Monday, November 24, 2014

How To Bring Students' Real Needs Into the Classroom

It may seem on the surface that this week's blog post does not directly connect to mathematics education, but I would argue that it does. Although all three of the following articles have the underlying theme of understanding students' non-academic needs, they link these needs to student learning and Common Core State Standards.  These resources focus on the importance of collecting input from students and serving the 'whole' child.

Our first article has been referred to a lot throughout Massachusetts over the past week.  There is a buzz about the connection between social emotional learning and Common Core. Social Emotional Skills Can Boost Common Core Implementation highlights 5 social emotional learning skills that  students need to develop in order to succeed in college and beyond.  I urge you to read this article by Maurice J. Elias and to consider explicitly teaching social emotional skills in conjunction with the Common Core State Standards.

Our next resource follows chief academic officer, Jenna Ogudipe through her own struggle of connecting equity and the Common Core State Standards. She recognizes that these two foci may be perceived as completely unrelated, but has linked them together in At the Crossroad of Equity and Common Core by shifting her our mindset.

I recently came across a fantastic KQED article that explicitly addresses race and cultural competency as a factor in student learning.  It speaks to students' desire to feel that their teachers know who they are on an individual basis and provides 6 practical tips on how to address race issues in the classroom.  Facing Race Issues In the Classroom: How To Connect With Students acknowledges the achievement gap and offers ways to combat the distressing trend.

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