In the beginning stages of Common Core implementation for Mathematics, it is only natural for teachers to examine the shifts in content. We are driven to answer the question, “Exactly what skills do I have to teach?”
But if we are truly going to meet the requirements of the Common Core in Mathematics, there is a section of the CCSS that absolutely cannot be overlooked: The Standards of Mathematical Practice. These expectations focus not on the skills students must know, but rather on the processes and methods they use to approach mathematical problems.
Confession: I look forward to parent conferences. I value the opportunity to connect with families face-to-face. But discussing report cards? Ugh. After 16 years of traditional parent conferences, I decided to make a good thing even better.
Student-led conferences intrigued me. The basic concept: students lead the conferences about their academic progress. They take ownership of their learning experience, sitting at the table with parents and teachers. Older students generally share their body of work through portfolios and work samples.
But how could it look for primary students? Nine years into implementing student-led conferences with primary students, I’ve found this is the key: have students demonstrate what they can do.
Let's Chat Core Series
You’ve heard the adage: one step forward, two steps back. Sometimes I think that’s how we all feel when confronted with change, especially the kind of change that quickly gets swept up by debate, speculation, and confusion. Even though the Common Core State Standards have been met with a great deal of support and enthusiasm, there are still many myths that, unaccounted for, can skew our understanding. So, in order to keep our conversations focused and our collective purpose aligned: here are a few myths – debunked.
Technology Paves the Way for Wider Audience
In late February, Pew Internet and American Life Project published the How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and Their Classrooms report. The results aren’t surprising:
- 92% of teacher respondents say the Internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching;
- 69% say the Internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers; and
- 67% say the Internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students.
It’s commendable that a majority of teachers are finding ways to bring digital tools into the learning process and help students “access content.” But now we need to work with students to create content as well.
“If we want uncommon learning for our children in a time of common standards, we must be willing to lower the voices of discontent that threaten to overpower a teaching force who is learning a precise, deliberate, and cohesive practice.” – Sarah Brown Wessling, Huffington Post, February 2013
Recently I began an occasional, but reoccurring blog on Huffington Post. My most recent post, asking if “the Common Core demoralizes teachers” created a flurry of reaction and conversation that certainly reverberated the kinds of insights, misconceptions, and questions that continue to pierce these discussions.
Given all the work Teaching Channel has done and continues to do in making the Common Core accessible to our dedicated, albeit busy, followers, it seemed quite appropriate to tease out some of the issues that surfaced in this latest post, knowing that these conversations are but a microcosm of the issues that pervade all our teaching lives.
We’re going to start our week with a celebration in the Teaching Channel office tomorrow! Around 1:15 pm this afternoon, we welcomed the 200,000th registered member to our Teaching Channel community.
To give you some perspective on this milestone—it took us 16 months to grow our community to 100,000 members, and just about five months to reach 200,000!
Why is our community growing so quickly? Because of you. It grows when you share a link to a video. It grows when you forward our newsletter. It grows when you comment on our Tchers’ Voice blog. It grows when you “like” us on Facebook. It grows when you answer a question in the Q&A section.