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21st Century Skills - Grade 6-8

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Civic Literacy

NOTE: The Essential Concepts and Skills listed in Social Studies - Political Science/Civic Literacy are the same as the Essential Concepts and Skills listed in 21st Century - Civic Literacy

Political science is the study of power and authority through the examination of political processes, governmental institutions, and human behavior in a civil society. In this context the study of civics is understood to include the form and function of government. Civic literacy encompasses civics but also addresses the individual's social and political participation.

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

 

Understand the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and demonstrate the value of lifelong civic action

  • Understand rights, roles and status of the individual in relation to the general welfare.
  • Understand issues regarding personal, political, and economic rights.
  • Understand what is meant by the "scope and limits" of a right.
  • Understand participation in civic and political life can help bring about the attainment of individual and public goals.
  • Understand the functions of political leadership and why leadership is a vital necessity in a democracy.
  • Understand the importance of voluntarism as a characteristic of American society.

Understand how the government established by the Constitution embodies the principles of democracy

  • Understand the essential ideas of American government that are expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and other documents.
  • Understand the concepts of constitutional government as fundamental principles of American democracy.
  • Understand the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments.
  • Understand the basic concepts of a federal system of government.
  • Understand values such as individual rights, the common good, self government, justice, equality, diversity, openness and free inquiry, truth, patriotism are fundamental to American public life.
  • Understand the type of citizenry needed to establish and maintain constitutional government.

Understand the purpose and function of each of the three branches of government established by the Constitution

  • Understand the primary responsibilities of each branch of government in a system of shared powers (legislative, executive, judicial) and ways in which each branch shares the powers and functions of the other branches.
  • Understand how the legislative, executive, and judicial branches use checks and balances.

Understand the similarities and differences among the complex levels of local, state, and national government

  • Understand the relationship between state and local governments and the national government.
  • Understand the powers and responsibilities of local, state and national governments.

Understand strategies for effective political action that impacts local, state, and national governance

  • Understand the concept of civic responsibility.
  • Understand the importance of political leadership, public service, and a knowledgeable citizenry in American democracy.
  • Understand the concept of political leadership in the student’s own school, community, state, and the nation.

Understand how laws are established at the local, state, and national levels

  • Understand the concept of public policy.
  • Understand the sources, purposes, and functions of law, and the importance of the rule of law for the protection of individual rights and the common good.

Understand how various political systems throughout the world define the rights and responsibilities of the individual

  • Understand constitutions protect individual rights and promote the common good.
  • Understand the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited governments.

Understand the role of the United States in current world affairs

  • Understand conditions, actions and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations.
  • Understand current foreign policy issues and the means the United States is using to deal with them.

 

Employability Skills

The vision statement developed by the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills Committee states: Each Iowa student will have the academic and social skills as well as the personal characteristics that empower them to be productive, caring, and competent citizens.This is consistent with the view that good employees may not be good citizens but good citizens always make good employees.

The employability essential concepts and skill sets represent universal content. They (1) contribute to outcomes that are valued for individuals and for society; (2) bring benefits in a wide variety of contexts and apply to multiple areas of life; and (3) are of use to all individuals, deemphasizing competencies of use only in a specific trade, occupation or walk of life. (OECD, 2005*).

Employers are demanding that employees demonstrate the skills to work productively in teams, communicate effectively, think innovatively and solve problems creatively. An overwhelming number of students leave their educational experience unprepared for the world of work. The employability concepts connect content and those dispositions required for success in life beyond school.

According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, “…academic and cognitive skills, as essential as they are, are not all that is necessary for a successful life. In our global technological age, young people also need to work with and learn from diverse groups, be flexible in a variety of work and social settings, and be adaptable to changing times. They need to demonstrate leadership and take responsibility for results, show initiative and resourcefulness, and be productive and accountable for their actions.”

Integration of these critical skills across curricular areas will allow students to make the transition from the classroom to their roles as citizens and workers in an increasingly complex and unknown global market. The availability of a knowledgeable and skilled citizenry will enhance the quality of life and result in a profitable economy for Iowa, our nation, and our world.

*The Definition and Selection of Key Competencies, or the DeSeCo, Project. Overview. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2005

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

 

Communicate and work productively with others, considering different perspectives, and cultural views to increase the quality of work

Work appropriately and productively with others.

  • Set and evaluate goals.
  • Effectively communicate with group.
  • Demonstrate respectful behavior to group member ideas and opinions.
  • Manage and resolve conflict as appropriate.
  • Understand roles in group interaction.
  • Identify their own strengths and determines how their strengths will work toward the group goal.
  • Contribute to a team by expressing ideas.
  • Respect other’s ideas in a group dynamic.
  • Collaborate with others toward a common goal.
  • Acknowledge own and other’s good efforts.

Use different perspectives to increase innovation and the quality of work.

  • Gather input from all group members.
  • Understand the opinions and feelings of others.
  • Accept and provide feedback in a constructive and considerate manner.

Use appropriate principles of communication effectively.

  • Listen to understand and appreciate the points of view of others.
  • Listen to understand the ideas of others
  • Process information in order to make an informed decision.
  • Ask appropriate questions in seeking clarification.
  • Read, understand and create information in a variety of forms.
  • Follow directions.
  • Contribute by expressing ideas.
  • Use appropriate technology to communicate.
  • Use appropriate channels of communication.

Adapt and adjust to various roles and responsibilities in an environment of change

Adapt to varied roles, responsibilities, and expectations.

  • Work well independently and with a team.
  • Accept and own mistakes as a part of learning.
  • Carry out tasks and projects to completion.
  • Understand that projects or tasks can be broken down into stages and assessed throughout.
  • Identify effective strategies to improve project or task.
  • Listen to other points of view.
  • Accept and appreciate diversity.

Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities.

  • Accept that change occurs frequently.
  • Understand focus may need to change as circumstances in the situation change.
  • Recognize the need for different levels of structure.
  • Identify appropriate responses to stress.
  • Adapt to changing requirements and information.
  • Demonstrate openness and respond constructively to change.
  • Understand conflict resolution from win-win perspective.

Demonstrate appropriate risk-taking.

  • Embrace innovation.
  • Identify and suggest alternative ways to achieve goals.
  • Asks ’What if?’
  • Understand brainstorming as a free exchange of ideas.
  • Weigh pros and cons of others’ suggestions.

Demonstrate leadership, integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility in all environments

Use interpersonal skills to influence and guide others toward a goal.

  • Positively support the work of others.
  • Build relationships.
  • Understand roles and responsibilities needed to accomplish goals. 
  • Use active listening and speaking skills.
  • Understand the benefits of constructive feedback vs. criticism.

Leverage the strengths of others to accomplish a common goal.

  • Communicate clearly.
  • Collaborate on structured tasks.
  • Show sensitivity to others’ views and ideas.
  • Understand how to create consensus.

Demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior.

  • Take ownership for actions.
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness and honesty in all environments.
  • Demonstrate the use of core values.

Demonstrate mental, physical, and emotional preparedness to accomplish the task.

  • Keep own materials organized and gathers materials needed for the task.
  • Prepare for and focuses on the task with enthusiastic anticipation.

Demonstrate initiative, self-direction, creativity, and entrepreneurial thinking while exploring individual talents and skills necessary to be successful

Perform work without oversight.

  • Assess the task and identify the priority/necessary actions to be taken.
  • Understand the task’s relationship to greater goal.
  • Understand that incomplete work-- even if excellent--is not acceptable.
  • Understand the importance of self-confidence.
  • Find appropriate resources.
  • Implement solutions.
  • Demonstrate commitment to self/group/society.

Use time efficiently to manage workload.

  • Segment task into logical steps.
  • Build a timeline to facilitate completion of the task.
  • Prioritize steps in proper order.

Assess mastery of skills.

  • Analyze the task.
  • Identify the breadth of knowledge to be successful at a task.
  • Effectively share knowledge at appropriate times.

Set and achieve high standards and goals.

  • Identify incremental steps for acquiring goals.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals.
  • Create a written plan toward accomplishing goals.
  • Choose to engage in activities to improve skills that are relative to goals.
  • Demonstrate core values.
  • Evaluate progress and seek assistance to take corrective action when necessary when working toward accomplishing goals.

Engage in effective problem solving process.

  • Transfer learning from one content area to another.
  • Identify key partners and resources relevant to the situation/problem.
  • Evaluate and select the resources in context of the problem.
  • Implement the problem solving process, including identifying potential causes of problem.
  • Identify a course of action in writing with sequence of steps involved in order to solve the problem.
  • Implement solution.

Demonstrate productivity and accountability while aspiring to meet high expectations

Deliver quality job performance on time.

  • Know that quality means meeting high expectations, including timeliness.
  • Make revisions based on self-analysis.
  • Work with commitment until the expectations are met.
  • Make needed adjustments to prevent problems.
  • Do not compromise ethical behavior and responsibility.

Demonstrate accountability for individual performance.

  • Demonstrate individual responsibility to be present and on time for all activities.
  • Stay productive when completing work.
  • Are willing to help others when own work is completed.
  • Accept responsibility for and correct their errors.
  • Learn from mistakes and creates solutions.
  • Follow through with assigned work within a group.

 

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is closely connected to an individual’s emotional, personal, social, economic, and employment success. An individual needs to understand the basics of money management, and use financial resources appropriately to function well in society at a personal, professional, business and community level. In a broader sense, students need to identify and discuss significant economic issues, important to society and to the world. They should practice examining the consequences of change in economic conditions and public policies. (The enGauge 21st Century Skills, 2003)

As society changes, the skills needed to deal with the complexities of life also change. The meaning of skills like financial literacy may change to reflect context, or current realities. Financial literacy, however, is about empowerment, the ability “…to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society…” (ICT Literacy Panel, 2002)

The vision articulated by the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills Committee states: Each student in Iowa’s schools will learn financial literacy concepts, enabling them to succeed in a complex global environment. The essential concepts and skill sets for financial literacy address the requirements outlined in Iowa legislation Senate File 2216. They also reflect broader, universal skills that cultivate critical thinking and responsible citizenship. They provide us the framework and knowledge to be proactive. When we accept responsibility for our actions because they have consequences for other people as well as for our personal success, we will also understand what it means to solve the problems and face the collective challenges of an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. (OECD, 2005*)

*The Definition and Selection of Key Competencies, or the DeSeCo, Project. Overview. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2005

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

 

Model the process of financial planning based on personal prioritization of wants and needs

Develop short-term and long-term financial goals.

  • Define the steps in the goal-setting process.
  • Explain the relationship between goal setting and achievement.
  • Create goals according to a prioritization of wants and needs that are specific, realistic, and measurable.

Understanding needs vs. wants.

  • Identify expenditures as needs or wants.
  • Describe persuasive strategies used by peers, media, and businesses to influence society (in decision making).

Create an effective spending plan using informed decision-making skills

Develop a realistic spending plan for financial independence.

  • Describe the concept of a spending plan.
  • Explain the advantage of spending less than you have.
  • Explain the short- and long-term consequences of over spending.
  • Recognize the impact of global issues on financial planning.

Understand various sources of compensation.

  • Describe potential sources of income for middle school students.
  • Identify factors to consider when analyzing different methods of compensation.
  • Explain how income can affect goals.

Understand the distribution of resources.

  • Explain factors that impact savings and spending plans.
  • Describe expenses that employees might have.

Understand financial instruments.

  • Identify possible financial accounts.
  • Recognize that fees or charges may be attached to accounts.
  • Recognize the importance of keeping accurate records.

Recognize appropriate uses of credit and its impact on an individual's financial security

Identify responsible credit management.
Identify the various types of credit card companies available and the features of each (interest rates, annual fees, limits, reward system).

  • Explain appropriate and inappropriate use of credit cards.
  • Explain how use of credit cards can help or hurt a budget.

Understand different types of debt.

  • Identify the types of purchases that generally require a loan.
  • Demonstrate the ability to calculate the cost of borrowing money.

Understand rights and responsibilities as borrowers.

  • Explain that a borrower needs to have assets to use as security for a loan.
  • Explain an individual’s rights and responsibilities as a consumer.
  • Explain the concept of a credit rating.

Evaluate various risks to personal identity and create a plan for ongoing protection

Establish strategies for protection of identity.

  • Recognize that a personal identity needs to be protected.
  • Recognize the impact of technology on personal security.

Recognize different types of insurance.

  • Explain why an individual needs various types insurance.
  • Identify factors to consider when deciding the type of and amount of insurance.

Recognize different types of non-insurance protection.

  • Identify types of documents that can serve as legal protection.
  • Explain the potential hazards of inappropriate or missing documentation.

Evaluate possible options for investing as a means to attain one's goals

Recognize investment options.

  • Explain how saving is needed for investing.
  • Explain the relationship between investing and potential entrepreneurship goals.
  • Explain the difference between saving and investing.

Distinguish investment options.

  • Explain various options for investing money.
  • Understand the effect of interest and percentage rates on investments.

Understand the relationship between investment risk and return.

  • Explain how an investment differs from a savings account in potential risks and return.
  • Explain the importance of a personal budget and goals in the investing process.

Demonstrate ethical financial decision making skills and assess how these decisions might impact the broader community

Recognize the local, state, national, and international impact of personal financial habits and actions.

  • Realize that financial habits and actions have broad impact beyond the local community.
  • Identify the factors that impact the production of goods and services beyond the local area.

Demonstrate responsible financial behaviors, at the personal, local, state, national, and international levels.

  • Identify the importance of legal and ethical actions in financial behaviors.
  • Explain how unethical behavior negatively impacts the broader community.
  • Explain the importance of ethical behavior in building trust.

 

Health Literacy

Health literacy, considered a 21st Century theme by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is, “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Nielsen-Bohlman, 2004). A health literate person is able to make appropriate decisions about their health as he or she progresses through life, as health care changes, and as societal norms change. The benefits of being health literate influence the full range of life’s activities—home, school, work, society and culture (Zarcadoolas, 2005).

Lack of physical activity and exercise, poor nutritional choices, increased violence, increased substance abuse and other high risk behaviors are serious threats to living a healthy, active life. The essential concepts and skill sets for health literacy provide a framework for building capacity among Iowa’s students to think critically about the decisions that affect health status for themselves, their families and their communities. Learning the concepts will form the knowledge base for the development of attitudes and habits of mind that will lead students to take responsibility for their personal health status. This proactive approach will have profound effects on families and society.

The essential concepts reflect the belief that children need to assess media messages at young ages and then develop critical evaluation skills as they intellectually, emotionally and socially mature (Zarcadoolas, 2005). Children must also take an active role in accessing and appropriately using information which affects their health (Nutbeam, 2000, St. Leger, 2001). Therefore, it is important to integrate the essential concepts and skill sets for health literacy across content areas, providing relevant contexts, problem based and service learning experiences. This will provide students opportunities to practice systemic thinking and problem solving processes that will lead to the creative solutions and proactive policies necessary to enhance health status in an interconnected, global society.

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

 

Demonstrate functional health literacy skills to obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family and community health

Know and use concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Anticipate the influence of risk and protective factors.
  • Describe the interrelationships of the wellness dimensions: physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual wellness during adolescence.
  • Evaluate the impact of genetics/family history with personal health decisions.
  • Demonstrate skills necessary for proper prevention/management of health crises. i.e. injury, depression, chronic illness.
  • Explain how appropriate health care can promote personal health.
  • Recognize prevention and control of health problems are influenced by research and medical advances.
  • Recognize the historical impact of disease and other health problems.
  • Evaluate the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.
  • Develop healthy personal choices to promote health maintenance and disease prevention.
  • Develop preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.

Analyze influencing factors on health enhancing behaviors.

  • Describe how diverse families, peers, cultural practices and attitudes influence health.
  • Articulate how media, technology, research and medical advances impact health.
  • Articulate how national and international public health and safety issues affect personal and family health status.

Demonstrate functional health literacy skills to obtain, interpret, understand and use basic health concepts to enhance personal, family and community health

Know and use concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Anticipate the influence of risk and protective factors.
  • Describe the interrelationships of the wellness dimensions: physical, emotional, intellectual, environmental, social, sexual and spiritual wellness during adolescence.
  • Evaluate the impact of genetics/family history with personal health decisions.
  • Demonstrate skills necessary for proper prevention/management of health crises. i.e. injury, depression, chronic illness.
  • Explain how appropriate health care can promote personal health.
  • Recognize prevention and control of health problems are influenced by research and medical advances.
  • Recognize the historical impact of disease and other health problems.
  • Evaluate the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems.
  • Develop healthy personal choices to promote health maintenance and disease prevention.
  • Develop preventive physical and mental health measures, including proper diet, nutrition, exercise, risk avoidance and stress reduction.

Analyze influencing factors on health enhancing behaviors.

  • Describe how diverse families, peers, cultural practices and attitudes influence health.
  • Articulate how media, technology, research and medical advances impact health.
  • Articulate how national and international public health and safety issues affect personal and family health status.

Utilize interactive literacy and social skills to establish personal, family, and community health goals

Demonstrate social and communication skills to enhance health and increase safety. 

  • Apply appropriate communication skills to enhance health of self and others.
  • Utilize effective conflict management strategies.
  • Demonstrate proper methods of obtaining help for self and others.
  • Generate ways to communicate care, consideration, empathy and respect for self and others.

Advocate for personal, family and community health.

  • Develop a health message to meet the health needs of a target audience.
  • Model how to influence and support others to make positive health choices.
  • Collaborate to improve family and community health.
  • Articulate effective communication methods to accurately express health information and ideas.
  • Recognize media and legislative advocacy efforts to promote positive health for self and others.
  • Identify power structures that support advocacy of a healthy, violence-free environment.

Apply critical literacy/thinking skills related to personal, family and community wellness

Demonstrate decision making skills.

  • Apply skills needed to make healthy decisions. 
  • Analyze the effectiveness of health-related decisions.
  • Describe the ethical factors that influence health related decisions.
  • Integrate the roles of individual, family, community and cultures when making health related decisions.
  • Demonstrate how health related decisions impact individual, family, community and environment.

Demonstrate goal setting skills.

  • Implement goals to enhance personal health and track its achievement.

Employ media literacy skills to analyze media and other influences to effectively manage personal, family and community health situations

Analyze the influence of family, peers, health professionals, culture, media, technology, and other health factors.

  • Demonstrate appropriate responses to negative and positive health influences.
  • Discuss the role of public health policies in prevention and maintenance of school and community health.
  • Determine how cultural diversities enrich and challenge health behaviors.
  • Analyze how information influences health.
  • Determine reliability, accuracy, dependability of health information sources.
  • Describe the techniques used by print and non-print media sources.

Access valid information,  products and services.

  • Differentiate factors that influence the selection of health products and services.
  • Not applicable.

Demonstrate behaviors that foster healthy, active lifestyles for individuals and the benefit of society

Achieve and maintain health enhancing level of physical activity.

  • Develop, implement and evaluate goals for physical health.
  • Engage in activities to improve cardio-vascular and muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

Practice preventive health behaviors.

  • Practice appropriate and effective stress management.
  • Analyze risk factors and make healthy choices.
  • Implement a plan reflecting healthy food choices.
  • Implement behaviors that contribute to holistic wellness for individuals, families and communities.

 

Technology Literacy

Each Iowa student will be empowered with the technological knowledge and skills to learn effective and live productively.

This vision, developed by the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills Committee, reflects the fact that Iowans in the 21st century live in a global environment marked by a high use of technology, giving citizens and workers the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions as never before. Iowa's students live in a media-suffused environment, marked by access to an abundance of information and rapidly changing technological tools useful for critical thinking and problem solving processes. Therefore, technological literacy supports preparation of students as global citizens capable of self-directed learning in preparation for an ever-changing world.

Regardless of current realities, literacy in any context is defined as the ability "...to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society..." (ICT Literacy Panel, 2002) "....When we teach only for facts ... (specifics)... rather than for how to go beyond facts, we teach students how to get out of date." (Sternberg, 2008) This statement is particularly significant when applied to technology literacy. The Iowa essential concepts for technology literacy reflect broad, universal processes and skills.

Although it is important that current technologies be integrated into all teachers' classroom practices and all students' experiences, it is also important to understand the broader implications of the transforming influence of technology on society. For example, creativity, innovation and systemic thinking are requirements for success in this environment. Technology is changing the way we think about and do our work. It has changed our relationships with information and given us access to resources, economic and professional, that were unimaginable just a few years ago

Technological advances also present societal challenges. It is essential that students have a deep understanding of technology literacy concepts in order to deal with technology's challenges and implications. It is also essential that educators partner with "...digital natives"..., teaching ways to mediate the challenges, and to realize the potential of technology literacy. (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008)

Essential Concepts and/or Skills

 

Demonstrate creative thinking in the design and development of innovative technology products and problem solving

  • Design, develop, create, and/or test digital technology products.
  • Individually or collaboratively create media-rich products and display, publish, or perform them for a variety of audiences.
  • Use simulations to help understand complex, real-world systems, identify problems, develop models, and analyze the output.
  • Investigate global issues and make informed choices based on knowledge of technology systems, resources, and services.

Collaborate with peers, experts, and others using interactive technology

  • Interact and collaborate with peers, experts, and others using technology.
  • Contribute to a content knowledge base by creating, producing, and sharing information, models, and other creative works.
  • Efficiently use technology tools and resources for communication and to access remote information and exchange it with a variety of audiences.
  • Engage in learning activities with learners from other countries and/or cultures using telecommunication tools to create, produce, and share information, models, and other projects with a global or cultural focus.
  • Share knowledge and skills with local or distant teams of peers, experts, or others using technology tools and resources to create group works and/or innovative solutions.

Plan strategies utilizing digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information

  • Create a plan for the use of digital tools and resources to investigate a real-world issue.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources and media and use this information in a legal and ethical manner.
  • Evaluate resources in terms of their usefulness and validity for research.
  • Use technological tools to select data and organize it into a format that is easily understood by others.

Use critical thinking skills to conduct research, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate technological tools and resources

  • Identify real-world issues and analyze technological resources for developing and refining questions for investigation.
  • Effectively use multiple technological resources to develop a systematic plan for conducting research.  Develop possible solutions or a complete product to demonstrate knowledge and skills.
  • Use technology to gather, analyze, and assess data and its effectiveness to design, develop and test possible solutions that assist students in making decisions.
  • Analyze and evaluate information from a variety of perspectives and resources in order to assess multiple solutions and investigate them from differing viewpoints.

Understand the legal and ethical issues of technology as related to individuals, cultures, and societies

  • Use technology efficiently and in a manner that does not harm them or others.
  • Demonstrate awareness of legal and ethical responsibilities when using copyrighted material, and how a disregard of legal and ethical responsibilities affects others.
  • Use online resources to work with others to complete a task and accept responsibility for the results.
  • Identify capabilities of contemporary technology resources.
  • Develop examples of how technology systems and services can assist them in pursuing personal interests.

Understand the underlying structure and application of technology systems

  • Utilize technology for everyday use and understand how technology systems can be applied to various situations.
  • Select and use technology applications to conduct research, solve problems and produce finished products.
  • Identify the source of a problem with technology, and, if necessary, the appropriate support personnel needed.
  • Apply knowledge of technology to explore other technologies and be able to identify commonalities among them.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 24, 2014 at 2:17pm.