Monday, November 12, 2012

First of all, a big thank you to all current military personnel and their families, as well as all veterans, on this Veteran's Day.  I am so grateful to all of you, and grateful for this great nation.  I am so proud of my dad for his service during the Korean War.

The journey into Common Core Math Standards has been interesting, to say the least.  It has been fustrating, as we have tried to shift gears in the way we think about math, and the things we expect of students.  We are using "GO MATH!" for the first time this year.  My kiddos have had a struggle with all the problem solving.  We have not, in the past, expected them to THINK so much!  They are beginning to get a little better at it.  I know it will be a process.  I am anxious to see how our American kids, overall, do with math in the next few years.  There are some things about the Common Core standards that I really like.  I think the shift toward more problem solving is good.  I think that emphasizing fewer topics and going more in depth is good.  I have to admit I'm a little worried about some of the things that seem to have been left out.  Topics that were a big part of our third grade math curriculum previously, seem to have just disappeared. . POOF!  We no longer directly teach place value, for instance.  Maybe with the emphasis in first and second grade, there will no longer be that need. . . .we shall see.
I was asked a question today on my Teachers Pay Teachers page that is a very good question, indeed.  I created a quadrilaterals unit, based on the Common Core Standards.  A teacher who bought that unit wondered why I included trapezoids, rectangles, squares, rhombi, but not parallelograms.  The answer is that the word parallelogram is not used in the Common Core.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  It's one less definition to remember, but also one less classification to use in making sense of quadrilaterals.