Common Core Lead-Author

Today, I went to a lecture at MfA where one of the three Common Core Lead-Authors–Jason Zimba–spoke about his work and the development of the CCSS.  He was a great speaker, very open and honest, and I really enjoyed hearing his point of view.  Some quick take aways for me:

  • Emphasis should be increased but equally so among three main parts: conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application.
  • Much of the Geometry we teach (and the Geo standards) are of very low importance to most post secondary instructors. 
  • Emphasis for college instructors is on deep algebraic understanding and fluency/skill.
  • Perhaps Geo should be a place where algebra is reinforced.
  • Conceptual understanding problem is a “hold your hands in your lap and think for a second” type problem. 
  • Though the CCSS can seem like they are covering a lot of topics, one of the goals was to see the connectedness.  For instance: Pythagorean Theorem, Equation of a Circle, Distance Formula, Trig Identity…all versions of the same thing.  Less memorization, more repetition of the same idea.
  • When schools, cities or states try to add details to the standards, we should “Keep Calm and Go to the Standards”
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