It’s hard to have a conversation with anyone in education these days without the two C’s coming up: Common Core. Now I know there are lots of opinions on whether we should abandon them, whether they create an increased focus on testing, and whether they are suitable for all students. I’m not going to weigh in on any of those debates. At least not right now.
What I am going to do is to talk about is a resource that might help you if you are trying to implement common core standards in your classroom. In an earlier post, I talked about one resource I find particularly helpful: http://www.turnonccmath.net/. I received a lot of positive feedback about the tool from both teachers and parents.
So when I stumbled across another resource that I think is useful, I thought I would share it. The website Illustrative Mathematics provides tasks, videos, lesson plans, and curriculum modules that illustrate the Common Core Standards. What I like about the site is that the tasks are submitted by a variety of individuals: teachers, researchers and mathematicians. Before being posted, each task is reviewed by both a classroom and mathematics expert. I think this collaboration across different groups allows for a rich set of tasks.
It’s still a work in progress so not all standards have accompanying tasks or lessons plans. However, I’ve found the K-8 tasks that are posted to be very helpful. What I really like is that you can easily download and print a task for a particular standard you are teaching. Included with the task and solution is a commentary on the purpose of the task and some suggestions on modifying or extending the task.
How you use these tasks with your students is up to you. Some are better suited to be used as assessment items, while others are well suited for whole class lessons. Your professional judgment, as well as your understanding of your students, will help you to decide how to best use the tasks.
I’d love to hear if you find the site useful.