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An Instructional Shift

I am working this summer as a common core coach for the state of Tennessee.  It has been an amazing experience.  Tennessee contracted with the Institute for Learning to train 700 coaches across the state.  This summer, we will train 34,000 teachers.  This is the largest training ever hosted by the TN Department of Education.  I have learned so many things such as:

  • High level tasks matter
  • Enacting tasks in the classroom is vital to student learning
  • Accountable Talk in the classroom ensures productive discussions
  • Learning how to ask students assessing and advancing questions is necessary
  • The practice standards for mathematics are long overdue
  • The common core is a great thing!!

I am so excited about the common core and the changes it will bring to instruction and student learning.  The standards and practices in themselves are not magic, but the shift of focus from multiple choice assessment to conceptual understanding will benefit student learning.  To help teachers in the classroom, I have compiled a list of math tasks in a tab at the top of the page.  Please feel free to comment on them and add to the list.

Categories: Common Core
  1. June 14, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Hi Amber, I teach high school algebra. I am would be very interested in anything you run across this summer regarding scope, sequencing and pacing. I am concerned because it seems to me (and other teachers that I have talked to) that Common Core expects us to provide more cognitively complex problems, but not more time.

  2. Penelope
    June 22, 2013 at 4:00 am

    Well, our training with Amber just ended today! The topics she covered such as accountable talk, high level tasks and assessing and advancing questions were informative and powerful tools that can be used to implement common core. I feel better prepared for common core. Thank you Amber for all your hard work and dedication to common core.

  3. Renee McKnight
    June 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Congratulations on your new position! I am envious of all the teachers who will benefit from your attention. I wish you the very best!

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