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A New Perspective

I recently left the classroom to serve my school system as the K-12 Math Coordinator.  My goal this year is to work towards building a vertical alignment towards Common Core.  I started by writing curriculum maps for my system.  I started by looking at The Dana Center and the Mathematics Common Core Toolbox.  This is a great resource and provides some great maps and sequenced units.  We currently use a text that is not aligned to the common core, so I constantly found myself returning worrying about finding reliable resources for implementation.  I felt like I needed more guidance.  I found that several states have put very good curriculum maps and resources out there for their teachers to use.  My own state, Tennessee, has provided teachers with tasks to use in their classes,  but little direction for how to sequence the standards and how to pace them.  Since my experience is at the high school level, I really needed a resource I could trust.

I then found CommonCore.org aka EngageNY.  CommonCore.org is a nonprofit organization that  created a curriculum for the State of New York.  I spoke with one of their employees this week and Louisiana has signed on with them as well.  This curriculum is being written as we speak.  The first nine weeks is posted and what I have seen I really like.  I know there are critics, but I challenge them to show me something aligned to common core that is better.  My favorite part is that it is free through the EngageNY website.  You can purchase an individual teacher license through CommonCore.org to access training videos and a digital version which is much easier to navigate.

The elementary level curriculum is amazing!  It is a story of units and adopts a place value system for dealing with numbers and algorithms.  I can not do it justice in this blog.  It is worth watching the video here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm5A38rBToo#action=share

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to look at it with an open mind.  I know there was an issue one of Dan Meyer’s tasks being used without permission and I hope they remedy that.  (I would be so excited if they linked to my blog, but I’m not holding my breath.)  I personally think any curriculum linked to a Dan Meyer task has to be awesome!

So, I said my perspective has changed.  Since I have left the classroom, I now see that supports that my district provided that I didn’t need and often hated, serve a purpose.  For example, curriculum maps:  I know my standards and how to teach them and when.  I feel confident with my subject matter, but not all teachers do and wouldn’t it be nice if we could collaborate across our hallway and district.  Textbooks:  I do not use textbooks.  I find the best materials from blogs and twitter and I steal.  Not all teachers read blogs and have time to dig online.  They need a good, reliable resource that is readily available.  I think EngageNY could be that resource.



Categories: Common Core
  1. reilly1041
    August 16, 2013 at 2:35 am

    When I clicked on the common core.org, it didn’t look like anything but a site to sell their math program. Clicking on engageNY however, and I found the CC curriculum which looks amazing. I looked over the HS geometry and loved it. Do you have any idea if/when the rest of the curriculum will be released? It looks like 1/3 of the year is released and it looks free and ready to be downloaded. I’m in PA and we have nothing like this! Thanks so so much for the links to these websites!

    • August 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Commoncore.org is the organization who wrote EngageNY and they are selling online licenses. The advantage of the online version is it is easier to interact with then the long PDF on EngageNY. It is the same product. I spoke with the company and they said they are currently writing the curriculum and will have it posted in time to teach it. They said second semester should be posted by late fall. I have a teacher here who is teaching the Geometry and loves it. I like that it starts with constructions. I think it is genius to start with the definitions in geometry through constructions. Good luck!

  2. August 16, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Congratulations on your promotion. Have you checked out http://www.ck12.org This site you can create your own textbook from scratch or you can use their resources and included personal videos and pictures. Students can develop a resource also. I believe the lessons are common core aligned. I like the fact that several ways of learning are present. This site is completely free.

    • August 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      This is amazing! I will have to spend more time looking at it. I currently have our district curriculum maps in Livebinders. This ck12 site may be a little labor intensive this year but will be beneficial in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  3. August 17, 2013 at 5:43 am

    I love the EngageNY!! Thanks so much!

  4. Cynthia Moss
    September 1, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Thank you for searching out EngageNY, I serve as the math instructional coach for Monroe County and might need to contact you for advice on various common core issues.

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