Curriculum is driven by standards. The recent adoption of Common Core State Standards was a move to raise the achievement level of students across the country. Starting in elementary school, Common Core State Standards focuses on delivering rigorous curriculum, comprised of complex reading skills and the ability to solve problems in all situations.
A major focus of the new standards is answering the question "WHY". Peer collaboration, viewing mistakes as learning points rather than failures, and high expectations for all learners are part of the Common Core philosophy. Parents are encouraged to question their child after daily reading to check for reading comprehension. Ask your student for an explanation of what was read and stay away from questions that call for a simple yes or no answer. After reading text, students are required to prove opinions by referring back to the text and stating examples written by the author.
The math goal is for students to gain mathematical understanding and to be able to explain rules of math. Practice with giving a rational for the chosen method is encouraged. One of the shifts in math is the introduction
of 8 math practices. Each year the same practices are applied and practiced, only with change in difficulty.