New forums

If you have questions about the standards, please ask them in the forums (you can also always access this from the menu bar above). The old thread with questions is here, but it is no longer possible to add comments. Before posting a question, please use each of the search bars to the right to see if has already been answered.

About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.
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6 Responses to New forums

  1. Robert Jones says:

    I apologize if this is a duplicate on an older forum – wasn’t sure if it was still active so I re-posted my message here.
    I asked a question earlier about the sequence of standards, the way they are sequenced in the CCSS document compared to the sequence that a classroom teacher might create. I do understand from page 5 that the sequence in the CCSS was not intended to be a rigid format for us to hold ourselves to. Our academic leaders have always given us given the liberty to decide what is best for the students within our classroom environment. I’d like to narrow my initial comment down to a more specific concern about the sequence of 5.NBT. Scenario: I teach 5.NBT.2 the first week, followed by 5.NBT.5-.6. Seven weeks later I teach 5.NBT.1 and 3,4,6,and 7 later on. In this case, it seems to me that NBT.1 would be a foundation that leads precedes NBT.2. The remaining standards within NBT would be at my discretion. As a classroom teacher, could you see the rationale for the sequence of NBT.2 before NBT.1? There is a lot of ground to cover with the CCSS and I want to make sure I do it justice on behalf of my students. Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • Bill McCallum says:

      Hi Robert, I’ve replied to this in the original thread where you posted it, here, in case you hadn’t noticed already. That thread is now closed an further questions should be posted in the forums.

  2. Denise Haire says:

    Dear Mr McCallum:

    You are obviously putting quite a bit of time and effort into this forum which is greatly appreciated. As a parent of three elementary age children, I am pleased to see what the new common core standards may have to offer. (Hopefully, the chance for kids to be kids for one) One concern I do have with the 2012-2013 school year is in regards to our county’s transition plan. For grades 3-5 there will be “full implementation of the common core with elements of the state curriculum infused”. Do you have any thoughts on this approach.

    I loved your statement regarding teaching things such as skip counting for skip counting sake. With second grade twins last year, skip counting was not only taught as an indicator but was also continuously “shoved” into the curriculum throughout the year and regularly appeared on summative assessments. As parents, it was clear that teaching this for teaching sake only confused both children causing them at times difficulty in counting by ones. An example of too much information for their seven year old brains (a mile wide but only an inch thick). I was thrilled to hear Mr Daro discuss “less is more”.

    I also wonder if the new common core standards will help teachers understand the true meaning of functional assessments? Teachers in our area use the term but continue to grade everything in a summative fashion. They put quizzes and tests into the summative category and even though everything else is still graded with a summative 0-100 grading scale, they call it functional. Will the common core standards address this at all?

    Finally, although I understand the need for a focus on the STEM program at some point, is it necessary to introduce so much rigor at such an early age when children are developing and even still transitioning in to a full day of school? I have no issue with rigor and challenge but I also believe that the way it is being introduced to such young children will only push them away from the love they should have for school in their early years. I believe that intelligence is innate but not fixed. Whether we introduce certain challenges to our children at six years of age or at twelve, will not change their outcome. It will however, let the six year old be a six year old for the time being.

    I realize this is a great deal of info but would appreciate any thoughts you might have to offer.

  3. Bill McCallum says:

    Implementing the Common Core but not taking out topics from the previous standards is contrary to the basic principle of focus. The Common Core was designed to give teachers time to cover the important topics, and it does that by leaving out unimportant ones. So, putting those topics back in again defeats the whole purpose.

    I don’t think I know what you mean by functional assessments; are they the same as formative assessments? I certainly think the latter are important.

    As for your last question, which parts of the Common Core did you have in mind when you talk about “so much rigor”? I have talked to elementary teachers who believe it’s possible to push students to learn without pushing them away, but I agree it’s a skill we need to make sure teachers have.

  4. mmazzucco says:

    Any word on calculator usage on Common Core Assessments? The push is to make things real life, and calculators can allow teachers to use more “real” life numbers so that students can focus on the concept rather than the computations?

  5. Bill McCallum says:

    Questions like this and the last one belong over in the forum on general questions about the standards, not in this post about the forums. I’ll close this comment thread off and answer the question over there.

Comments are closed.