EdWatch: Breaking down Common Core

By Amy Cherry 7:38am, August 13, 2014
Hundreds of teachers get valuable training in Common Core before heading back into the classroom.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Kyle Travis says Common Core has been a blessing in a disguise. He teaches at Positive Outcomes Charter in Camden.

"Now, with Common Core, we'll be able to tell which are academic troubles versus which are material that hasn't been introduced yet to these kids," said Travis.

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He's one of 275 teachers attending two days of Common Core professional development from the Delaware Charter Schools Network (DSCN) and the Consortium on Reaching Excellence in Education.

Travis plans to take the so-called "popsicle stick" method back to his classroom, where kids write their names on sticks drawn from a cup to answer questions instead of waving their hands in the air.

"Calling on the kids that don't participate more to get them more engaged," said Travis.

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Travis says he also plans to give kids an inside look at his job.

"Showing the kids the steps that we, as math teachers, don't realize we're doing and kind of going back and breaking down that process for them," said Travis.

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Joanna Cobble, a teacher at Providence Creek Academy in Clayton, plans to give her students a stronger desire to want to read.

"Coming up with questions, circling key points and ideas and really getting the students engaged in the reading versus me reading to you and you telling me what you just learned," said Cobble.

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Ronald Shaw, with Positive Outcomes Charter, learned simply from collaborating with other teachers on how to make his students more critical thinkers.

"If I can take some of them and impart it to my students after we get started in late August, I think we'll be more successful this coming year," said Shaw.

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This is exactly what DCSN executive Director Kendall Massette hoped would happen.

"My hope is that they meet other teachers across the state that are doing what they do for kids every day, that they have a group that they can call on that they can kind of talk to and talk through the challenges and the wonderful things that are happening in their classroom and have a group that they can truly count on to help them help more kids," she said.

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