Friday, August 3, 2012

Common Core Standards -- Is there enough time for real learning???

So am I sitting and thinking about where each of my classes will be starting this fall (and where they should be).  One of the great advantages of a small school is I know all 95 students at Juda; their strengths and their places that require more attention.  I am excited for another year -- we have had moderate success with an emphasis on skills that will help make all graduates college and career ready.  (I use the ACT as the benchmark for this measurement.)  I am now trying to tie the ACT emphasis, the common core and true mathematical applications together -- all while taking my students from their current math position forward.

My plan for the next few days (while recovering from minor knee surgery) is to take the HS common core and split the domain/standards into each of my classes (using a word document and actually putting the standards in order into each course).  From lowest to highest I currently teach the following:

Algebra 1A/Transition Math
Algebra 1B
Algebra 1
Geometry
Algebra 2
Senior Math
Pre-Calculus
Calculus (AP and UW-O credit)
 (Physics in every other odd year.... so 2013)

But my concern is really after placing each standard how do I accomplish the mathematical practices from the common core.  So it starts with placing each standard, but then the more important step is going to be the process of placing the practices -- to make sure that I am not simply drilling and killing a skill.

So that is the challenge, where to place all the standards while concentrating on the practices.  I believed when released that the HS standards were too numerous.  I will see how I feel after placing them.

But my question remains the same - Is there time for it all?  And if not.... What do we remove to allow time for real learning with the mathematical practices?