Academic journal article Language Arts

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades preK-2

Academic journal article Language Arts

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades preK-2

Article excerpt

Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades preK-2 by Susi Long, with William Hutchinson and Justine Neiderhiser, NCTE, 2011, 136 pp., ISBN 978-0-8141-4940-9

Unlike the authors of some books about the Common Core State Standards, Long, Hutchinson, and Neiderhiser take the broadminded stance of "protecting the role of teacher as wise and knowledgeable decision maker" (p. vii). Instead of encouraging teachers to accept new mandates and "CCSS aligned curriculum" (since the CCSS clearly states it is not a curriculum), the authors respect teaching as an art that should start with the child.

The book is written for teachers "deeply committed to their students and their literacy learning" (p. 2) as well as for administrators and policy makers. Part I examines the CCSS; Part II showcases teachers, students, and families meeting the CCSS through culturally responsive teaching; and Part III views the Standards in relation to the bigger picture. Readers of this book will see guiding principles woven throughout the text, which include: starting with the child; developing caring relationships; and practicing culturally responsive teaching. The authors stress the importance of demystifying the Standards. Instead of viewing them as a novel, intimidating set of mandates, they argue we should see them as what teachers already do on a daily basis in their classrooms.

The vignettes in Part II give the reader a snapshot of what effective, purposeful teaching looks like and how it aligns with the CCSS. …

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