This adventure began this summer when I walked into a week-long fraction institute put on the by the California Math Project.  I quickly learned that the content was going to be presented with an emphasis on Common Core.  Common what?  Common who?  Come again?  While I had heard rumblings of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) development ("They're coming!"), I had not done any investigation on the matter.  By the end of the week, I had been indoctrinated into the Common Core Initiative!  I left feeling energized and hungry for more information about how to get my students thinking more deeply.  Bitten by the CCSS bug, of course I inquired about Common Core professional development within my district.  The answer, "We're on hold with it."  Yeah, on hold like a person standing in the middle of a freeway that's going to get hit by a big rig eventually...

So, instead of sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the professional development piece that is coming in early 2013, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  The implementation plan for the state of California says that this year, we should start with teaching using the Standards for Mathematical Practice and integrating them into our current standards and curriculum.  This is what I plan to do this year with my 5th graders.  Using our current, district adopted materials, I will be sneaking in the Standards for Mathematical Practice... which are really just good teaching.  I will post the link to some great, student-friendly posters on the Standards for Mathematical Practice when my computer stops being a jerk.  (This may be the first year I actually brave Black Friday in the name of procuring a new, newer than old-as-dirt laptop to get me through my Masters degree...)

Did I mention that I'm working on my Masters in Education with an emphasis in online teaching and learning?  My culminating project is going to be a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for teachers throughout the nation to collaborate on Common Core implementation.  I hope you'll join me when it goes live!


  1. Ms. Newell - I thoroughly enjoyed your article in Ed Week today. I have referenced you in my own teacher blog and would love to continue the CCSS conversation as we learn together this year!


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