The way local students are taught in grades K-12 will change this fall because of the common core standards adopted by the state in 2009. Teachers have been spending the summer learning about the new guidelines.
Teachers will spend more hours teaching math and English because they want to prepare students for the standardized test based on common core. The test is called Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The results will be used to compare students in Idaho to other states.
"Because it's amazing what they're expecting of these kids, we needed to start teaching in the lower grades, so we are adding more to our writing area of teaching," said Heather Larue, a teacher at Burton Elementary School in Rexburg.
She has been preparing to align her teaching methods with the common core standards.
"We're all kind of going along and seeing what works and what doesn't so I'm sure there is going to be changes throughout the year," she said.
Under the new common core standards, third-and-fourth-graders will be getting tested next year. This spring comes the practice test. Fourth-grade teacher Elizabeth Rasmussen is already preparing for the writing and math test.
"We're going to be working to help prepare students to be able to type and compose an essay using articles and video clips," she said.
"We will help them be able to defend their work, explain their work, justify their reasoning," she said.
Here is a list of the common core standards: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/ICS/