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Understanding the Common Core State Standards and How Students Can Master Them

By Jim Wheelin Subscribe to RSS | December 6th 2011 | Views:

Elementary curriculums may vary based on the school and teaching approach of the classroom, but there are Common Core State Standards that must be met within each grade. These standards provide parents and educators with a clear understanding of what children are expected to learn and when. In order to make these standards a reflection of what is practiced in the real world, the standards focus on specific sets of skills that are essential for academic success, as well as success in college and careers. 

Teachers and parents have placed some concern on using standards to measure the proficiency of students, as not all students learn in the same way. Fortunately, the integration of adaptive learning has helped educators reach out to the various learning styles within a classroom and help all students, despite their abilities, learn the Common Core State Standards that are put in place for American children. 

Adaptive learning programs rely on various tools and intervention methods that cater to all learning styles and help students to reach success on their own timeline. When using learning aids within an adaptive learning program, it’s ideal that the tools match up with these common core standards. Virtual manipulatives such as online games and puzzles are popular learning aids that are being implemented into many classrooms across the country. Choosing games that align with the common core standards is an excellent way to create a rich learning environment that fosters foundational learning.

Adaptive learning tools are designed to help students grasp mathematical concepts in a way that complements their learning style, while creating a rewarding and fun environment. The games track the progress of each student, which in turn is monitored by the teacher. In one easy format, teachers can get an at-a-glance look of how the students are progressing. For students that face continual challenges, teachers can step in and offer intervention that will prevent the students from falling behind. 

In order to efficiently track the progress of the students, the program should match up with some type of learning standards. If the adaptive learning program aligns with the Common Core State Standards, the program will explicitly state this in its overview. Since these standards are adopted by many states across America, they serve as an accurate point of reference that indicates where students should be falling. Kindergarteners for example, should be focusing on such skills counting, telling the number of objects and comparing numbers. The skills progress with each grade level, covering algebraic thinking, geometry and measurements. 

To make adaptive learning programs even more beneficial in the classroom, the progress reports are done in real-time. Teachers can monitor how their students are doing, while reaching out to those who require additional help with a particular concept. Students won’t move along to the next level until they have successfully grasped the concepts within the current lesson. This prevents students from being lost in arithmetic and allows parents and educators to target specific weaknesses. Virtual games and puzzles can be completed independently or in small groups. 

The common core standards that many states have adopted focus on the fundamental building blocks of a successful academic career. These standards are essential to master and offer much variation so that all students can grasp the concepts and apply them in the real world. As more states use these standards as the basis for their elementary curriculum, adaptive learning programs will fall in sync with these standards and work toward the same outcome for students.

Jim Wheelin - About Author:
Jim Wheelin writes about many different educational topics for parents and kids. Jim is always keeping an eye out for the latest teaching techniques and tools to stay informed of the Common Core State Standards requirements. He also likes to test out different educational resources including

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