Recently the PBS NewsHour deployed some student reporters to ask teachers how the common core has changed their classroom practices.
The teachers are quite diplomatic, as the commenters on the website point out, and for the most part steer clear of the good/bad common-core debate. (The one teacher who does address whether the common core is positive or negative for instruction is from Texas—a non-adopter of the standards. She also manages to say it’s a bit of both.)
In one video, charter school teacher Regina Lauricella of Newark, N.J., says that with common-core math, she knows there are four major topics 3rd grade students need to learn: multiplication, fractions, area, and geometric figures. She used to simply go through the math textbook chapter by chapter, but that often meant students missed out on crucial topics if they fell at the end of the book. Now she says she jumps around to those topics as needed, and ensures she covers each of them.
Here’s her explanation (first 48 seconds of the clip):
While she doesn’t say it directly, Lauricella seems to be describing the impact of having fewer standards to teach—one of the major shifts in common-core math. And as diplomatic as she is, this sounds like a plus for a time-strapped teacher.
Readers, does her explanation make sense to you? What do you see as the impact of having fewer math standards?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.