Also known as Snoozefest2012…
Alternately known as Standards? What Standards?
Yes…You heard me. Standards. But, not just any standards…these are top of the line fabulous standards … and… the best part?
There’s an app for them!
Of course, what I’m talking about is the Common Core State Standards that so many states are going to or have already adopted. According to this site, all but 4 of the US states have adopted the common core standards.
How does this affect me? Good question, and I’m glad you asked. The Common Core State Standards or CCSS. Now granted, this post is probably going to bore the pants off my international readers and those SLPs that work in hospitals. But, for SLPs working in the school systems or private practice, it’s critical. Knowing the expectations of the school system is also important for those individuals who develop and author apps.
For instance, I knew that my state was going to be rolling out CCSS in the near future when I authored Categories Learning Center. While CLC is not driven by CCSS, I did take CCSS into consideration when I was choosing stimuli for the app. For instance, in kindergarten students are expected to “sort common objects into categories to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.” (CCSS K.L.5). By the way, kindergarten students are also expected to know multiple meaning words, shades of meaning/nuances (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance), and use common inflections and affixes (e.g., -ed, -s, re-, un-, pre-, -ful, -less).
I’m not even going to get into the Reading, Writing, and Math standards. Suffice it to say, we are placing more and more demands on our students. As a result, when students fail to reach the standards, we have more students referred for Response to Intervention (RTI), referred for testing for possible learning difficulties, and referred for language testing. Now, don’t get me wrong – I think this is a good thing (well, the referrals anyway). But our workload is going to increase. If schools are failing to meet AYP (or borderline) with the less stringent standards, unless things change drastically it will be difficult to have success with the CCSS.
Because I knew that my state was changing to CCSS in the near future (I thought it was this year, it’s actually next apparently), I started doing some research on the standards and how they are different from what we currently use. I needed to explore how I was going to have to change my goal writing for IEPs.
Currently, our goals are written using the State Standards as dictated by the Department of Public Instruction. We typically use SMART (or something similar) goals when writing for IEPs. For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym:
S = specific
M = measurable
A = Attainable
Basically, “Johnny will increase his use of irregular past tense verbs from 40% accuracy to 90% accuracy in structured writing activities during a 9 week reporting period.” Or something similar. Most of my goals are for a whole year, but I know the SPED teachers sometimes have goals like this. The goal is specifc (what we’re working on), measurable (from 40% to 90% in writing), Attainable (take my word for it), Relevant (being able to use irregular past-tense verbs is important), and timely (during 9 weeks, or a year, or over 3 consecutive sessions, or whatever time element you deem appropriate).
As such, changing over to the CCSS goals weren’t going to be to time consuming for me (I hoped). The biggest problem was going to be adhering to the state standards we have currently in place – and phrasing the goals so they would work for CCSS as well. Our IEP writing system is online, and we’re able to just “drop” the appropriate state standard into the area where it needs to go and then write our goal. But, how was I going to phrase the goals to be universal (and hopefully make a whole lot less work for me in the future!)?
Imagine my pleasure when I found the Common Core Standards APP!!! Yep, you heard me… There’s an app for it! Imagine my surprise when I saw it…and imagine how happy I was to have it at my finger tips! Now I can compare the standards easily.
The App lists the standards by:
Math – Traditional
Math – Integral
Then the standards are broken down by grade K-12. Once you tap on the grade you want, you have choices to make. The standards are broken down by core components: For instance, in the 3rd grade Language standards we have: Reading Literature, Reading Information Text, Reading Functional Skills, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and finally Language. (Is your head spinning yet?)
Here are some screenshots.
As you can see the app is very detailed with the specific standard requirements. This will make it easy to compare/contrast and build my goals so they will work with current standards or CCSS. Needless to say, this little app has been a god-send to me.
I’d love to hear where your state is with Common Core State Standards. Do you foresee more or less work in your future? More or less referrals?
Until then…Adventure on!