Common Core Debate

The way that I see it, Common Core is not very well liked among most Americans. Why would they like it? Grueling standardized tests that put too much pressure on children and teachers, over-regulated classroom standards, and overwhelmed parents who can’t help their children with math.

I graduated from high school right before the government started implementing Common Core in the United States. Everyone tells me that I’m very lucky. In a way, I am very lucky. I have been able to look at Common Core from an unbiased standpoint. I am not a parent struggling with their child, I am not a teacher struggling with the material, and I am not a child or adolescent who is reluctant to do their assigned Common Core task. I am not directly affected by Common Core. I am indirectly affected by Common Core because I work with primary school aged children, I have two younger siblings who are in the public school system with Common Core, and my mother works in the public education system. Those indirect influences gave me indirect exposure and motivation to develop a perspective on Common Core.

Let’s back up a little bit.

I’m going to take a second to validate the reasons that I previously listed for people to hate Common Core. They’re very good reasons to be skeptical.

But take a look at this question right here:

 (Photo courtesy here: https://grade4commoncoremath.wikispaces.hcpss.org/Strategies+for+Computation+(Multiplication+and+Division)

It seems like an insanely complicated way to do things when we could just memorize them, right? Yet, what are our values for our children? To pass the class and make the grade, or to learn? Should they learn to memorize their tables, or should they learn how the numbers work so that they can apply this knowledge to any math in the future? Notice how the problem asks students to break the numbers down and learn the value of the number in order to understand how to build the numbers back up into the answer.

Common Core opposers say teachers struggle with this kind of math as well. Of course they would! They weren’t raised with Common Core. That doesn’t mean that Common Core math problems aren’t a more efficient way of teaching young students. It is the way that the professionals who implement the blame on teachers for not understanding Common Core that really peeves me. If we provide resources for everybody in the community to learn these Common Core methods of learning, the United States might not have such a strong opposition toward Common Core.

Then opposers look at the testing standards. This is when I start agreeing with the opposers. Although I believe Common Core is a much more efficient method of teaching students to learn; I believe that students must learn this new method at their own pace. Every student is capable of learning the material with the right support, attention, and time. These tests put students back into the “memorize for the test” mentality.

It’s up to us to analyze these things for ourselves, not allow the government or the news media to tell us what to think! Thanks for reading.

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e-Books!

Two days ago, I finished off my fourth semester of college. Maintaining a balanced diet, finding a parking space, and scraping together the funds to pay for books and supplies are the three most challenging parts of being a commuter student.

Let us just focus on paying for books and supplies right now.

Many professors and colleges have provided struggling college students with the option to purchase or rent online texts. Online textbooks, or “e-books,” are much cheaper because they cost less to mass produce.

Does cheaper mean better?

A study done by Pedro David Martinez-Estrada and Roger N. Conaway that was published in the Business Communication Quarterly suggests that e-books do, in fact, have a multitude of positive factors and the potential for positive innovations.

The study formulated this list of positive outcomes: “…(a) the lower cost of books than the printed version, (b) the large number of eBooks available through Amazon’s website, (c) the portable characteristics and e-ink technology that looked like an actual book and appealed to students, (d) 3G Internet connectivity that allowed students to download current versions of newspapers and other classroom materials, and (e) battery performance.”

Of course there’s always a catch! But is the catch worth it?

I say it is.

Since the books are online, it is easy for e-book authors and contributors to reference other e-books or outside material within their writing. Font size can be changed to accommodate the reader’s vision. Audiobook options can be made available with these e-books. Some e-readers are even equipped with highlighting and bookmarking methods.

The internet connectivity and compact size of the e-readers also make a good argument for e-books. According to the previously referenced study, students can access the most recent copies of newspapers and periodicals. Students can also reduce the physical load of their backpacks by buying e-books.

Even through all of these arguments; I still will not switch to e-books.

Why wouldn’t I, after all of these positive points that I’ve made for e-books? I am too sentimental. Hard copies motivate me to do the work and provide ambiance for my study area.

This leads me to the ultimate conclusion:

Even though e-books seem like a superior idea, many people still have a personal connection to traditions that they feel the need to preserve.

Teaser Trailer Reveals Sexism

I’m going to start out this post saying one very important thing: There’s no reason to be angry. Disappointed, yes. Yet, I have found that as an advocate for equality that getting angry does nothing. Being disappointed and being proactive in sharing thoughts about the subject does get an advocate a little bit further.

Disney X D, a children’s network whose target demographic is children who are interested in traditionally “boyish” activities. This includes skateboarding, ninjas, and gaming.

That’s where this teaser trailer comes in.

Disney X D’s newest show, which is going to be released sometime this summer and will feature Cameron Boyce from “Jessie” as the protagonist, is called “Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything.” It sounds like a cute title that will get tweens and pre-teens excited about the show. It reminded me of a show from my late childhood called “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.” (I grew up in the late 1990s and the early 2000s)

Screenshot courtesy of YouTube.
Screenshot courtesy of YouTube.

Looks harmless, right?

gg4

I’m sure the children in my childcare group who play video games are going to be psyched.

gg1

Wait.

This implies that gamers are only straight males (or lesbians?). This doesn’t play to the straight female or gay male gamers. While they may not be dominating the gaming scene, they exist, and in larger numbers than the typical marketing specialist would think. This teaser trailer is perpetuating the stereotype that gaming is exclusively a boy’s hobby.

Like I said, this is not the time to get mad about it. This is the time to send a polite message to Disney.

Dear Disney Corporation,

I sat with this idea in my head for two days and came up with a reasonable solution.

Gamer’s Guide to Crushes. Sounds good, right? A nice gender neutral reference that is just simple enough for a children’s show. No complex language like “significant other.” No complicated “girls, or boys, or whatever you’re into.”

Thanks,

Jenni C. from Investigating Society

Watch the full video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXp9NZ-oQeY

How to up your game when you graduate!

Before I begin my post, I would like to start out by saying that I commend all students who put their time and effort into college studies. I have absolutely no intention of offending anybody and I hope that you will take this blog post as advice, not as bashing of any kind.

Today was my graduation. I received my Associate’s Degree in Communications & Media Arts! It’s been a wonderful journey.

I’m aware of the problem this country has right now with getting graduates into the work force. The job market just doesn’t flourish like it did in the golden, post-WWII era of the 1950s.

Many people ask why college graduates are found at McDonald’s, taking whatever job they can possibly get. Many ask why people over the age of 25 are still living with their parents in some cases. The answer isn’t laziness, it is the faulty job market and rotting economy.

Alright, we all get that. College graduates work very hard to put themselves on track to live a half decent life with all of the time and resources they have in this tough time in the United States. Sadly, college doesn’t guarantee anybody a job in the U.S.

Would you mind if I offered you a glimmering, shimmering, sign of hope?

If you’re in college right now, perk up your ears. The solution is STUDENT LEADERSHIP!

Most, if not all, colleges offer their students the opportunity to develop leadership skills. The best of these opportunities are often hidden, so only the most determined students can find them. The “C’s get degrees” mentality needs to become a thing of the past! Employers are looking for strong leaders and communicators who have something to offer during the paradigm shift of the current technological revolution.

Millennials that are floundering, stepping up your leader game could be the solution. Not a leader, you say?

No, you are.

Everyone has leadership potential; even the most shy and introverted student. It’s all about finding a school and/or program that will tap into that leadership potential and teach you how to properly hone it.

Take it from a person who, as a high school student, didn’t join any clubs or do any sports or activities. A high school student that had a very average GPA and took normal classes. Now, I call myself a student leadership enthusiast and positivity fiend. Now I am a recipient of “Who’s Who Among American Colleges & Universities.” Throughout college, I took honors courses and earned membership into two honor societies. Now I am going to join AmeriCorps in the fall.

Anybody can do it!

Congratulations to all of the high school and college graduates!

Grads: This Could Be Why Nobody Wants to Hire You

TIME

It’s graduation season, a.k.a. job-hunting season for all the young adults with newly minted diplomas. After the inspirational commencement speeches, it’s time to buckle down and plunge into the working world.

If you’re in the market for your first “real” job, here’s the good news first: You’re graduating into the best job market we’ve had in a long time. Employers plan to hire about 10% more new grads this year over last year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. But that doesn’t mean you can expect anybody to just hand you a job, warns Scott Williams, executive director of the Career Center at the University of Georgia. While they have, in fact, earned a degree and gained valuable experience, the only other thing they’ve earned or gained is an opportunity to compete for a job,” he says.

This is one of the biggest mistakes career experts…

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Is Comparing Childhood/Adolescent Bullying to Adulthood Productive?

Upworthy is one of my favorite Facebook pages to look at. It just brightens my mood all of the time. Sometimes, of course, it makes me laugh, cry, get angry. It’s an emotional site.

There has been a trend on this website that has really caught my attention, though. Videos that use the life of a working, mature adult to show the silliness of bullying in school aged years.

Here’s an example: (VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED)

Of course, let’s be honest with ourselves. Is this a realistic way to put things in perspective with children and teenagers?

In my opinion, not really.

The way that adults think and the way that children think are very, very different. Children are aware that they are children, and teenagers that they’re teenagers. They’re not going to change their behavior to act more mature.

And what about this video fuels adults to want to become active against bullying?

Offices and workplaces have their own forms of bullying. They are usually very subtle. Just as bullying at any level can be. If adults aren’t active about ending bullying already, I don’t understand what about this video will make them become active.

What do you think?

Alcohol – The Cure for Social Anxiety

Interesting article about social anxiety! I hope you all have the chance to read it.

(P.S. I am not the original author of this article!!!)

800 Recovery Hub Blog

Social anxiety is the fear of  situations that involve interacting with other people. It is also worrying about being negatively judged and evaluated by others. This disorder is chronic and causes problems in almost all areas of a person’s life.

Since alcohol can reduce stress, it is a quick and easy solution ….

Correct. Occasionally unwinding with alcohol isn’t necessarily dangerous if your doctor approves. The problem is that once you start drinking, you can build a tolerance to the de-stressing effects of alcohol. This

Social Anxiety Association Learn more at the Social Anxiety Association website.

can make anxiety and stress even more difficult to cope with.

According to Healthline: At first, drinking can reduce fears and take your mind off your troubles. It can even help you feel less shy. You might experience a boost in mood, and the overall result is relaxation. In fact, the effects of alcohol can be similar to those of anti-anxiety…

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