As a math teacher or administrator, finding the right resources to aid in common core implementation can be challenging.
In the past, we've written about how many of the grade one through nine math textbooks used by 60 percent of U.S. school children are identical to pre-standards texts. 15-20% of the material covered within the textbooks was not actually tied to the grade-level CCSS!
And it's not just textbooks that are falling short when it comes to common core resources. If you search online for common core worksheets, you might be surprised at what you'll find.
You'll see some aggressive-sounding article titles:
- You have to see these unintelligible Common Core assignments posted by angry parents
- EPIC FAIL: Parents reveal insane Common Core worksheets
- ANOTHER impossibly stupid Common Core worksheet sure to make your kid a moron
You'll also see embedded Twitter updates from confused parents like this:
3rd grade common core math. See image. I have a math minor and it doesn't make sense to me. pic.twitter.com/gTuJmLUN6e— News12WX RichHoffman (@hoffmanrich) September 30, 2013
More Common Core "math".... pic.twitter.com/yBKAvYpn1p— SHERRI C (@Maxicat) February 9, 2014
Severity of language aside, when it comes to math common core worksheets and other resources, there seems to be a clear negative discourse. At LearnBop, we recognize that these worksheets are not pedagogically aligned with the CCSS. The spirit of these standards is lost amongst confusing directions!
CCSSM: Key Shifts in Mathematics
The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) build on the best of existing standards and reflect the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in college, career, and life. Understanding how the standards differ from previous standards—and the necessary shifts they call for—is essential to implementing them.
- A greater focus on fewer topics, or depth over breadth
- Coherence, or linking topics and thinking across grades
- Rigor, or pursuing "conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application with equal intensity"
Implementing these key shifts, as you might imagine, can be challenging on a number of levels, and that's what we're seeing manifest re: common core worksheets.
As we build out content for our own CCSS-aligned digital tutoring platform, not only is it important that we provide problems and lines of thinking that exhibit these key shifts and that are aligned with the Common Core, but it's also equally important that we administer content that falls within the spirit of the Common Core, that students can understand and that helps to facilitate learning!