It’s all Common Core now. Just 4 years ago, we were monitored to make sure that we were teaching our math and Language Arts material with “fidelity”. Basically we had to follow the teacher’s guide exactly and parrot everything. This year, it’s “teach the standards, use the commercial programs as resources”…. I’ve finally got my head around this with math. The enVisions (Pearson) math program that we are using has been really frustrating to follow. Now, with the Common Core mandated, I can justify moving away from the enVisions, and focusing more on depth of knowledge aligned to the Common Core. I use more outside resources. Common Core in kindergarten seems to focus much more on number sense and manipulating number than enVisions.

There have been some significant changes in what we teach. We don’t really teach time, money, calendar, and patterns much in kindergarten now. At least not with nearly the emphasis we formerly did. But they have to know much more about the topics that we DO teach. Counting for example goes from counting to 20 to counting to 100.

The Common Core in math starts with 8 basic standards. These standards each start out with, “a mathematically proficient student will….”

- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- Model with mathematics.
- Use appropriate tools strategically.
- Attend to precision.
- Look for and make use of structure.
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

The second part of the Standards are the strands by grade level.

Common Core has a deeper emphasis on math discussion and math journals(at least as they want us to teach here), with the students sharing their thought processes.