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FWSU is ready to implement the COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS (CCSS), and we are committed to making school engaging for children.   In order to be “Career and College Ready”, our youngest children must believe they have something important to share, and they must stay excited about their learning.  Our mission is to hook our youngest and most eager learners.  They must ask their own questions and answer them.   They must solve big problems and use their inquiry to make sense of their world.  They must construct meaning.  They must want to run into school!

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Children thrive when teachers offer them new and different ways to express themselves.  These pre-schoolers are using digital media to draw and sequence, talking about their stories as they work with an adult.


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Block play is critical to the development of young children and supports many Common Core learning targets.    Through the manipulation of carefully chosen blocks and props, children develop spatial awareness and problem solving skills as part of their elaborate system of play.  Adults quietly observe and facilitate.  This child’s teacher asked a few honest questions and provided alternate language for the child to use as he describes  the story he had created.   She took a picture to document the detail of his work and scripted his story.

The teacher taking the picture below began a math lesson on measurement with these boys.

"He's really big- maybe 50 boards....   How big are you?  "
“He’s really big- maybe 50 boards….   How big are you?  “


The Common Core places emphasis on reading multiple types of text, both in print and digital forms.   Young students need practice to build their reading stamina.  They must learn to pay close attention to details, use phonics to figure out words they do not know, and use text features to locate important information.   These students each have their own book boxes with books they can read and learn from.  They have dedicated time during the day to read independently with “just right books”-  a  time that they learn to be independent and enjoy literature that they choose.

image Parents should expect children to be engaged in challenging reading, writing and problem solving tasks as a result of the Common Core.   At the same time, they can expect students in FWSU to be joyfully interacting with each other and with their world –  laughing, singing and sharing along the way!

 "Hey Mr. Dodge-  did you see the porcupines?   How many quills?"
“Hey Mr. Dodge-  did you see the porcupines?   How many quills?”


Are you looking for more information on the COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS as they relate to your young child?    The National PTA offers A Parents’ Guide to Student Success.  Click on the link for a quick 2-page summary of Common Core Standards at each grade level.

“Part of our job has not changed –   we must continue to instill WONDER, HOPE and LAUGHTER within our children.  What better way to help them become “Career and College Ready”?        Mary Lynn Riggs, FWSU Director of Curriculum
























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First graders  examine a milkweed plant and work as a group to gether information and make sense of new information for a science investigation.  Students learn to participate in conversations with others by linking their observations and comments to the remarks of others.  They need opportunities and coaching to learn to ask and answer questions of each other,  to gather information, and to gain a deeper understanding- all skils demanded by the Common Core.


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“Children must see themselves as leaders in a world where they can lead.”

Children learn early to share different ways of thinking and to understand that there are multiple ways of solving a single math problem.    They learn to describe their thinking and to listen to the thinking of others- and they do  not need an adult to always guide that process.


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