You hear a lot in Common Core schools about the teacher as coach or facilitator, a concept that is probably worrisome to some who are skeptical of the new standards. This report from Florida is a good snapshot of the noisy, interactive approach to teaching:
Two boys talked about essay structure across the room. One showed how to write about an idea based on what they’ve read.
Supporting ideas with evidence from a text is a central pillar of the Common Core language arts standards.
“And that’s your claim, which is your topic sentence,” he said, pointing to the essay. “This is your thesis, the central claim.”
Norris bounced from group to group. Her timing was good – often stepping in just as student classwork focus headed sideways.
Norris says giving students more control over their learning is a key component of Common Core. The standards outline what students should know at the end of each grade. But they also emphasize a package of teaching techniques – such as students working in small and large groups.
She plans the lessons. But it’s up to students to question, challenge and prod each other toward the goal written on the classroom whiteboard.