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Monday, January 26, 2015

Plea to Governor Deal today

Today, some parents and concerned groups are writing to Governor Deal to ask him to repeal the Common Core standards in Georgia. The following is my letter. Common Core is having a negative impact on Georgia's children, on my children. The standards are pushing children to learn in developmentally inappropriate ways, which is leading to student stress and parent frustration. I can see this daily, especially in my 7 year old.


January 26, 2015

Governor Deal:

This letter is to ask you to get the Common Core out of Georgia.
I’ve been struggling with my second grader the bulk of the school year due to the new standards that have been implemented this year. While I don’t oppose rigor, I do oppose federal interference in education and abject stupidity.

During the 7 weeks prior to the winter break, my 7 year old had to endure being taught to regurgitate 5 ways to add and 5 ways to subtract. She has been adding and subtracting for several years, and she’s been successful with it until the confusion of the common core “strategies” entered the picture. This was not rigor. Instead it was rigid: she was not allowed to be successful in one method that worked for her. She was forced to memorize and then regurgitate each method. This is developmentally inappropriate for a 7 year old!


Now that she has started to learn measuring, I thought we were over the hump, so to speak. I was wrong. Now, as she is learning how to measure and use addition and subtraction with this new skill, algebra has been introduced. On page 10 of 93 of the Georgia frameworks for Unit 3, this is the following statement: “Students add and subtract within a 100 to solve problems for these situations: adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart and comparing, and with unknowns in all positions” (https://www.georgiastandards.org/Common-Core/Common%20Core%20Frameworks/CCGPS_Math_2_Unit3Framework.pdf). Working with algebra as in unknowns is not developmentally appropriate until at least the 4th grade at age 9.
During this same unit where 2nd graders are introduced to algebra, my entire second grader’s class is studying the book Charlotte’s Web. While this is a wonderful book, it is a 4th grade book according to the Renaissance Learning program used by the school district for the accelerated reader program (http://www.renaissance.com/store/quiz_home.asp?cmd=specific&i=18654&root=TITLE&ftextoption=allwords&y=charlotte%27s+web&q=charlotte%27s+web&x=10&w=1&autoscroll=NO&quiztype=ALL&RPMatch=). Most children are barred from using a book this high above their grade level when attempting to take an accelerated reader test, but this class is testing on the text, testing on spelling words, and testing on vocabulary words from a 4th grade text. This is developmentally inappropriate.

You can see evidence that the Georgia Department of Education recommends 4th grade books for 2nd graders here: https://www.georgiastandards.org/Common-Core/Pages/TextComplexityRubrics.aspx. For example, the Awesome Atlanta Mystery is suggested for 2nd grade while the book level is recommended for 4th grade.
The Common Core State Standards dictate the Georgia Standards. Georgia’s standards dictate the curriculum, and the curriculum dictates the lesson plans. This is a linked chain that cannot be broken. Teachers hands are tied to this chain. Again, I do not oppose rigor. The Common Core standards equals federal interference in Georgia’s schools, and especially for the lower grade levels, these standards are developmentally wrong for our children. Break away from these standards and get Common Core out of Georgia.

Thank you,

Paula

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Aska Trails: Flat Creek Loop

We hiked in the Blue Ridge Mountains last weekend, and it was beautiful. The girls did great and only complained about hurting legs a dozen times in about 6 miles!

Link to pictures: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QYs3Ldo5aqIi4.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Amicalola Falls

We hiked Amicalola Falls this past weekend! We had a great time, and my legs still hurt from the 1,000+ stairs we climbed. The Falls were beautiful!

This is the link to the pictures: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QYs3Ldo5aqIgw.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pictures of Emma Rose's 8th Birthday Party!

Emma Rose had a great time at her 8th birthday party! I still cannot believe that she is 8 now.

This is the link to the pictures: share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QYs3Ldo5aqIR4. Please be warned there are more than 100, so grab a cup of coffee before you start. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin with Emma Rose's class

Today, I went in to Rosie's class to help them with a pumpkin. I found this awesome idea on Martha Stewart's web site and made it match Mrs. Scharich's class theme: Scharich's Stampede.

We made a Funkin Carousel with horses! (A funkin is a fake pumpkin. I just learned this term this week.) The students helped with painting, a little with hot gluing, and stuffing the bottom of the carousel. A tiny electric light will be placed in the middle of the horses. There is a competition at the Fall Festival this weekend for best pumpkin, and the pumpkins will also be auctioned off. I'm keeping my competitive fingers crossed!

Emma Rose has the cutest class this year, and I am so happy that I get to go in to help with projects!

Saturday, September 22, 2012