Showing posts with label Common Core Standards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Common Core Standards. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Climate Change Neglect in Education

Much of the curriculum in schools is silent on climate change, as the New York Times reports. The article about addressing the issue in education, especially middle school,  states that there are more articles online that misinform about the topic than cover it accurately. 

Teaching students to search for reliable information on the topic should look for search terms in Google that will lead them to accurate scientific information. While the article states the importance of teaching this topic to the next generation, it sidesteps how teachers can find accurate information about climate change.

Students, parents and teachers can investigate the reputable information about the topic with one simple set of search parameters on Google. The keywords are as follows:

NOAA climate change

It's a travesty that The Times' goals don't include informing people about NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration in its article about climate change. The article mentions the dire need for middle schoolers' education include more curriculum on climate change and that the NGSS, which is true, as the parties interested in this topic will find few resources connecting climate change to the NGSS standards. The climate change units that educators can find is useful, but doesn't cover the issue in depth.

It's true that the science standards do not cover the topic directly and The Times is not the first publication to note that. The facts about the lack of sources for climate change are described in detail in the Brock Education Journal article titled The Implementation of NGSS standards and the Tumultuous Fight to Implement Climate Change Awareness in Science Curricula. Even this academic article does not address how students and teachers fan find reputable sources on climate change.

I plea with the mainstream media that if they are going to write about the issue of education and climate change that they include how to access reputable resources where educators and students can find accurate information. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Are Syllogisms a Missing Part of Common Core?

Some educators have rejected Common Core based on its lack of critical thinking with regards to an argument (see links below). 

Syllogisms help you to find out if an argument you have created for an essay is logical. Understanding them is tough. Seeing examples of them in color coded text reveals that there is a pattern you can set up to come up with a conclusion from two claims.

You can use the following examples to develop a syllogism for your paper.

An example of a syllogism is:
Claim 1:  All mammals are warm-blooded animals.
Claim 2: Warm blooded animals have a constant body temperature.
such as whales have a constant body temperature.

Logical Syllogisms

Syllogisms check to see if your argument in valid.

Let's take a look at the following logical syllogism:

An example of a syllogism is California is a state;
All states have unique elected governments.
has a unique elected government. 

Let's take a look at two claims about fighting ISIS in order to make them a logical syllogism by color-coding the three variables your working with:

Claim 1--The United States has no reason to attack ISIS.
Claim 2--Attacking ISIS is not a solution to defeating them.
Conclusion--The United States does not have a solution to defeating ISIS.

Now, note that here there is a pattern (color coded) that shows it's easy to figure out a conclusion to a syllogism, after which one should check to see if it makes sense, that is isn't a fallacy.

While the above conclusion is effective (doesn't contain any fallacy) in that it addresses the problem, it does not offer any solutions.

In this case, one had to name not only the available solutions that have been made public, but also the feedback about them by other experts.

Illogical Syllogisms

Let's take a look at the following claims for an argument about public school access in rural areas in order to make them a logical syllogism by color-coding the three variables your working with:

Claim 1--Struggling to get to school is a problem for students in rural areas.  
Claim 2- Alpine County,  California is a designated rural area (Rural California, n.d.).
Conclusion--Struggling to get to school is a problem in a designated rural area.

The above syllogism might not be valid. You would have to research several designated rural areas to see if they any of the students live near the school.

If some students in Alpine County and other rural counties in the U.S. do live near a school, you have to change the wording of the syllogism. Consider what word would one have to add to the first claim to show that it's not an absolute statement (applicable to everyone)?

Rural California. (n.d.) Retrieved from

Two articles one might find of interest regarding syllogisms and Common Core are: 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fourth Grade Close Reading Lesson Plan

Title: Close Reading of Informational Text


RI4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explicitly explaining text and when drawing inferences
RI4.2: Determine the main idea from text and explain how it's supported by key details; summarize text
RI4.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in the text
RI4.5: Deseribe the overall structure of information in a text (chronological, compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution)

Learning Target

Students will determine the theme or main idea of the text by summarizing gist of article as demonstrated by participation in a close reading activity.


Materials: Paper, pencils, post-it notes for students, poster paper, markers for teacher, ELMO

Engagement Strategies

Students will read informational article
Students will annotate article
Students will pair share with left/right partners


1. Teacher shares that class will be completing a close reading selection in order to help them understand what they are reading and be able to ask questions about it (setting the purpose). He will also introduce the title (and author) of reading selection. Tiger Tale  or

2. Teacher refers to learning target above.
3. Teacher instructs students to read article to get familiar with it.
4. Teacher allows five minutes for students to red the article. Teacher observes students by circulating around the room.
5. Teacher explains the pair/share grouping with their A/B partners to discuss the main idea of the article with four details. Check for understanding by questioning.
6. Teacher initiates discussion to get students motivated to talk about reading selection. Students follow, speaking when called upon using fairness cards.
7. Teacher announces that student will read the selection one more time, but in a different way, so they can remember the important points of the reading. Teacher instructs and models to students how to annotate by thinking aloud when writing on the selection under the Elmo, demonstrating a few annotations (one key detail, one confusing word and one question) he would make.
8. Students read the selection once more but this time with a pencil, annotating (making notes) on their article by writing on it. These annotations are required to include one key detail, one confusing word and one question about the reading selection. The teacher will repeat the directions and ask questions to check for understanding, then students will read for 6 min.
9. After allotted time, teacher instructs students to pair-share with their table partners what they wrote down.
10. Teacher instructs in learning strategies context/dictionary/oral for defining unknown words.
11. Teacher uses fairness cards to ask students to share their key details, confusing words or phrases and unanswered questions with the class. Teacher writes down a few examples of each while students share their findings.
12. Teachers defines author's purpose and reading selection organization (chronological, compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem solution)
13. Teacher instructs students to do a third reading in which students search for the author's purpose and determine text structure.
14. Teacher allots five minutes for students for students to "dig deeper" by finding the reading selection's purpose and organization. Teacher circulates around room for informal observation.
15. Teacher instructs students to pair-share with left/right partner or table what the author's purpose and text structure is for the article.
16. Teacher uses fairness cards to ask students to share what their partner/group has discussed and writes down each students response to come up with a general statement about purpose and organization.
17. Teacher reviews how to make text-to-self and text-to-world connections by thinking aloud to model each connection from article.
18. Students are directed to read article one more time to make text to self and text to world connections.
19. Teacher instructs students to pair-share with their right/left partners their connections.
20. Teacher uses fairness sticks to have students share their connections with class. Teacher writes connections on white board.


Teacher asks class to hold up fingers to rate their opinions of the article, using a rubric scale of 1-4, with four being very good.


Repeat lesson with new article, allowing for more guided and independent practice. Mini lessons on context clues, text structure, main idea and details.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Get Paid for Your Lesson Plans

You can get paid for your lesson plans, workbooks, thematic units and graphic organizers/thinking maps at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Registration is quick and easy, taking only about 10 minutes to complete, which includes uploading a "selfie" and giving some details about your education and experience.

Teaching materials are inexpensive and you can pay via paypal.

Submit your teaching materials and get paid for all that work on your lesson plans. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Common Core Nonfiction--Hurricanes, Tornados and Tropical Storms

As you might have heard the emphasis of common core is nonfiction, that is the standards address the fact that students will be reading more nonfiction titles than fiction ones.

A popular and relevant nonfiction topic would be hurricanes and tornadoes--popular because the topic is one that generates a high interest level among students and relevant because of the increased activity of these storms in the United States. The conversation is bound to come up whether you are covering them in the curriculum or not. A lesson about these storms is a must.

The first consideration you will want to keep in mind is why these two types of storms are paired together. When students learn about hurricanes and tornadoes at the same time, they get the opportunity to compare and contrast these two types of tumultuous weather events that subtly contrast each other at the same time as having many characteristics in common.

From there, students will have the opportunity to write a compare/contrast essay, an essential skill they'll need when they graduate from high school, and that's what the Common Core are all about--preparing students for the future whether it be a career or college.

When students finish reading a selection about this topic, say, for instance, Tornados and Hurricanes (Cy Armour, 2011, Time for Kids) they can complete a double bubble thinking map (Venn diagram) as the first step of the writing process. Three more lessons can follow: writing an outline, writing the rough draft from an outline, revising and editing.