips for what parents can do at home to help their children get ready for the higher demands of the Common Core:
Talk about books, especially the great ones! The Common Core says children need to read “books worth reading.” We all know that reading ANYTHING is great for kids, but they should be exposed to great writers and challenging content too. Lead by example!
Ask your children questions about what they’re reading. One of the key shifts with the Common Core is its requirement that students (both orally and in writing) cite evidence from the texts they are reading to make an argument. Try asking questions that require your kids to talk about the content of the books they’re reading – like having them give examples for why a favorite character was heroic or clever or forgiving.
Push your kids to read non-fiction. Reading fiction is still a critical and wonderful part of learning to read, but the Common Core elevates the importance of non-fiction, or “informational text,” as the authors of the standards call it. Does your son love gross bugs? Get him a book about cockroach infestations and let him dig deep into a topic that interest him. You might have a future scientist in your house!
Encourage your kids to write, write, write. The Common Core standards emphasize the important link between reading and writing – and writing to persuade by citing evidence is a key 21st Century skill. Encourage your children to keep a journal or blog, or write a letter or e-mail to a favorite author.
“Talk math” with your kids. The Common Core requires students to learn important math “reasoning” skills in addition to learning their multiplication tables and memorizing formulas. Great math teachers learn to talk through math problems with students. Parents: Try talking to your kids about mathematical practices they use everyday. Have them estimate time and distance, compare the value of products in a store, or calculate the tip when you’re out to dinner.
Teachers/parents: Can you offer any other tips that might be helpful?
(Flickr photo by jaaronfarr)