Wednesday, August 21, 2013

This Can't Be Real

I thought this may have come out of the Onion, but unfortunately this is a real standard and being discussed at the Facebook BAT board.

First graders are aware only of their own neighborhoods. As the years go on they learn more about their communities, then their states and regions including some pioneer history, then about the United States (traditionally that was fifth grade) with some U.S. history thrown in, their hemisphere (traditionally sixth grade) with some Latin American history thrown in as well as some look at ancient civilizations in Europe, and then U.S. history and the constitution would be taught in middle school and world history being introduced. It becomes greatly expanded into high school and beyond.

But our "reformers" think first graders ought to know all about Mesopotamia and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers! That is strictly high school-level world history.

This is obviously an attempt to fail all kids--even those in the 99th percentile--in order to make the teachers look bad and give the privatizers an excuse to close down all public schools and turn them into charter scams.

This is New York, by the way.

Here are the details for posterity:

Locate the area known as Mesopotamia on a world map or globe and identify it as part of Asia;
Explain the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and the use of canals to support farming and the development of the city of Babylon;
Describe the city of Babylon and the Hanging Gardens;
Identify cuneiform as the system of writing used in Mesopotamia;
Explain why a written language is important to the development of a civilization;
Explain the significance of the Code of Hammurabi;
Explain why rules and laws are important to the development of a civilization;
Explain the ways in which a leader is important to the development of a civilization;
Explain the significance of gods/goddesses, ziggurats, temples, and priests in Mesopotamia;
Describe key components of a civilization;
Identify Mesopotamia as the “Cradle of Civilization”;
Describe how a civilization evolves and changes over time;
Locate Egypt on a world map or globe and identify it as a part of Africa;
Explain the importance of the Nile River and how its floods were important for farming;
Identify hieroglyphics as the system of writing used in ancient Egypt;
Explain the significance of gods/goddesses in ancient Egypt;
Identify pyramids and explain their significance in ancient Egypt;
Describe how the pyramids were built;
Explain that much of Egypt is in the Sahara Desert;
Identify the Sphinx and explain its significance in ancient Egypt;
Identify Hatshepsut as a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and explain her significance as pharaoh;
Identify Tutankhamun as a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and explain his significance;
Explain that much of what we know about ancient Egypt is because of the work of archaeologists;
Identify Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as major monotheistic world religions;
Locate Jerusalem, Israel, and the area known as the Middle East on a map;
Define monotheism as the belief in one God;
Identify the Western Wall (or the Wailing Wall) as associated with Judaism, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with Christianity, and the Dome of the Rock with Islam;
Identify the Hebrews as the ancient people who were descendants of Abraham;
Explain that followers of Judaism are called Jewish people and the term Jewish is used to describe practices or objects associated with Judaism;
Identify the Star of David as a six-pointed star and a symbol of Judaism;
Identify the Torah as an important part of the Hebrew scriptures;
Identify that a Jewish house of worship is called a synagogue or temple;
Identify Moses as a teacher who long ago led the Jewish people out of Egypt in an event referred to as the Exodus;
Explain that, according to an important story in the Torah, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God and that the Ten Commandments are rules that tell people how to behave or live their lives;
Identify important Jewish holidays such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Hanukkah;
Explain that Christianity developed after Judaism;
Explain that followers of Christianity are called Christians;
Recognize the cross as a symbol of Christianity;
Identify the Bible as the Christian holy book;
Identify that a Christian house of worship is called a church;
Identify that Christians believe Jesus to be the Messiah and the son of God;
Identify important Christian holidays, such as Easter and Christmas;
Recognize that both Christians and Jewish people follow the Ten Commandments;
Explain that Islam originated in Arabia;
Explain that followers of Islam are called Muslims;
Identify the crescent and star as symbols of Islam;
Identify the Qur’an as the holy book of Islam, containing laws for daily living and many stories that appear in Jewish and Christian holy books;
Identify that a Muslim place of worship is called a mosque;
Identify that Muslims believe that Moses and Jesus were prophets but believe that Muhammad was the last and greatest of the prophets;
Identify important Muslim holidays, such as Ramadan and Eid-ul-fitr;
Use narrative language to describe (orally or in writing) characters, setting, things, events, actions, a scene, or facts from a fiction read-aloud;
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a fiction read-aloud;
Ask and answer questions (e.g., who, what, where, when), orally or in writing, requiring literal recall and understanding of the details and/or facts of a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
Answer questions that require making interpretations, judgments, or giving opinions about what is heard in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud, including answering why questions that require recognizing cause/effect relationships;
Identify the main topic and retell key details of a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
Ask and answer questions about unknown words and phrases in nonfiction/informational read-alouds and discussions;
Use illustrations and details in a nonfiction/informational read-aloud to describe its key ideas;
Compare and contrast (orally or in writing) similarities and differences within a single nonfiction/informational read-aloud or between two or more nonfiction/informational read-alouds;
Listen to and demonstrate understanding of nonfiction/informational read-alouds of appropriate complexity for grades 1–3;
With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed;
Make personal connections (orally or in writing) to events or experiences in a fiction or nonfiction/informational read-aloud, and/or make connections among several read-alouds;
With assistance, categorize and organize facts and information within a given domain to answer questions;
Use agreed-upon rules for group discussion (e.g., look at and listen to the speaker, raise hand to speak, take turns, say “excuse me” or “please,” etc.);
Carry on and participate in a conversation over at least six turns, staying on topic, initiating comments or responding to a partner’s comments, with either an adult or another child of the same age;
Ask questions to clarify information about the topic in a fiction or nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
Ask and answer questions (e.g., who, what, where, when), orally or in writing, requiring literal recall and understanding of the details and/or facts of a fiction or nonfiction/informational read-aloud;
Ask questions to clarify directions, exercises, classroom routines, and/or what a speaker says about a topic;
Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly;
Add drawing or other visual displays to oral or written descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings;
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation;
Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at home that are cozy);
Learn the meaning of common sayings and phrases;
Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because)
Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately;
Prior to listening to an informational read-aloud, identify what they know about a given topic;
Share writing with others;
With assistance, create and interpret timelines and lifelines related to an informational read-aloud;
Demonstrate understanding of literary language such as setting;
While listening to an informational read-aloud, orally predict what will happen next in the read-aloud based on the text heard thus far, and then compare the actual outcome to the prediction; and
Use personal pronouns orally.


I am sure if you asked a group of first graders what "Tigris" means, they'd say it is a big cat with stripes.

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