CorePlanner Blog


What's New in Elementary Education

Without a doubt, the Common Core State Standards have influenced what is being taught in classrooms and the ways instruction is delivered. An interesting nuance is the addition of standards that specifically address speaking and listening. For most teachers, this explicit emphasis is new.

An example is this 2nd grade ELA standard:

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

With this change in mind, educators are developing new and creative ways to teach children how to listen intentionally and speak collaboratively. Of course, teaching children to listen to directions and one another has always been a constant in a well-managed classroom. This emphasis elevates these skills and applies them to content analysis, for example in debate or group discussion.

I’m curious to learn how you are teaching your students to listen and speak. If you are ever looking for discussion topics, I post conversation starters on my blog every week.

-‐ Annie Krut, M.Ed.

PS – I’m still looking for excellent teachers to feature!

Annie is on a mission to teach kids the skills they need to be happy. She’s using neuroscience, the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Get the curriculum at and join the conversation on Twitter: @eighthugs