Archive for the ‘Common Core’ Category


By Megan Lay
Cougar News Blog

Some Cactus Canyon language arts and social studies teachers helped each other out during the second quarter by incorporating each other’s standards into lessons.
Rhonda Story, Team Cougar’s language arts teacher had her students use English concepts on social studies text on subject like the Civil War and King George.
This new way of learning is a result of Common Core standards, which advanced and require more descriptive answers from students.
“We try to challenge students to back up their answers with evidence from something they read. The Lizzie Borden story is a good example,” said Sheryl Anderson, Team Cougar’s social studies teacher.
“A lot of Common Core is pushing students to think more outside the typical box, making them stretch and think of or come up with the ‘why,’” said Story.
Many students think this is a hard way of learning, but teachers and students have already seen positive results.
“This has improved my grades a little bit,” said eighth grader Ashley Alamos.
“Kids think that it is harder, but it is really just a different way of answering questions,” Anderson said. “Once everyone ‘gets it’ I think we will see a big jump in test scores.”

By Malorie Eager
Cougar News Blog

The first Wednesday of every month this year will be a half day for all AJUSD students so that teachers can meet for professional development.
Professional development is for teachers to train and figure out how to add Common Core standards into what they teach. Common Core is the new, nationwide standard that 46 out of the 50 states have started using, which will get students to think more.
Even though the it’s a full work day for teachers, students enjoy a little extra time off during the month.
“It’s a great idea because students get so restless during the school year,” said eighth grader Jaclyn Coffee. “With the time off I will spend lots of time with my family and friends. I have a baby niece that I adore.”
Each class on half days is about 30 minutes long, then there’s five minutes between seventh hour and lunch for announcements, so students get out at 11:20 to go home and do whatever they want.