Problem with RSS Feed for Forums Fixed

The link to the RSS feed for the forums (on the right of this page) was broken. I’ve fixed it now. You might not have noticed (I didn’t for a while) because it was simply not updating. So if you are using an RSS reader to follow the forums, you should delete your old feed and add the new url. If you don’t understand this message, ignore it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

K–5 Elaborations of the Practice Standards

Illustrative Mathematics, with the assistance of Mary Knuck, Deborah Schifter, and Susan Jo Russell, has been working on developing grade band elaborations of the Standards for Mathematical Practice. Here is a draft of the K–5 document.

As usual, please comment by starting a new thread in the forums. I’ve created a new forum for the practice standards there.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Virtual Lecture Series! (and we’re back from a rocky end of year)

Are you interested in engaging with national experts around mathematics education without the travel, hassle, and costs associated with attending a conference? Introducing Virtual Lecture Series, brought to you by Illustrative Mathematics. Virtual Lecture Series bring together top speakers from around the country for a series of talks, as well as time for questions and answers, giving you a chance to learn and interact with experts without leaving your classroom or office. Illustrative Mathematics will be offering a variety of Virtual Lecture Series on different themes.

Our first Virtual Lecture Series will meet around the theme: Preparing and Facilitating Engaging Professional Development for Teachers around the Common Core, on the last Wednesday of the month at 7pm Eastern/4pm Pacific from January through May. The intended audience for this series is district and state mathematics specialists as well as teacher leaders. The five hour long sessions will include 40 minutes of presentation from national experts on Adobe Connect, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A. The cost to virtually attend the entire series is $150 which includes access to the following presentations:

January 29th: Diane Briars, President Elect of NCTM, Topic: Effective Instructional Practices to ensure all your students are “Common Core Ready”
February 26th: Bill McCallum, Lead writer of the CCSSM, Topic: Preparing K-12 Teachers for the Pathway to Algebra
March 26th: Mary Knuck, Arizona Department of Education Retired, Topic: Math Talks
April 30th: Ashli Black, NBCT and Cal Armstrong, Math Teacher Leader, Topic: Involving Teacher Leaders in Preparing and Facilitating Professional Development
May 28th: James Tanton, Mathematician and Author of Thinking Mathematically! Topic: Instilling a Love of Mathematics

Also the blog is back from a rough time over the new year.  Sorry if you had trouble with any of the posts or forums, we were not as quick as we could be in renewing the domain.  Let us know if you continue to have trouble accessing anything.

Posted in Illustrative Mathematics, Professional development | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Task Talks

Are you interested in engaging with other educators about tasks for the mathematics classroom?  Illustrative Mathematics is starting a weekly conversation about tasks, called Task Talks.  Join the community on adobe connect every Monday night from 7pm Eastern to discuss the task identified on our Facebook and Google+ pages the previous Tuesday.  Use it in your classroom, use it with future teachers, or just ruminate on it throughout the week and join us for a discussion on Monday night.

This week we have chosen a fourth grade task about subtraction.  If you think you might join, please let us know here.

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Illustrative Mathematics, Professional development | Tagged | 3 Comments

Zimba Zoomba

For extra added fun, the folks over at Edutron have created a popup version of Jason Zimba’s monster graph of the standards, so that when you mouse over a standard the text of the standard pops up (the mouse over effect doesn’t work in Preview on a Mac, you have to actually click on the standard).

Posted in Progressions | Leave a comment

Tips on searching this blog

I have finally discovered a forum search feature that works. So the box on the right now searches both the blog posts and the forum topics and replies. Here are three ways you can search this blog:

  1. Use the box at the right.
  2. Use the google site search feature: google “ irrational number” if you want to find stuff on the blog about irrational numbers. This also returns hits from pdfs on the blog, e.g., the Progressions.
  3. Go to this old post and do a word search directly from your browser. It goes on forever, so you might to wait until it fully loads.
  4. I think (2) works better, but (1) is slightly more convenient. (3) is a last resort when you get frustrated.

[Update, 1/28/14: (1) stopped working, but I have found a new widget that implements a google site search, on the right. I’ll make this post unsticky now in the hope that we have finally solved the problem.]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Join with me in support of the Common Core

I have tried to stay out of the politics swirling around the standards and focus this blog on helping people who are trying to implement them. And, after this post, I will keep it that way here at Tools for the Common Core.

But I’ve decided it’s time take a stand against the swirling tide of insanity that threatens our work, so I’m starting a new blog called I Support the Common Core. It will provide resources, links to articles, rebuttals, and discussion to help those who are fighting the good fight. If you sign up you will be getting emails and calls for action from me and others. Tools for the Common Core will remain available for those of you who prefer a quieter life and just want to get on with your jobs.

The success of this effort depends on you. If only 10 brave souls sign up I will thank them and close down the effort. If 1,000 of you join then we can get something done (and I promise there will be jokes).

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Statement by CBMS presidents in support of the mathematics standards

I thought my readers might be interested in seeing this. The Conference Board on the Mathematical Sciences is an umbrella organization for the various societies in mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics, symbolic logic, and mathematics education.
Support Statement for CCSSMath

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please post questions in the forums

If you have questions about the standards, please click on the Forums tab above and post them in the appropriate forum. There are forums for each K–8 domain and high school conceptual category, and a general forum for questions that do not fit in any of these.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lesson Plans to Accompany Published Tasks

This is a guest post by Morgan Saxby, a fifth grade teacher in Chesterfield County, Virginia, who works with Illustrative Mathematics.  Morgan has begun writing lesson plans to accompany published mathematics tasks.

A clear step after developing high-quality mathematical tasks is to develop accompanying lesson plans.  I wrote seven lesson plans to accompany published tasks, all of which I tested in my classroom.  My goal was to write lesson plans that guided students to the level of thinking required by both the standards and the practices.

One example is the lesson plan for the task What is a Trapezoid?, aligned to standard 5.G.B.4.  A student who is able to successfully complete the task not only knows the relevant content, but can also skillfully construct viable mathematical arguments (Practice 3).  The obvious question to teachers is, “How do we get students there?”  The lesson plan Plane Figure Court is one possible way.  In it, students serve as “lawyers,” charged with proving or disproving a particular mathematical statement.  For example, the statement, “A square is a rhombus” has a lawyer arguing that this is true, and a lawyer arguing that this is false.  I required that students create justifications, even if they knew their justification was wrong.  The other students (the jury) decided the case based on the mathematical arguments made, not on what they thought was correct.  My end goal here was to help students to recognize valid (e.g., a square is a rhombus because it has four congruent sides) and invalid mathematical arguments (e.g., a square is a rhombus, because if you turn it a little it looks like one).

The format for the lesson plans is consistent through each one.  The first section includes the objective(s), an overview, and the standards to which the lesson are aligned. The second section includes a detailed lesson plan, as well as suggestions for assessment and differentiation.  The third section includes commentary and relevant attachments, such as worksheets or diagrams.  Some lesson plans, like Cooking Time 1, include student work.

The initial seven lesson plans are listed below, and others will be added in the future.  Tasks with lesson plans will be tagged “Lesson Plan Included”, and are accessible under the “Resources” heading.

5.NF How Much Pie? / Cooking Time 1

5.NF How many servings of oatmeal? / Cooking Time 2

5.NF Making Cookies / Cooking Time 3

5.NF Salad Dressing / Cooking Time 4

5.OA Video Game Scores / The Order of Operations

5.MD Cari’s Aquarium / What is Volume?

5.G What is a Trapezoid? / Plane Figure Court

We’ve also been working on developing review criteria for lesson plans that develop Illustrative Mathematics tasks into full-blown lessons.  The criteria are available here.

If you’ve taken a look at the lesson plans and the criteria, we’d love to hear your feedback by September 1.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment