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Common Core State Standards in Florida

Instructor: Fola Rae
Though Common Core was implemented in Florida in 2010, the state approved many changes in 2014 and adopted the revised Florida Standards into its public schools. Get information on the standards and changes, and find some great classroom resources to use that meet these standards.

Florida Standards

Florida's Board of Education made upwards of 99 changes to the original Common Core State Standards. The intent behind incorporating these new Florida Standards into public schools is to equip students with the skills they need for college or the workforce. In addition to the changes made in math and language arts, Florida's educators also have standards in most other education subjects in all grade levels, including:

  • Dance
  • English Language Arts and Language Development
  • Gifted Education
  • Health Education
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Skills/Special Education
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts
  • World Languages

Florida's Changes to the Common Core Standard

By the end of each grade, students in Florida must be prepared by their teachers to show that they have a full understanding of the subjects taught to them that year. In some cases, the standards had minor changes, but in others additions or major modifications were made, such as adding cursive writing, adding calculus to high school math and identifying the value of money in math problems. Additional standards and changes continue to be made and presented to the board monthly.

Testing Students

To test whether students have learned the required subject matter to satisfy the Florida Standards expectations, Florida conducts assessments all across the state. These standardized assessments include 3rd through 11th grade English language arts, 3rd through 8th grade mathematics, and End-of-Course assessments for middle and high schoolers in algebra, geometry, science, history and civics. Additionally, science assessments test 5th through 8th grade students on their comprehension of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. The Florida Standards Assessments website offers several tools, such as assessment administration information and practice tests (www.fsassessments.org).

Florida Standards Overview and Resources

Teachers aren't given any specific instructions about how to teach the students under the new common core standards. School districts in each area are responsible for ensuring that teachers can instruct and guide the students to the point where they have a firm understanding of what they have learned. For example, school districts make choices about what books and study aids will be used by teachers to help the students excel.

The following resources by subject can help teachers easily implement standards in the classroom. By using short and easily understandable lessons and quizzes, teachers can adhere to the Florida Standards and make learning fun for students.

English Language Arts

Higher grades have added objectives in English language arts for language, writing, reading, speaking and listening. For example, literacy in social studies, technical subjects, history and science were added to grades 9-12. Though based on common core, the following resources can also help meet the Florida Standards for English language arts:

English Language Development

Standards for teaching ELL students include language development in English, math, science, social studies and social/informational communication. The following course can supplement your curriculum to help meet Florida Standards:

Dance

The standards for dance are the same for grades K through 12 and include requirements for techniques, global connections, critical thinking, and innovation, among others.

Health and Physical Education

All grades require an understanding of literacy concepts, promotion and behavior in health. Students need to be able to demonstrate knowledge in disease prevention, influences in healthy behaviors, sources for health information and health risks. For physical education, standards require knowledge of healthy physical activity, movement concepts, self-expression and social responsibility. Some helpful resources include:

Mathematics

Math standards are the most extensive of all subjects. Number sense, algebra and geometry topics are introduced in kindergarten and increase in breadth of knowledge by high school to include calculus, statistics and logic/reasoning. Resources to help teachers cover math Florida Standards can be found in the following courses:

Music

Music appreciation, history, techniques and structure make up some of the standards required for music education. Course outcomes are similar across all grade levels, and the following resources are designed to assist music teachers with lesson planning and classroom instruction:

Science

Florida has incorporated progressive standards for Earth and space sciences, life sciences, natural sciences and physical sciences for all grade levels. Several resources are available to meet Florida Standards in science classrooms:

Social Studies

Younger grades have Florida Standards in American history, government, economics and geography. By high school, topics in financial literacy, humanities, psychology, sociology and world history are added to the list of required teaching. Helpful resources teachers can use in the classroom include:

Special Skills/Special Education

Florida has adopted and implemented several standards to help special education teachers cover the required education for students with special skills and special needs. Standards cover teaching deaf and hard of hearing students, those with speech and auditory issues, therapies for multiple disabilities, unique skills (such as special awareness and self-regulation), and students with visual impairments. The following courses can help you understand learning disabilities and approaches for teaching special skills students:

Theatre and Visual Arts

All grade levels include Florida Standards in critical thinking and reflection, organizational structure, history, technologies, techniques and innovation in the areas of both theatre and visual arts.

World Languages

Standards are split into novice, intermediate, advanced and superior levels for world language learners. These standards measure interpretive listening, reading and communications; presentational speaking and writing; cultural and community knowledge; and connections and comparisons to the students' native language. Helpful resources are available for Spanish and French teachers:

Florida Standards Resources

The Florida Department of Education offers parents and teachers resources related to the state standards (www.fldoe.org). An online monthly newsletter and blog provide information from planning through implementation that discuss funding and other important details about how standards are implemented and tested.

The site also offers a section dedicated to teachers that cover the standards and provide information on how to incorporate them into the classroom. Teachers can contribute to an online blog and access toolkits with lesson plans and activities to use to make sure students learn the appropriate content and skills by grade level.

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