Saturday, September 15, 2012

Common Core Math

Common Core Math
          In my last post I briefly mentioned that K – 1 in my district switched to Common Core for math this year. So far, I have mixed feelings about it. I like the overall concept of a hands-on approach to math (though math in first grade is VERY hands-on, Common Core or not). I also like the idea of math journaling, and had already planned to use a math journal this year. However, I am struggling with the fact that many of the lesson seeds seem to be the same. I understand that in order for students to achieve mastery they need to practice and repeat a lot, but I am slightly frustrated by the fact the first few lessons deal only with adding up to 10. Many of my students have also become frustrated; no matter how present the material, or the manipulative, there is no fooling them… they know we are still doing the same thing. I am also frustrated that each lesson says, “Math journals required,” but then nothing is said on how to use the journal with the lesson (because that’s so HELPFUL). Part of me wonders if I am annoyed with the fact that we changed before I realized we were, or if it’s just the change itself. I am trying to be very open minded and positive, but I don’t know how long it will last.
          Continuing with being open minded and staying positive, here are a few pictures I snapped of an activity we did in our math journals on Monday:

           After reviewing ways to make 5, 6, and 7, I had each student show one way to make 8, 10, and 12 (for a challenge) in their journals. First they had to use their red and yellow counters and PPW mats to show one way to make the number. Then, they drew a PPW mat in their journal and used their crayons to record what they were showing on their mat (WOW… could that be any wordier?) Finally, they used a black crayon to show the whole. They did GREAT!
          Well- that’s all for today! I am headed down to Ann Arbor to celebrate my sister’s 21st birthday! (YAY for being back in Michigan!)
        Here are a few shots I snapped this morning in my parents backyard:

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