I had several Common Core moments on my own this past week. In discussion with a friend, we were talking about a mutually relatable issue in the adult world. Then late Friday evening, I read a book review related about said topic which lead me to text a continued conversation with said friend. The next day I walked into a local bookstore looking for the book I had read the review on. That lead to another great conversation with the store owner about said topic. THEN this week in one of my many meetings, I found myself in the same topic of conversation with some colleagues!  It is interesting to see how one conversation can bring life to something and then keeps arising in other areas.

Have you ever had a burning topic that just keeps showing up wherever you go?

The Common Core instruction that we have moved towards in North Carolina asks our students to do the same thing. We no longer ask students just to give information about a text they just read. We want our students to take a topic and let it become real. We want our students to have burning topics of conversation. We want our students to go home to parents with questions. We want conversations around the dinner table that allow our students to become the teachers.

Our fourth graders recently wrote stories about the Trail of Tears. The students’ products were so real and moving. Students dug deep into their learning of the content, connected it to themselves and produced incredible accounts. Their ability to allow the content to burn in them gave them such rich reward in their stories. When I met with some of the fourth graders in my Huddle last week, they again mentioned this writing as one of their favorite activities this year. When I brought up the other known “fun” things they have done, the students began to realize the journey their teachers had taken them this year.

I continue to be so amazed at the journey our teachers take our students through in learning. Students might not look like they are burning, but when I hear the excitement different grade levels of students share as they talk about their best projects and their favorite moments so far this year, I celebrate.

How incredible to be a student these days! How incredible to be given the opportunity to be kids and just follow their spirit of questioning, wondering and exploring. And how incredible are the teachers that I see each day taking our children on that journey!