How does it impact my children in their classroom and at home?
More than 25,000 Tennessee educators enrolled in the optional trainings offered during summer 2013, and more than 2,500 school and district administrators participated in courses designed by “Leadership Coaches.” Those teachers and administrators have arrived in your schools and classrooms excited and ready to achieve new things. They’ll be communicating with you more. They’ll be challenging your children to think critically, to explore, learn and be inspired to succeed in college or career. You will see students writing more in all of their classes—not just English—and they’ll be challenged to discuss how problems are solved in math and science classes.
A group of Hamilton County teachers was awarded fellowships from the Public Education Foundation and the Texas-based Fund for Teachers, each teacher conducting 6-week explorations that relate to the lessons they’ll be teaching their students. Trey Joyner, a middle-school science teacher, went on a trek across the United States and said, "Every place we're going, every stop, is a direct connection to what we're teaching and learning in the classroom. The idea is for them to go with me, to get them excited about the lab they're about to do." Those students have already explored science, nature and biodiversity on local field trips, and he has plans for more adventures, sharing his lessons as a Leadership Fellow with teachers who learn from those explorations.
Be sure to sign up for the online email, text and contact programs for your child’s class. You’ll see your children reading more at night and using the Internet to conduct research that they will use in the classroom activities. Students will be reading more nonfiction, exploring complex texts and engaging in problem-based learning and critical thinking. If Internet access is an obstacle for your family, Comcast offers programs with reduced rates and a discounted computer.
Is there new testing that will go with the new standards?
Yes, Tennessee students will be using the PARCC (Partnership for Readiness for College and Careers) assessment tool. PARCC is a measurement tool designed to be administered online and will begin during the 2014-2015 school year. This will replace the TCAP tests for math and English language arts.
Assessing students online allows for a reflection of the expectations for college and career and can more authentically assess student performances. Online testing allows for a faster return on information, and enables teachers and administrators to make modifications in the classroom to enhance success.
Are there new resources for me and for my children?
Chattanooga’s Youth and Family Development Centers have Lexia, a new computer-based literacy program available in 13 centers, with 16 expected to be operational by this winter. This effort, led by “Coach” Lurone Jennings, administrator of the new Department of Youth and Family Development, will serve Chattanoogans from pre-K to adult, preparing students to achieve more in school and giving adults access to programs designed to increase career readiness. The Lexia Literacy program will help fill in the gap for literacy learning through extended time in after-school programming. Lexia will bridge children’s interest in technology, providing a structural and productive use of reading through technology, while having fun and coexisting with numerous recreation programs.
The Chattanooga Public Library and the 4th Floor continue to provide innovative programs and services for Chattanooga’s families, encouraging teens to explore technology and learning in ways that can open doors for their future goals and successes.
WTCI, Chattanooga’s community PBS station, offers a wide variety of resources, activities and programs that support families and inspire a lifetime of learning and exploration. PBS LearningMedia.org is the go-to destination for instant access to tens of thousands of classroom-ready, digital resources, including videos, games, audio clips, photos and lesson plans. You can search, save, and share with ease. PBS LearningMedia is free for educators. PBS has been working with the Department of Education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to implement the Ready to Learn activities that support learning and achievement goals for at-risk children from 2-8.
A wealth of games, apps and digital resources are available free online, and WTCI provides events, activities, outreach and resources for local families and teachers. Professional development opportunities for teachers, a Media Lab, TNCode Academy workshops and summer classes and Exploration Wednesday camps for children are just a few of the free programs and resources that help support the goals of Common Core Standards for Chattanooga families.