Critical Analysis Paper: Learning Block

LS300 Critical Analysis Paper

Michelle Lopez




Team 4: Amazing Otters

Team 4: Amazing Otters

Block Assignment: Learning Block

Team Member Roles and Responsibilities:

Katie Ahmed: Time Keeper and Summarizer Of Main Events

Martin Nguyen: Twitter Monitor

Alexandra Lorenzana: Note Taker

Gabriela Gutierrez: Dedicated Devils Advocate Twitter

Dana Angelo: Discussion Leader

Discussion Starter:

Summary of last points:
  • You will be more successful getting a job if you are educated.
  • Jobs want people who know how to critically think, and our school systems are don’t teach students to think critically.
  •  Individual personality will help you stand out, if you only have a basic education, but not everyone has a unique personality that helps them.
  • It is hard to teach and find a standard when you have migrant students who don’t speak English
  • Nothing can change if people don’t work together.

Discussion Questions:

  1. “Economically deprived children require 20%-40% more funds per pupil.”(p14) Would it be fair to give these children more funds from the state or federal government?
  2. “While many educated-practioner organizations have endorsed the new Common Core standards initiative…”(p.15). Why do you think these organizations favor the Common Core Standards?
  3. NCTE members “expressed worry that the standards would reduce the curriculum to what can be measured  on a standardized test.” In what ways would this affect a students ability to learn? Explain.
  4. Do you believe the Common Core is an appropriate assessment  to determine whether students are ready to graduate and be successful throughout their lives?

Discussion Ender:

The NGA/CCSSO cut-score criterion is that “every high school students must be college-ready.” (p13)

Team 1: San Francisco Giants

Team 1- San Francisco Giants

Block Assignment: Extension Activity

Extension Activity: Common Core Poems


Demonstrate an understanding of a particular common core standard and create a poem related to the common core standard.

 Extension Activity Preparation:

Students will be divided into 6 groups, once in groups each group will be assigned a particular common core standard.


Once the class is divided into the 6 groups each person will read over the standard assigned and discuss with the group. Each student will write a line to a poem, once everyone has written the line they will put the lines together to create a poem.


Understand each component of the common core standards and be able to create a poem out of the standards.

 Audience Feedback:

 1)   This activity made me think about:

2)   What did you think was effective about how the activity was facilitated?

3)   What aspects of how the activity was facilitated could have been strengthened?

Amazing Otters

Team 4: Amazing Otters

Block Assignment: Learning Block

Team Member Roles and Responsibilities:

Katie Ahmed: Note Taker

Martin Nguyen: Time Keeper and summarizer of Main events

Alexandra Lorenzana: Discussion Leader

Gabriela Gutierrez: Twitter Monitor

Dana Angelo: Dedicated Devils Advocate Twitter

Discussion Starter:

  • It is common sense to have more teachers with a say about what goes on in the classroom.
  • Teachers should be involved in politics.
  • The Obama administration isn’t ready to tackle education reform when they are having trouble with Obama Care.
  • The Common Core will give students an easier time moving around the country.
  • Try the European System which gives students directions.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you think schools are related to the economy? If so what do you believe are some ideas to improve it?
  2. Do you feel our school system is to blame for our declining economy?
  3. Should standards be made to fit each student?
  4. Do you feel that with the Common Core it will over simplify educational needs of diverse students who will eventually enter a diverse workforce?

Discussion Ender: “Common Standards represent represent  huge over-simplification of educational needs that would result in one size fits all high school curriculum that fails to account for the individual differences in children” (Barton, Paul Page 9).

Team 4: Amazing Otters

Team 4: Amazing Otters

Block Assignment: Learning Block

Team Member Roles and Responsibilities:

Katie Ahmed: Discussion Leader

Martin Nguyen:Twitter Monitor

Alexandra Lorenzana: Dedicated Devils Advocate Tweeter

Gabriela Gutierrez:Time Keeper

Dana Angelo: Note Taker

Discussion Starter:

Overall the discussion went well. We had different points that were very good. For the first question that was about the common core and if it should be implemented before being tested we had classmates comment:

  • Some concern because you don’t want to just test students.
  • You cannot compare resources based on income. Not everyone has the same opportunities.
  • Kids of higher income have outside resources to where kids in Salinas don’t.

Question 2: Obama says “There should be higher expectations on students: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  • Lower students were able to go higher to college prep level.
  • Have incentive to rise, do not label students.
  • If students have higher expectation and they cannot reach it, they might not reach the expectation they raised for themselves and not be as successful as they can be.
  • American Promise Documentary- one of the students was pushed to the point where his expectation was so high that when he got accepted to a university he felt it was still not good enough for his family. To where the second student set smaller expectations and felt accomplished because he was able to complete them.

Question 3: Should there be federal rights on education or should states have the right to choose common core?

  • Standardized testing and funding is based by test scores.
  • Some reservations (federally guided) are doing horrible.
  • New Mexico- They were given a rule to where the school changed it to accommodate students.
  • Students have access to different resources.

Question 4: With a national standard will there be more equality? And here are some answers we received from our classmates.

  • If we had the same funding for everyone then we would all be equal.
  • States decide the standards assessment not the government.

Throughout class we saw how many students posted their tweets and expressed how they felt about the common core, and the changes in our future generation’s education.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does it make you feel to know that the Common Core was not constructed by teachers? Do you think it would have been better prepared if teachers would have been included when putting this together? Why or why not?
  2. How do you feel Obama administration can help change education systems to create more equality amongst all school districts?

  3. In the reading, the author points out when educational system suffers, so does the competitiveness in the US economy. Yet, the US is still ranked in the top 1 and 2 spots without implementing a universal standard. With this in mind, do you feel we need the “common core?” Explain why or why not?

  4. In the reading, the author talks about  “American competitiveness relies on an educational system that can adequately prepare our youth for college and for the workforce”. What are your opinions about preparing our students for their future in regards to this statement made. Do you agree?

Discussion Ender:

“Those advocating common standards often lead with some variation on their important role in helping the U.S.  to compete effectively in an international 21st century.” ( page 6)

San Francisco Giants: Extension Activity

Team 1- San Francisco Giants
Extension Activity: Learning
Demonstrate an understanding of a particular reading without lecture type learning.
Extension Activity Preparation:
Students will be divided into 4 groups, once in the groups read the particular reading. As a group pick one person to tweet your answers.
Once the class is divided into the 4 groups each person will read the assigned reading. Once everyone has read the reading we will start to ask questions, the first group to tweet the answer will receive 2 points.
Understand the reading that was given in an engaging manner.

Team 4: Amazing Otters

Block Assignment: Learning Block

Team Member Roles and Responsibilities:

Katie Ahmed: Dedicated Devils Advocate Tweeter

Martin Nguyen: Discussion Leader

Alexandra Lorenzana: Twitter Monitor

Gabriela Gutierrez: Note Taker

Dana Angelo: Time Keeper

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are there any concerns about common core being implemented before being field testing?
  2. Obama says “There should be higher expectations on students” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  3. Should there be federal rights on education or should states have the right to choose?
  4. With the national standard will there be more equality?

Ender: Summary Of Discussion