Fasten Your Seatbelts…..

It’s going to be a bumpy night.” I love this quote from “All About Eve”; and coming straight from Bette Davis’ mouth – well you can imagine the delivery.

The more thinking is done about the implementation of the new mathematics curriculum frameworks – the Common Core – the more it becomes apparent that this is going to be a major, that is MAJOR, implementation.

Looking at it from a third grade teacher perspective – students will come to third grade with near mastery, if not mastery, of place value AND mastery (that is spelled out) of addition and subtraction facts — all of them.  Historically, that has not been the case; students coming to third grade often have a shaky grasp of place value and most definitely we spend lots of the beginning of the year on addition & subtraction facts. Honestly, there are some children who do not leave THIRD grade having memorized/mastered these facts.  That’s a post for another day though.

What this means to me is that, for the next year – or possibly two – we will straddle two grade levels of work. It is clear what the expectations of students leaving third grade and going to fourth are. (Click here to download the PDF or Word version); but there will also be some catching up to do for second graders coming in to third this September.  I’m sure other teachers at grade levels above and below my own grade level will feel the same.

And to add to the pressure, by 2014 the Spring testing will have completely transitioned to the new Common Core standards. Here’s a link to DESE’s plan to transition test items.  In other words, transition quickly and get working on mastery of the new standards.

Will we be ready – I sure hope so. Because not only will there be new standards to be responsible for, the test results will be linked to my own evaluation as a teacher.

I have a feeling that fastening my seatbelt isn’t going to be much help here.

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