October 15, 2013
NCTM SmartBrief
Mathematics Education in Today's News
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NCTM Special Report: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
Common Core State Standards have brought many changes to education that will affect educators and students nationwide.

In this special report, NCTM SmartBrief takes a look at the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. We learn about some of the steps school districts -- such as the East Greenbush Central School District in New York -- are taking to support educators as they implement the standards. 

We also explore how the standards are changing classroom lessons and emphasizing real-world learning. Finally, we consider some steps districts are taking in the transition to common core assessments.

In addition, we offer a list of valuable resources from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to help schools implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

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Teacher Support 
  • Common core spurs changes in N.Y. district
    Adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics has prompted leaders of the East Greenbush Central School District in New York to take a closer look at middle-school math and how educators are approaching teaching, said Ralph Lyons, interim assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. The district also involved professional-development consultants in the process of preparing educators and students for instruction under the common core, Lyons explains in this Q-and-A. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (10/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How common core is reshaping elementary-school math
    The Common Core State Standards are changing how schools teach students and prepare teachers. Educators in a Connecticut district will have access to coaches and specialists to help them implement new math standards in early grades. "Before, students memorized the math procedures -- how to add and subtract and multiply -- but didn't understand why it worked," Deputy Superintendent William Glass said. "Now, they are decomposing numbers, breaking them down to basic elements," he said. The News-Times (Danbury, Conn.) (10/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why school leaders need to help explain the common core
    School leaders should work to simplify the Common Core State Standards and explain education jargon to help teachers, school board members, parents and others understand what the standards mean, K-12 leadership experts Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers write in this blog post. "We need to be experts with the skill of making the complex simple," they write. Education Week/Leadership 360 blog (9/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Utah taps social media platform for teacher training
    Utah is turning the tables on traditional professional development for teachers by using video and social media to help teachers transition to the Common Core State Standards. The state is using the subscription-based social media platform Teaching Channel Teams, which includes 700 free videos and reaches a community of 260,000 educators through a secure network. eSchool News (free registration) (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 6 states to receive help with common core implementation
    Six states will join the "Improving Student Learning at Scale Collaborative" as part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative's efforts to implement the standards. Among other things, the states -- Arizona, California, New Hampshire, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming -- will receive grants and technical assistance from the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the State Higher Education Executive Officers. Education Week/State EdWatch blog (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Top 3 Things to Look for in a Common Core Mathematics Program
(1) Are the Standards for Mathematical Practice integrated throughout the program? (2) Are lessons designed to teach conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application of the Common Core's high-rigor skills? (3) Does it embed professional development at the point of instruction? See all 13 things to consider in a CCSS program.
Real-World Learning 
  • How to take authenticity up a notch in the classroom
    Students connect with project-based learning when they know a real-world audience will view their work and give feedback, writes educational consultant Andrew Miller, who advocates in this blog post for more authenticity in the classroom. "When students are engaged in real-world problems, scenarios and challenges, they find relevance in the work and become engaged in learning important skills and content," Miller writes. Edutopia.org/Andrew Miller's blog (10/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ohio students design, build cardboard arcade games
    About 250 fourth-graders from schools in the Canton, Ohio, area built arcade games out of cardboard, foil and other materials during a recent event integrating elements of a common-core-based curriculum along with STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math. "The overall goal is, we want them to have an opportunity to exercise their creativity to problem-solve and to have the experience like engineers, where they actually draw something and then see the finished products," said Rhoda Sommers, dean of Malone University's School of Education, the host of the event. The Repository (Canton, Ohio) (10/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.J. students learn math, science in school greenhouse
    Students at Midland Park Junior/Senior High School in New Jersey are learning math and other subjects through hands-on work in the school's greenhouse. The effort is part of the school's community-based learning program. "This [courtyard project] gives my students a hands-on career education experience," teacher Jason Gangi said. "Students are using math and geometry to figure out how many pavers are needed to build a walkway from the school door to the greenhouse," he noted. The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Strategies to make students fall in love with math
    Math class sometimes brings up images of worksheets and memorization, but some educators and education thought leaders are advocating for a more creative approach. Cornell math professor Steven Strogatz suggests showcasing "math's greatest hits" to hook students. Math teacher Dan Meyer recommends making math more accessible to students by teaching them to create and solve problems outside of a textbook and the classroom. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Why teachers love Ready® Common Core
The new Ready® Common Core program includes easy-to-use lesson plans, point-of-use professional development, best-practice tips, and a wealth of online resources for every standard. See for yourself. Watch the video
Common Core Assessments 
  • Why fewer tests may be the answer
    Fewer, more strategic tests under the Common Core State Standards could boost student achievement, three education leaders assert. In this commentary, Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy; Linda Darling-Hammond, faculty director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education; and John Jackson, president of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, write that "high standards aligned to first-rate curricula and assessments are a necessary step to enable high and equitable achievement." Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
i-Ready® Diagnostic & Instruction
Built for the Common Core, i-Ready® Diagnostic & Instruction combines a valid and reliable growth measure and individualized instruction in a single online product. Easy-to-use reports and online instruction provide educators with an instructional road map to success!
NCTM Resources 
  • Making It Happen, and more
    How do you help your students demonstrate mathematical proficiency that meets the learning expectations of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM)? You can find all of NCTM's CCSSM-related publications on its Pinterest board. Here you will find Making It Happen, which supports teachers, districts and states in implementing CCSSM. You'll also discover the Administrator's Guide, which positions school and district leaders to make sense of the past decade's many recommendations, with special emphasis on CCSSM. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • 2014 common core interactive institute series
    Join us in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 14 and 15 for "Cutting to the 'Common Core' " -- an NCTM Interactive Institute event offering high-quality professional development that will help increase your knowledge of mathematics content related to the common core domains and offer strategies and tactics that will help align your instruction with CCSSM. Choose from four concurrent institutes for educators in pre-K–grade 5, grades 6–8, grades 9–12, and school leaders. Interactive Institutes LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • NCTM position statement supports CCSSM
    The recent NCTM Position Statement, "Supporting the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics," identifies five critical factors to realizing the potential of the common core. "The Common Core State Standards offer the prospect of all students encountering the same high expectations and having the same opportunities," said NCTM president Linda Gojak. CCSSM position statement LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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