George Corous goes after BYOD, Flipping classrooms and student surveys in a thought-provocing post that would make good reading and discussion at your school as you return.
Nice article at edweek about the informational texts versus great works of literature debate and what Common Core will do to lit. The one important, practical issue that all parties to this discussion MUST recognize – the classroom time is FINITE. Teachers would love to cover EVERYTHING but it just isn't practical. So, if one thing is emphasized over another, it may push something out. Unintended consequences are happening as people “align” their curriculum to common core standards. As all of the pundits and advocates argue this, it would be telling to sit down with an actual aligned curriculum to SEE what happens where the standards meet the lesson plans and what is actually pushed out – until then – it is all, rhetoric. Give us practical application, we're teachers, after all. From the edweek article: “Until recently, the closest we'd come to a major speech on the nonfiction-versus-fiction question was a piece in the Huffington Post by the English/language arts standards' co-authors, David Coleman and Sue Pimentel, insisting that literature “is not being left by the wayside.” The message to rally the troops must have gone out, however. Because since the Coleman/Pimentel piece appeared, the common core's defenders have stepped up to counterbalance the literature-pushout crowd. The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation's Kathleen Porter-Magee, for instance, posted a piece arguing that it's a misinterpretation of the standards to say that teachers will have to teach less literature. In a recent email blast, the Foundation for Excellence in Education—led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the common core's biggest backers—declaimed the “misinformation flying around” about what will happen to literature under the common standards. “Contrary to reports,” it said, “classic literature will not be lost with the implementation of the new standards.” A glance at the standards' own suggested text lists, it noted, “reveals that the common core recognizes the importance of balancing great literature and historical nonfiction pieces.””
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