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Vibrant classrooms demonstrate that the Common Core is alive and well in Manchester

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Even in Manchester, recently famous for voting to create its own standards, the Common Core is deeply rooted.  On the last day of the Union Leader series on the Common Core, Reporter David Solomon reports on a Gossler Park first grade classroom alive with Common Core based learning:

MANCHESTER — The 19 first-graders gathered for reading class with teacher Amy Villeneuve at Gossler Park Elementary School were excited to have visitors and anxious for the reading to begin, but first they had to answer some questions.

“What kind of stories have we been reading?” Villeneuve asked.

“Narratives,” the class replied.

“And what are the three parts of a narrative?”

It took some coaching, but the class soon established that every narrative has to have a beginning, a middle and an end.

“What are some of the words we can use to show beginning, middle and end,” Villeneuve continued.

Hands shot up, with students providing the answers: first, next, then and finally.

And so Villeneuve began to read the story, titled “It’s Mine,” about a pond full of frogs who told a visiting toad to get lost, only to find themselves swamped in a flood and stuck on a rock, which turned out to be the back of the toad.

They agreed to share the pond.

Afterward, each student had to produce what could be considered a first-grade book report, in which they had to say what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story. Some used words; some drew pictures; each took a turn presenting to the class.

If you think first grade is too early to start learning the basic structure of a narrative and applying it in your own writing, think again.

“It’s not education like it used to be,” said Principal Lori Upham, who was observing the class. “They start narrative in kindergarten. It’s much more rigorous.”

read the rest at Manchester opts for own standards.


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