Question Detail

Will 9th grade students being exposed to the Common Core for the first time (this year) be able to meet the standards given that they have had the less rigorous state standards (MO) throughout their education?

Jul 8, 2014 3:34pm

I am a brand new teacher and have been hired for a position teaching mostly Language Arts I, which is a 9th grade course. I will also be teaching Creative Writing and Innovative Reading, which are electives. My concern is that the students are going to be expected to meet Common Core standards for the first time in 9th grade. I am not sure what the gap is between what has been done and what will be done this year. I am planning as much as I can and decided to use The Red Kayak to start even though it is below grade level just to see where everyone is and go from there. I can incorporate the Common Core standards for 9th grade while using an easier text. Do you think this is a good idea and do you have any suggestions for me since I have only done substitute teaching and most of that has been at the elementary level. Also, my student teaching was with 5th and 6th graders. I love all things English so I think this is going to be great but I just want to make sure I get off to a good start.

  • English Language Arts
  • 9
  • Common Core


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    • Jul 8, 2014 4:07pm

      I'm not familiar with the MO Standards, so I can only take a guess, but I'd say no. I really like the CCSS but for them to really be successful, it's always seemed to me that students would have to go through them from 1st all the way up. While we high school teachers are waiting, we can push them as far as we can, but I don't see how students who have not had the foundations in the earlier grades will ever meet the much more rigorous CCSS. I would plan to begin with a lot of pre-tests to determine where the students are and a lot of scaffolding, at least at the beginning of the year, to try to get them to where they need to be.

      • Jul 15, 2014 2:02pm


        Definitely use diagnostic assessments at the beginning of the year to see where all your students are at so you can plan meaningful lessons that will scaffold writing and reading for students so they can all be successful. When working with students of great variability, which I imagine is the case, you would probably love to research the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. It's an awesome curriculum design framework for students which holds them to high standards but provides the necessary supports to help them reach the goals. I actually wrote a book that focuses on implementation of both UDL and the Common Core and I think that it will address many of the concerns that you have about teaching your students using the more rigorous CCSS. You can read a few pages for free on Amazon to see if it's something you'd be interested in. For me, learning about it was career changing as it allowed me to keep my expectations high and allow all students, regardless of variability, to meet those standards regardless of gaps in skills.