Monday, September 10, 2012

Having Fun with Common Core: Thank Goodness for Common Core

Yup, that’s right. I’m delighted by the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts. Why? Because it puts the spotlight on nonfiction. Finally.

As educators know, many kids prefer reading nonfiction. But if that’s not enough of a reason to put more emphasis on nonfiction, then here’s one that’s hard to resist. Studies show that students with more experience reading and writing nonfiction perform better on assessment tests.

Now I’m not a fan of assessment tests. In fact, I’m dead set against them. But as long as they exist—and it seems like they aren’t going anywhere soon—we might as well encourage kids to engage in activities that will improve their performance. Plus, I’d like to remind you of my first reason—many kids prefer reading nonfiction.

But let’s face it, standards are stodgy. They’re just no fun to read. They’re chock full of educational jargon and passive verbs. Bleck!

But don’t let that get you down. What I’m going to show you is that implementing the CCSS can be fun. That’s right, FUN! All it takes is some great books and some creative ideas.

That’s what you’ll find in spades on my Monday blog strand this year. So pull out your pencils and get ready to take notes.

Addressing the new standards in your classroom is a lot easier than you think. I promise.


  1. Pencil's ready - I'll be checking in every Monday. What an awesome idea for your Monday posts! I love it.

  2. Fantastic. I am looking forward to this series, Melissa. I did get a good chuckle over your statement that many kids prefer nonfiction. I just checked out some early chapter book fiction for my kindergartener (Mrs. Noodlekugel). He has requested a return to the leveled reader nonfiction, which he prefers, as well as perusing DK-type nonfiction books. Incidentally, I am still using your fabulous tips on a couple of MSS I'm working on. I hope they'll be ready to go in a month or so.