kitchen table math, the sequel: Common Core going well in froggiemama's district

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Common Core going well in froggiemama's district

froggiemama writes:
I really like the Common Core standards. My district has dramatically improved instruction since they went to it 2 years ago. They have eliminated many (not enough, IMHO) of the time wasting arts and crafts projects. My youngest did not have to spend first grade math drawing pictures of math facts like 2+3. My oldest, in 8th grade, is now being held to a writing standard far above what my current college students are capable of. I am really hoping that I will see improvements in my college students skills as we move to a generation who has actually been taught to use evidence from the text when writing about it. I am hoping I might finally get students in my CS1 course who actually understand placevalue and have some number sense. We will see.


lgm said...

NCLB did the same thing for my district...raised the level of instruction and amount of work expected in many classrooms. Unfortunately the admin learned how to game the tests, and decided to omit teaching many of the objectives, in the hopes of turning 1s into 2s. The material necessary for a 4 (our top score) was never offered in the classroom, and much of the 3 material was omitted. I suspect the same thing will happen with Common Core...they'll do enough units to get everyone a pass, and omit anything more.

froggiemama said...

My district aspires to 4's, and gets lots of them. I am not sure how the middle school is doing, but my kids elementary school was always in the top 10 scoring schools in the state.I have heard, though, that we don't do as well when the kids get to the SATs - not as well, at least as some of our neighboring districts which are among the top in the U.S. I suspect it is demographics to some extent,though. My town is still dominated by a lot of families who own plumbing or car repair businesses, and who are more interested in seeing their kids go into the business than to have stellar scores on the SATs.

In any case, my district is totally into test scores.

froggiemama said...

My oldest started first grade in 2006, so we were well into NCLB at that point. But the math curriculum in the first grade that year was horrible. I am not even sure I can identify an actual *curriculum*, in fact. Mainly, they drew pictures of math facts. My oldest was dying of boredom. We did a lot of Singapore at home just to make him happy. Fast forward to 2012, when my daughter entered first grade. The district was already actively aligning to CC - remember, it is a test-happy district, so they absolutely wanted to be ready. The teachers were complaining loudly. But the math was SO much better. My daughter was not nearly as advanced as my oldest when she entered first grade, and was very shaky in both reading and math. Th e math curriculum was much more demanding. No drawing pictures! The math she was bringing home was not Singapore of course, but was much closer in many ways - in the emphasis on number sense and place value, for example. Now, in second grade, she is doing well in math, and even more importantly, loves it. If she had spent first grade drawing pictures of math facts like my oldest did, I do not know what would have happened with her.