Showing posts from July, 2014

#MondayMathBite: The Case for Praising Perseverance

Wow!  Over 2,000 readers on last week's blog, and countless meaningful discussions started both face-to-face and on Facebook tell me that I'm on the right track with my #MondayMathBite!  For the next few weeks, I am going to focus on the Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP).  The what!? you say?  Read on.

There are two types of math standards in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: Content Standards and the Standards for Math Practice.  The content standards vary by grade level and conceptual category.  They describe what students should know, understand, and be able to do at a particular grade level.  These are the kind of standards we are familiar with from our previous state standards.  In my experience, a teacher knows the content standards for his/her grade level inside and out... it's what defines their world as a 1st grade teacher or 8th grade teacher.  An example of a content standard would be for students to understand a fraction as a number on t…


So, I posted a few weeks ago about "talking someone off the ledge" of hating the Common Core State Standards in a casual coffee shop conversation.  It started simply enough, when an older couple I run into often simply asked me what I thought of the Common Core Standards.  If you know me, you know that conversation lasted through my caramel macciato, and then some.  Then, last week, I had a similar conversation with my grandfather over dinner.  I talked him off the ledge too, with the help of some choice textual evidence from a primary mathematics textbook first published in 1897 (for more on that, keep reading).  Since then, I have had the greatest of intentions to actually pen an article... something to the effect of, "How to Explain Common Core to Friends and Family Who Are Not Teachers Who Think You, As a Teacher, Are Ruining the Youth of America By Making Math Harder".  The title still needs some work, but you get the idea.  In the meantime, I am starting #Mon…