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CDE Common Core Standards

Five tips to help you support the Common Core at home

from Patrick Daley, Senior Vice President & Publisher, Scholastic Classroom & Community Group


1.  Talk about books, especially the great ones.

The Common Core says that children need to read "books worth reading".  We all know that reading ANYTHING is great for kids, but they should be exposed to great writers and challenging content, too.  Lead by example!

2.  Ask your children questions about what they're reading.

One of the key shifts with the Common Core is its requirement that students (both orally and in writing) cite evidence from the texts they're reading to make an argument.  Try asking questions that require your kids to talk about the content of the books they're reading.  For example, have them give reasons why a favorite character was heroic or clever or forgiving.

3.  Push your kids to read nonfiction.

Reading fiction is still a critical and wonderful part of learning to read, but the Common Core elevates the importance of nonfiction, or "informational text," as the authors of the standards call it.  Does your son love gross bugs?  Get him a book about cockroach infestations and let him dig deep into a topic that interests him.  You might have a future scientist in your house!

4.  Encourage your kids to write, write, write.

The Common Core State Standards emphasize the fundamental link between reading and writing.  Writing to persuade by citing evidence is a key 21st century skill.  Encourage your children to keep a journal or blog, or write a letter or an email to a favorite author.

5.  Talk math with your kids.

The Common Core requires students to learn important math "reasoning" skills in addition to learning their multiplication tables and memorizing formulas.  Parents:  Try talking to your kids about mathematical practices they use every day.  Have them estimate time and distance, compare the value of products in a store, or calculate the tip.