A reader writes:
As an early childhood teacher I saw first hand last year the effects of the Common Core on my pre-k students. The ELA was not so dreadful. It was more or less consistent with what I had been doing. The math was another story. Asking 4 year olds to master addition and subtraction while they were just trying to grasp basic math concepts such as one to one correspondence was stressful; not just for my students, but for me as well. How to make teaching concepts beyond their understanding without stressing everybody out.
That, however, was the least of it. The performance tasks that came with the lessons were not only stressful for teacher and students but it was so incredibly labor intensive as to take away precious instructional time. Time that I might have better used providing opportunities for my students to learn how to share and be kind to each other and maybe recognize the letters in their names.
Instead I had to take 4 children at a time and tell them we were going to play a game although they saw that I had papers and a pencil in front of me so they knew I wasn’t telling the truth, and read a script which would ask children to do addition and subtraction problems while I manipulated little mice or small cubes or counting bears. Some children cried, some refused to respond, and some didn’t mind at all. The accompanying rubric did not allow for children whose experiences may not have been the same as those children attending Sidwell.
In the end, we wasted a ton of time, the data was copied and sent to suits in far away places and i went back to teaching.
We had to do this twice last year. Who knows what this year will bring.
One of my goals is how to give the suits what they want without stressing my students and not taking away from instruction.