On a snowy afternoon at Gaithersburg Elementary School, second grade teacher Ashley Thornton huddled with two students in her classroom. It was time for their small group reading session.
Thornton was ready to delve into deep discussion about word meaning, risk-taking and a social studies element or two — combining a number of subject areas in one instructional session.
“We are trying to build a deeper understanding,” said Margaret Sybert, a Montgomery County Public Schools staff development teacher based in Rockville. “Kids are talking to each other about what they’re learning.”
All are features of the Common Core State Standards, a new set of curriculum goals introduced into Maryland’s public schools that has left some people happy and some people mad.