Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Common Core update

One more thing I should have involved in the dissection. Common refers to having common standards. Core refers to the basic core subjects of reading, writing and math. Therefore, you have the name Common Core.

Dissecting Common Core and Mormonism

Well that is an interesting title!
I am going to go out on a strange tangent and compare the common core debate with anti Mormonism. For those of you who don't know, I am a Mormon.
It is one of my pet peeves that people do not look to a Mormon, The Book of Mormon, or any other Mormon literature to find out what Mormons believe. They assume they are correct when they read Anti Mormon literature and that is that. They think it is all true and they don't listen to what I have to say about what parts are true and what parts are false.
Well the same is happening for the Common Core. This also hits close to home because, for those of you who don't know, I am a teacher.
First of all, I must admit, I was subject to believing the anti stuff so if you have believed it, then do not feel bad, just start researching it on the positive side from now on. 
In order to better understand Common Core, one must first be able to distinguish between Standards and curriculum.
Standards- are the Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for each grade level.These are different from state to state.  These standards were in place when I was in college and is what I have been using to guide me in my teaching ever since I graduated from college. GLEs were the stepping stones I used to make sure I was grading and giving assignments accurately. These standards  did not in any way limit what I taught in the classroom. As long as I was teaching what I was required to teach, I was good. These have been in place for years already.
Curriculum- are the books, workbooks, and worksheets that the district uses. Teachers may use this to assign assignments. There is not enough time in a school year to teach all the curriculum. As long as you meet the standards, you are good. The district also aligns the curriculum to the standards to help teachers be able to pick and choose what is the most important.  This is also where assignments come from.
Common Core- are the minimum standards for READING, WRITING, and MATH! These are the same from state to state. The purpose in adopting the Common Core is  to help raise the bar. College Professors were complaining that "college ready" students were not actually ready for college because either they moved around a lot or their state has lower standards than the others. Common Core is saying states need to have these standards in place to help students achieve success. Common Core does NOT include Sex Education or social studies standards. It does in later grades include some sex related topics for reading. ( This is in 11th grade and I remember doing this when I was in 11th grade. I got a waiver signed by my mom and went to the library for the day. I was excused from the assignments.) And there are standards for reading and understanding literature and vocabulary for Social Studies, however it says nothing about the 2nd amendment being taken away or reworded.
Therefore things have not changed. The education system is just getting better. It is filling those gaps we have in the education system. It is improving it. We gripe and complain about students not learning in school. Well, this is part of the answer on how that is going to get fixed. This is replacing the GLEs. Which many people didn't even know existed.
OOOOOO! and don't let me forget that Common Core does not take away a teacher's authority to teach how s/he wants or where or when. The teacher is still in control of their own teaching. 
There is a lot of controversy over the 2nd amendment. I am an NRA member and proud of it. The assignment given to the student that has been posted on facebook was just an assignment. It has been wrongfully labeled as Common Core.

Let me share with you a story about a student of mine.
He came to me about mid way through the year. He was placed in my advanced math class. So, I decided to push him a little harder to challenge him. I gave him 4th grade homework. He failed it. It wasn't just one assignment, it was several. So you can't say it was the day. I talked with his mom. She stated he did 4th grade work in his old school in 2nd grade! Then how on earth is he failing it now a year later? If anything he should be doing 5th grade work now not advanced 3rd!
Well I have an explanation. The state he came from, has lower standards than Alaska. Common Core was not put in place yet. WOW! If Common Core was put in place and Mom said he was doing 4th grade work this would have saved me the headache in trying to figure out why he was failing something that should have been easy for him.
The reason Alaska has not adopted the Common Core standards is because we thought they are too easy. We are going to be using them but we have to call them our own Alaska Common Core standards because we added other things to them on top of what is already in the Common Core.
Just remember that assignments, books and worksheets along with reading lists, are not part of the Common Core. Curriculum is to blame and please remember that curriculum can be picked from any company. Also, curriculum is picked by the district and its teachers. It will be different from state to state and district to district as it always has been!
My co-worker, Donna Keopuhiwa, stated that "Common Core is to help teachers from any state communicate with one another in the same education language because teachers and students need consistency across the nation."
Thank you for reading and I hope I answered your questions or concerns. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Run From the Cops!

Well, I haven't posted in a while. Maybe that is an understatement! hehe
I started training for my annual Run From the Cops, a couple weeks ago. So far, I am doing horrible.
Last year, if I remember correctly, I ran 3.1 miles in about 33 minutes. That is not bad at all.
This time around I am shooting for 3.1 miles in 28 minutes. Well tonight I went for a run and ran 3.1 miles in 40 minutes. That means I have at least 12 minutes to get rid of. YIKES! So I admit it. I have not been running like I should throughout the winter.
Things are looking up. the snow is melting and I got out the bicycle last night. Sally was happy about that.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Cholesterol and My Gallbladder

I have low cholesterol. I mean the low total, good and the bad. All of it. Not just the good like most people. Lucky me. It is genetic. It runs in my family. Although not all of my relatives have it, there are a few of us that do.
So, for those of you that don't know, cholesterol when too high or too low causes hormone imbalance, and depression and anxiety as well for it being too low.With this knowledge, I knew and doctors knew I needed to bring it up. So, that's what I did. I ate some type of fat at every meal. Usually coconut (oil, shredded or butter) but sometimes I had bacon and I am not talking about a serving of bacon. I am talking I ate the whole package of bacon in one sitting. These are my two favorites. Well, I started having stomach issues. After a blood test, it was confirmed that my cholesterol couldn't get any better. It was exactly where it was supposed to be. It is the best it has ever been. It is one of the best I have ever heard of. I was excited to hear the news. However, the bad news is my gallbladder can't keep up with the fat I eat. So, I have to choose, feel sick and eat fat and have normal hormones, or feel good and have bad hormones. Apparently I can't have both.
Just in case you were wondering here are my numbers...
bad cholesterol mine:89  normal reference range less than 130.
good cholesterol mine: 64!!! normal reference range greater than 46.
total cholesterol mine: 162 normal reference range I can't remember the low end number but the high end number is like 200. I was right around the middle between the two numbers.

Well, school is around the corner. I have enjoyed my summer.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Ate Pancakes with a Spoon

I tried another Paleo recipe. This one called for eggs, which I am allergic to. So I substituted with one of my favorite substitutes. Unfortunately, this did not work too well and even after the batter was burning, it never formed into a pancake. Do I removed it from the skillet and ate it with a spoon.
Despite it being more like soup, it did taste good. Next time I will try a different egg substitute.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Is it our Dinner? Or is it the Dog's Dinner?

I bought a new cookbook for the Paleo diet. I was looking through it and saw something that looked like I would feed it to my dog. yes, marrow bones. I never knew that we could eat any of it. I thought it was all grissel and bone. I never once thought people would cook it and eat it. So I decided to give it a try. Oh, I do not know how I ever survived without eating this all my life. It was wonderful. Now, I must warn you, Jim absolutely thought it was disgusting. So, I take it not everyone likes them. It did gross me out at first. I mean it is the leg of the cow. But then I started thinking, we eat all the other parts too.
Apparently these are supposed to be really healthy. They are really high in good fat.
They are really easy to make too. Open the package, put them in a baking dish, set oven to 450 degrees, sprinkle with salt and pepper and garlic (optional) I put mine on after it cooked, and let it cook for 30 minutes.
One other thing I thought was funny, the cashier, who just happens to be one of my best friends, said while she was ringing everything up, "Oh, Sally gets a treat!"
Me: "No those are for dinner.
Cashier: "you're going to cook them right?"
I just thought it was funny. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Call Me Addicted!

I just signed up for my second 5k. It will be this weekend in North Pole.