Do Blackbird & Co. materials meet Common Core (or other) instructional standards?
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One of the most common questions we get here at BBCo is, “Are your materials aligned with state standards?”
The answer is a complicated YES! Our scope and sequence document demonstrates BBCo’s year by year curricular alignment with common ELA standards.
It’s important to begin by remembering that academic standards are the skills necessary for success in a subject area.
How do we know if students are learning the right things at the right times? This is the question that is in the mind of educators who develop learning standards, as well as teachers, and parents. However, a more pertinent question is, how do I move an individual learner toward skill mastery? Not every child will pace at the same rate. For example when it comes to language arts, kindergartners will be focused on learning the phonics of reading and writing while 2nd graders will be spending much of their time putting phonics into practice. Some students might need phonics practice well into their mid elementary years. Still others will need extra one-on-one teaching to remediate understanding of phonics. The reality is, when we are educating individuals, checklists don’t always work.
With this in mind let’s remember, standards lead to benchmarks. A common benchmark for kindergarten might be that students end the year able to read and write simple phonetic words such as lamp, splat, swish. A 3rd grade benchmark might be the ability to confidently craft a simple 5 sentence paragraph. In middle school, the benchmark might be the ability to craft a simple descriptive essay.
To accomplish any of these benchmarks, students must acquire many skills. Standards are the checklists of skills that will enable them to meet these types of benchmarks. Educational standards are grade by grade learning goals that will allow them to read, write, speak, listen and think well.
Individuals who use our materials will move forward year by year gaining individualized mastery of the sequence of ELA standards that lead to literacy.