Keeping Learning Learning 'Afloat' in a Time of Limited Resources

Even with limited resources, effective educators keep learning ‘afloat’ through the Common Core, free technology tools, school resources, community members, and a little ingenuity to ensure that rigor and relevance don’t drown. 

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Calculators or No Calculators: That Is the Question

renees's picture

I was recently contacted by an instructional coach from a school district where I work regularly.  She and her teachers were working on math units aligned to common core.  They were trying to determine whether students should be allowed to use calculators during instruction and whether they would be allowed to use them on the new state assessments. 

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Procedures Are Not Enough

tfellers's picture

My husband asked me to return something to a local craft store recently. Upon arriving at the store I handed the clerk my receipt, which she promptly allowed the computer to scan. The computer beeped at her and indicated the receipt was too old. She informed me that only merchandise purchased within the last 60 days could be refunded. Since the item had been purchased more than 60 days ago, she would have to give me store credit for the lowest price in the last 60 days. I indicated that was fine and she proceeded.

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What's in a Name?

GingerLewman's picture

CommonCore Standards … College and Career Readiness Standards … Corporate takeover of our schools … evil incarnate … the greatest change in education in the past 9,000 years …

Over the past two years, I've heard these new CommonCore standards called a lot of names by a lot of different people. In fact, some states are even changing the name of the CommonCore standards while not actually changing the standards themselves.

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Skill + Confidence = WIN!

amyw's picture

As a teacher in the nineties, the focus in our classrooms was self esteem.  Self esteem is important and I have done my fair share of helping others believe in themselves.  But like many initiatives, some things get lost in our pursuit of something else.  Lately, I've noticed something.  It seems that many of our young professionals have a whole lot more confidence than skill.  I am not saying that this group lacks skills, rather I am saying that often times the ego promises a lot more that what the skill can deliver.

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Waiting for the Magic

janes's picture

Summertime and fun times with visiting grandkids…four year-old Alec discovered the magic of fireflies last night and soon-to-be third grader, Evie, and I are sharing the experience of reading a new story, Waiting for the Magic, written by one of my favorite children’s authors, Patricia MacLachlan.  But here’s a secret…she’s sleeping in and I’ll admit that I sneaked the book to the sunroom early this morning with a cup of my favorite coffee and just read the final page!! 

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Writing: Making It Fit!

amyw's picture

Writing can seem like a daunting task for both teacher and student.  If you are still not sure how to fit it into your content area, here are a few ideas to consider.

 

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It's a Pain! Cure it with Coaching!

tamarak@essdack.org's picture

A recent trip to a local chiropractor made me realize how important it is to focus on the core.  The visit was scheduled to diagnose why I’ve been having sever headaches for the past year.  After several x-rays, it was noted that the joints in my neck are misaligned, which is most likely the CORE issue causing my headaches.  So, what does this have to do with the common core (or if you live in Kansas, the Kansas College and Career Ready standards)?  Engaging staff and students in the common core is essential to the implementation success. 

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Common Core Math: How "Deep" Do We Go

renees's picture

Rigor is a word receiving alot of attention in regards to the common core state standards.  So what does it mean in terms of teaching and learning? The 8 mathematical practices and the college and career readiness standards give us a look at what rigor refers to. 

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Math…It’s Not One Size Fits All

tfellers's picture

Since I majored in mathematics in college, I obviously have a love of numbers, but I am not Rain Man.  I can’t multiply two digit numbers by two digit numbers in my head quickly, and I figure out the lowest unit cost at the grocery store by using my calculator.  However, I do have a pretty good conceptual understanding of mathematical processes and how they can be applied to solve problems.  I’m not saying mental math is useless, but if we constructed a mathematical skills hierarchy, it wouldn’t be anywhere near the top.  Unfortunately, teachers often focus on memorizing multiplication tab

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