Sprinkle Teaching Magic's Book Review: Pathways to Common Core
You may recognize one or more of the authors. Their expertise lends credence to the assertions and suggestions provided in this book.
Pathways to Common Core gives educators a practical blue print to launch CCSS. The first 21 pages offers an authors’ introduction to CCSS, which is clear and concise. We are reminded in this introduction that the CCSS document explicitly says, “the Standards define what all students are expected to know and be able to do, not how teachers should teach” (2010a,6) The authors highlight key CCSS guidelines, such as cross-curricular literacy, respecting the professional judgment of classroom teacher, and stressing the importance of critical citizenship. The introduction also includes a helpful three step implementation process for a district to use to launch CCSS, which will not break the bank and give teachers essential support.
Speaking and listening standards can be found in chapter ten. Put simply, the skills that students will practice are 1) talking together to understand texts and 2) students making oral presentations. A major shift for many classrooms is emphasized----- a requirement that students “make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information...”p. 167 The suggestions about teaching vocabulary and grammar will also start a rich discussion with your colleagues.
In the comments below let me know how you are feeling about Common Core? Will you consider reading this book? Do you have another book that has been helpful? How is your district getting ready for Common Core?