Elementary students enjoy learning in a friendly social environment, where they can interact with teachers freely. The interaction is dependent on the nature of relationships that teachers and students have developed. In essence, creation of rapport between teachers and students is a critical ingredient that facilitates learning. The Bible says “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22, New International Version).
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In training children, teachers should create a friendly environment for the students to be cheerful and have high spirits, which promote learning. To create moments of fun and humor, teachers should organize students to engage in learning activities such as drama, storytelling, playing games, and singing. These activities make learning interesting and amusing. By participating in these activities, teachers demonstrate that they care and love their students, and thus promote learning. Therefore, this essay compares and contrasts common core standards of Pennsylvania and Louisiana in relation to my perceptions of these standards.
Common core standards vary from one state to another in the United States depending on the extent of their adoption, amendment, and implementation. Comparative examination of the common core standards in Pennsylvania and Louisiana indicates that they have some similarities and differences. The common core standards of Pennsylvania and Louisiana focus on mathematics, English, and arts.
These are the major areas of the curriculum of the elementary school (K-8), which teachers should focus to enhance learning among elementary learners (Kellough & Jarolimek, 2008). Pennsylvania and Louisiana share the standards of mathematics such as counting, algebra, fractions, geometry, statistics, probability, ratios, proportion, measurements, data analysis, number system, numeric expressions, and equations. Moreover, Pennsylvania and Louisiana share the standards in English such as reading skills, writing skills, speaking skills, listening skills, and grammar usage.
The differences in the common core standards lie in their comprehensive coverage and implementation (Porter, McMaken, Hwang, & Yang, 2011). Although Louisiana has adopted common core standards, it does not have comprehensive details of each standard, which students in each grade have to cover (Louisiana Department of Education, 2014). In contrast, Pennsylvania has comprehensive common core standards and explicitly depicts tasks and outcomes that students should achieve in their respective grades. According to Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014), “Pennsylvania’s core standards offer a set of rigorous, high-quality academic expectations in English language, arts, and mathematics that all students should master by the end of each grade level” (para. 4).
Therefore, the comprehensiveness of the common core standards of Pennsylvania makes them rigorous and high-quality standards. Critical examination of these standards has revealed that they are not only appropriate, but they are also attainable for my students because of their content. Hence, I prefer the content and format of Pennsylvania’s common core standards for they are comprehensive, rigorous, quality, and in tabulated format.
Since the common core standards aim to standardize learning in elementary schools, they promote teaching and learning processes. According to Kellough and Jarolimek (2008), common core standards are benchmarks that guide teachers and parents in monitoring progress of students. In this view, the common core standards enhance accountability in schools because they ensure that teachers and students meet the standards of curriculum by focusing on these standards.
Accountability is an important aspect in schools because it enables teachers, parents, and students achieve expected outcomes (Parker, 2012). In the analysis of the common core standards, I have found out that school educators use these standards in formulating their curriculum and improving students’ performance. Moreover, I have noted that common core standards form the basis of teaching and learning in elementary schools. Therefore, my thoughts and opinions about these standards is that they are important benchmarks, which are indispensable in improving the processes of teaching and learning in elementary schools.
Kellough, D., & Jarolimek, J. (2008). Teaching and learning K–8: A guide to methods and resources (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Louisiana Department of Education (2014). What are the common core state standards? Web.
Parker, D. V. (2012). Christian teachers in public schools: 13 essentials for the classroom. Kansas City, KS: Beacon Hill Press.
Pennsylvania Department of Education (2014). PA core standards implementation. Web.
Porter, A., McMaken, J., Hwang, J., & Yang, R. (2011). Common core standards: The new U.S. intended curriculum. Educational Research, 40(3), 103-116.