Where do I Begin?

Last week, June 10-14, I sat through a Common Core Institute, put on by Pearson Education. I learned how to unpack tasks, how to unpack standards, how to write a task, what the eight math practices are, how to plan a unit, etc. There was a lot of good discussion and a multitude of information.

Now it is time for me to take all of this information and apply to my class. Once I began doing this, I realized how little I actually knew. Fortunately, the web gave me some guidance. One of the first websites I found was Illustrative Mathematics Illustrations. This site has many activities and tasks organized by standard. Another very good site (but only if you are an 8th grade math teacher) is the Nebo School District 8th Grade Math page. The educators who put together this page often reference the book Teaching the Common Core Math Standards with Hands-On Activities published by Jossey-Bass Teacher. After looking for a while, I realized that, since Common Core was so new, there wouldn’t be a lot of resources and lessons out there yet. So, I decided I am going to post all of mine here along with commentary on how each lesson went and what I am going to change about it next year.

But, before I began making and sharing lessons, I still needed a plan of how I was going to put all of these things together into an organized unit. Fortunately, if you live in Illinois, the state already has units mapped out, which can be found here (if you don’t live in Illinois, check your state’s Board of Education website). However, I still needed to build the lessons and determine how I was going to assess and how many days to spend on each standard.

So here we are a week later and I have my unit planned, my first four lessons, and my first interim assessment. Each of the lessons are done with Smart Notebook software saved in Dropbox. I’m accustomed to naming my lessons by chapter and section number, but can’t do that anymore. So, I went with Unit # – Lesson #.

That’s all for Week 1. My goal for next week is to create 5 more lessons and 1 more assessment.

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