Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What if its Not in the Common Core Standards?

By now, I'm sure everyone has heard of the Common Core Standards in the education world and it sounds like they aren't going anywhere for a while.  But, my question is, what about the things early childhood educators know to be important, but are nowhere to be found in the Common Core Standards?

I got thinking about this when I had a fan email me a question about Pokey Pinning.  (If you are unsure what Pokey Pinning is, it is a fine motor development activity that I use for my students to practice and review item concepts that we have learned and/or are working on).  The question asked how Pokey Pinning aligned with the CCS (not because she was questioning the validity of the activity, but because her administrator wanted all lessons and/or activities to represent the CCS in some shape or form). 

Well, quite frankly, it doesn't directly align with anything represented in the Common Core Standards (unless you count WHAT students are pinning and then you might be able to loosely tie it to a standard listed somewhere).  So, my question is, do we stop doing activities like this simply because they are "unlisted" in CCS?

As early childhood educators, we could justify to the moon and back why the long-forgotten fine motor development activities should be in the forefront of our teachings.  However, will administrators want to hear what we (and our years of experience and piles of research) have to say about this subject if it isn't even remotely represented in the CCS?  Does a lack of representation equal a lack of importance?  These are questions that I continue to ponder and hope that you will help me sift through them as well.  In the meantime, I would like to share a Ghostly Pokey Pinning freebie as we reflect!  I hope you and your students enjoy it and reap the many grand benefits that this activity has to offer (regardless if the Common Core agree with us or not!).
Click here to grab your freebie and have your students Pokey Pin these cute ghosts for your windows!


  1. I think, no, we don't stop doing these activities. However, we might have to change the content like you suggested, to pokey pin something that is linked to CCS. As a kindergarten teacher I always had to tie my lessons to rigorous core standards; however, the presentation of the content was still done in a playful, hands-on manner. Whatever content, or core standards, are thrown at us, we must always remember to still be playful, to still discover, to still present in the way that we know young children develop. Don't let "them" take their childhood away! The kids can't develop successfully without it!

  2. We need to teach so much more above the CCSS! Pokey Pinning is a fine motor skill, which helps students in so many ways - primarily with writing! It's just like teaching the colors or teaching students how to write their own names. Those are not standards, but they need these skills to get through the rest of the school year.


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