My Carbon Footprint and The Common Core
By Guest Blogger: Stacey Bowden
Now, more than ever before, teachers are faced with difficult decisions regarding their curriculum. With the onset of new standards and new testing, we are now asking ourselves what is important for us to teach? What is it that we currently do that continues to be relevant? As science educators, the other question that still remains unanswered is- what will our role be in this new paradigm?
One thing that seems to be certain- is that all teachers are going to be expected to be teachers of literacy in new and different ways, and that we will all be responsible for proof that this is in fact being accomplished. The new “ My Carbon Footprint” curriculum that has recently been created by educators at the New York Hall of Science is a welcome tool in assisting teachers with new and relevant ways to enrich our science curriculum.
Recently my district took the initiative on Election Day to get “ahead” of the Common Core. Teachers of different disciplines were instructed to look at these new standards as they currently are and to pick a piece of literature that would make an appropriate companion for a suitable 3-5 day unit. Having recently taken the workshop in which the My Carbon Footprint curriculum was unveiled to 100 teachers at NYSCI, I suggested that the Carbon Footprint lessons would be a perfect match. We matched up many of the lessons to different sections of the popular book on global warming entitled “The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming” by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon.
We thought that there was no more relevant informational text and lesson plans than these- due to the nature of the environmental issues that the world currently faces. As educators, and especially science educators, I believe that it is our personal responsibility to explore this topic with our students. And if the common core is asking us to expose students to informational literature, why not take advantage of the moment?