Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Curriculum Murders"

Once a week I volunteer at my local library's Corner Bookstore (maintained by the Friend's of the Library). This past week one of the customers picked this book from the mystery section at the store. I was immediately intrigued.
My imagination started running (and I haven't even read the book yet!)

Here is my story (part 1) with the same title:

Common Core is coming. Another change that has to be made. I could have spent my summer relaxing by the pool, reading mindless romance novels, living in a dream world where all my students master all of the curriculum  by mid-year and then I can start finding enrichment activities for the second part of the year. But that is not reality. Here I sit in a small cubicle with a few other teachers analyzing the common core ELA for our grade level.
 "W.9-10.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence."
Is this really worth it? I look around. Everyone is really focused on analyzing the standard and thinking about the resources that we can use with it. My mind goes to mentor texts. Do I have mentor texts to use with this standard? What was that noise? The standards posters are all down! Nobody is working on the desk behind me....where is everyone?
I am thinking about the "relevant and sufficient evidence". That is really the hardest thing for my students to grasp. They can make a great argument, but then it tends to fall apart as they cannot sustain it with evidence. Really where are    the other writers? We only have a week to do this. Maybe I should write a model essay for my students? Oh yeah, where is that binder that we have organized all our existing samples/mentor texts?
No binders??? Where are they? Last year's curriculum??? Who took it? Where is everyone?? Maybe I need to stand up and stretch my legs and my brain. It's really quiet...
I walk around the office. It really is too quiet... I keep walking. I still can't see anyone else. Should I go outside? I peek in the back...WHAT?????? The sky is dark as the underside of my black sofa. But there is a fire burning with in a handmade fire-pit! What is going on? Are they researching Macbeth? Are we going to teach that next year? "Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble" (4.1.). What are we killing here at the back of the school right before the storm?? Old curriculum? Why am I the only one here?
Where is the evidence?


  1. That is indeed a intriguing title. I like how you wrote your interpretation.

  2. Thank you Terje!
    I just might complete part 2 in the next few days...

  3. I'm afraid there will be more "murders" of common sense and good teaching practices as we try to analyze the common core standards. I hope this story doesn't become a tragic tale. Tell me there is a hero who will make it all right.

  4. Great idea Elsie! Hero that will save it all....I will absolutely have plan on that. Maybe next chapter for next Tuesday....

  5. I love how you took this book title and used it for inspiration for your own writing.

  6. I am feeling your pain as well as I spend time training, planning and reading as I, too, try to move forward. All that of the past shouldn't die--we should build on what works. Good luck!

  7. hehe... love how you used the title as a jumping-off point for your own story! (A quite entertaining one too, I might add!) A very creative post! (And yes, I feel your pain too as I feel like I will be spending my summer working instead of doing summer-y things!)

  8. Thanks Jennifer! I have to admit though, I will have a chance to travel overseas this summer..More blogs to come about that later this summer. Do not commit any crimes while working on the curriculum!!


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