Friday, September 12, 2014

The Common Core High School Math Standards — a closer look

From Henri Picciotto (26 January 2014):

I have recently retired from teaching high school math in an independent school, and now work largely with public schools, as a freelance math education consultant and curriculum developer. If I were still in the classroom, I could have ignored the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) for a while, because their impact on private schools would take some time to kick in. However in my new career, the CCSSM affect everything I do, so I decided to take a close look at the standards for grades 9-12.
The views I articulate in this paper are based on my own experience as a teacher (42 years in the classroom, K-12), curriculum developer (author of a dozen books, a dozen articles, and a large math education Web site), and department chair (30 years or so at the Urban School of San Francisco.) I realize that this does not guarantee that I am right about any of the questions I'll be addressing. On the other hand, I am confident that my experience is at least as valid as that of any one of the authors of the CCSSM.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NCTM Regional Conferences Dan Meyer Doubleheader

Dan Meyer
No, it was not a web page error as I first thought, but Dan Meyer is indeed giving the keynote presentation at two of the three Regional NCTM meetings this fall: Indianapolis October 29-31 and Richmond November 12-14. Here are the details.

Opening Session
Wednesday, October 29 - Indianapolis
Dan Meyer, Stanford University; Stanford, California
Fake World Math: Why Modeling Goes Wrong (And How to Get It Right) 
Meyer works with thousands of math educators every year and finds more disagreement about the CCSS modeling standard than any other. So he has set out to answer the questions, What is modeling, How do we get our students to do it, and How do we get our students to like it?

Opening Session
Wednesday,  November 12 - Richmond
Dan Meyer, Stanford University; Stanford, California
Beyond Relevance & Real World: Stronger Strategies for Student Engagement
Highlighting relevance and real-world connections are often seen as the most effective strategies for engaging students in difficult mathematics, but both strategies are limited and can fail in crucial ways. We'll add strategies to our repertoire, looking at research-based methods for creating need and developing questions instead.

The reason I'm bringing this up besides the fact that Im thrilled for Dan and the NCTM committees that chose him is that he brings his potent message about how math should be taught to the forefront of the math communities in those cities. In Indianapolis he focuses on modeling as something that the common core folks didn't get right which begs the question for me: what else didn't they get right? Since NCTM is supporting CCSS 100% its good to hear that they allow for some introspection via their keynoters.

For more information about this fall's regional NCTM conference programs see: